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This May Be the Reason Your AC Overheated

thermometer-going-redAn air conditioning system is designed to tackle the heat—but like any piece of machinery, it can overheat and stop working. Just like you wouldn’t want your car’s engine to overheat while you’re on a long drive, you don’t want your AC to overheat during a sweltering summer day.

If your air conditioner has overheated and tripped a circuit breaker, we recommend you call us to service your air conditioning in Salem, OR right away. We offer 24-hour emergency service, and our trained technicians can get to the bottom of what’s wrong quickly and fix it. You definitely need pros for this service because there are a variety of reasons an air conditioner may overheat, and it takes trained technicians to figure out exactly what it is that must be fixed.

Why did the air conditioner overheat in the first place?

We’ll look over some of the most common reasons your AC’s motors have overheated and failed:

  • Clogged air filter: This is the most frequent reason for an overheating air conditioner—and it’s one of the easiest to prevent with some simple planning. The filter for the HVAC cabinet protects it from debris coming in through the return air vents, but the debris will build up in the filter until it chokes off airflow. This forces the blower fan motor to strain, eventually causing a circuit breaker to trip. To prevent this, make sure you change the filter every one to three months. A clean filter not only helps prevent overheating, it keeps the AC from costing more to run.
  • Lack of motor lubrication: Motors often overheat because of excess friction on their parts. It’s vital to have annual maintenance so technicians can lubricate the motors that need it. If maintenance is neglected for a few years, the motors in the AC are at a higher chance of burning out.
  • Short-cycling compressor: The compressor is the most powerful component in the air conditioner—and the one you least want to overheat and burn out. If the compressor begins to turn on and off rapidly over a short time (known as short-cycling), its motor will wear down rapidly. There are different sources of short-cycling, and you need professionals to find out the specific reason your AC is short-cycling.
  • Failed capacitors: The capacitors are components that send voltage to start the motors and keep them running. A capacitor can lose its ability to hold an electrical charge if it’s exposed to too much heat. A failed capacitor means a motor that won’t start or won’t stay running. Fortunately, they are easy for professionals to replace.
  • Electrical shorts: There are many other places in an air conditioning system where bad wiring or corroded wiring can lead to electrical shorts that will trip circuit breakers. If at any time you have an AC that’s regularly tripping breakers, don’t ignore it! Call HVAC technicians to fix the wiring trouble.

Remember, you can prevent most AC malfunctions with annual professional maintenance. If you haven’t arranged for your air conditioner’s yearly tune-up, it’s not too late to call us!

Get your AC back to cooling your home: call on Comfort Flow Heating! Serving all of Oregon.

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