It's not a secret that you should maintain your HVAC equipment, but it's also something that many homeowners allow to fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, it's very easy to neglect basic maintenance procedures or simply never to realize what you need to do to keep your system healthy. On the other hand, you may have purchased or inherited a home where the previous owner neglected maintenance.
Whatever the case, a lack of maintenance will compound over time, leading to more failures and a shorter overall lifespan of the system. While it's never too late to start with a detailed maintenance schedule, you're still likely to face more problems than with a correctly maintained system. If you know you own a neglected system, you may want to prepare for these three potential issues.
1. Blower Motor Failures
Your blower is a critical part of your AC system. Without your blower, your system cannot move cool air from the evaporator coil to other parts of your home. Even worse, a faulty blower can cause your evaporator to freeze, interfering with the refrigerant cycle and stressing your compressor. This chain of events can ultimately lead to far more expensive repairs.
Why Should You Expect It: Your blower motor needs to push air through your HVAC filter, and it will struggle with clogged or dirty filters. Leaving filters in place for too long can stress the blower motor, causing it to overheat and reducing its lifespan. If you or a previous owner went too long between filter changes, your blower motor might live a much shorter than expected life.
2. Blown Capacitors
Your outdoor condenser unit typically uses one or two capacitors to provide a starting jolt to the compressor and smooth power delivery. If these capacitors fail, your AC system may run continuously, or it may not turn on at all. A bad starting capacitor can also lead to hard starting conditions where your compressor will run only after struggling to turn on.
Why You Should Expect It: Like most electrical components, capacitors will fail if exposed to extreme heating and cooling cycles. Dirty condenser coils may cause heat to build up around your outdoor unit, especially if there isn't adequate airflow. As a result, the capacitors may experience higher temperatures, causing them to wear out and fail more quickly.
3. Faulty Compressors
The compressor is arguably the most critical component in your air conditioning system and the one that will usually cost the most to repair. Depending on the age of your air conditioner, a failed compressor may be the final nail in its coffin. While the compressor should last the system's lifetime, it can fail early if overworked.
Why You Should Expect It: Your compressor is vulnerable to a condition known as slugging, which is when liquid refrigerant returns from the evaporator coil. Poor airflow, refrigerant charge problems, and various other maintenance issues can cause slugging, ultimately wearing out your compressor and leading to premature failure.
For more information, contact air conditioning repair professionals near you.