Labor Day is over, and that means that it’s the unofficial start of the fall. But early fall doesn’t mean much of a change in the temperature here in the desert areas of Southern California. In fact, September is often the hottest month of the year for us. We won’t really need to start thinking about our home’s heating systems until late October.
We’ve discussed in a previous post some of the issues that your air conditioner might run into during the late summer: it’s a stressful time for cooling systems because of all the work they’ve done in the previous months. But is the heat itself a danger to an air conditioning system?
The answer is, “sometimes.” Air conditioners are designed specifically to work in hot climates (that’s where they receive the most use, after all) and most of their components can continue to operate even when the temperature soars above 100°F. The problems ACs encounter in hot temperatures are primarily from the extra work they have to do and the long periods when they continue to run. But there are some heat-related troubles that can occur.
The most common overheating trouble for an air conditioner is failing capacitors. Capacitors are more sensitive to high temperatures than any other part in a refrigeration system. High levels of heat exposure can cause a capacitor to lose its ability to hold a charge, and eventually the capacitor will stop working at all, and its motor will stop running. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix for professionals: they simply need to replace the capacitor.
Extreme temperatures can sometimes cause an air conditioner to trip the circuit breaker because of the increased electrical demand. This will cause the AC to shut off until the breaker is reset. If your air conditioner suddenly stops working during an extremely hot day, it’s a good idea to first check the electrical panel to see if a breaker has tripped. If you reset the breaker and the AC trips it again a short time later, there may be a more serious problem with the air conditioner. Call HVAC professionals if this happens.
Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning offers great AC repairs to Moreno Valley, CA. For exceptional customer service, give our office a call.