4 Ways That Your Air Conditioning Can Break

When the temperatures outside are getting higher and higher, you are relying on your home’s air conditioning to keep you cool day and night. However, this won’t happen should your air conditioning break down when you need it the most. While you may assume there are only one or two things that can lead to an A/C breakdown, there are actually many things that can cause air conditioners to cease operations. Should your air conditioner die on a hot summer day, here are some possible causes.

Dirty Air Filter

When the air filter on your air conditioner gets clogged, airflow is severely reduced within your A/C unit. As this happens, dirt that would have been trapped by the filter gets into the unit. This extra dust causes coils, fans, and other parts to work harder and eventually overheat. Overheating fans and components will lead to a breakdown. So replace your filters regularly. If the filters are clean and replaced often enough, you can rest assured that your air conditioner won’t break in this way.


Plus if you replace your filter frequently, you will be able to relax and breathe easy. Filters need to be replaced about every 6 months or so. They’ll need to be replaced more frequently if you have pets. Just make sure you get the right size when you go to the store!

Broken Capacitor

An electronic device inside your air conditioner, the capacitor is responsible for getting the unit’s fan up and running at full speed during each cycle. If this breaks, it is usually due to overheating, wear and tear, or improper voltage. Should you notice startup failures with your unit or smoke emerging from the unit, call on experienced air conditioning repair technicians to address this problem.

But capacitors aren’t the only electronic thing that can fail. Keep in mind that electronics are great, but not perfect. Heat can cause electronics to burn. Electronics can simply malfunction on their own. Not to mention condensation. Luckily most air conditioners keep the electronics in a safe place.

Lack of Maintenance

Like your car or anything else mechanical, your air conditioning unit requires regular maintenance to keep it running at peak efficiency. Make sure that you have it serviced regularly so that filters, coils, and other components can be cleaned or replaced. If you don’t you’re asking the air conditioner to break down on the hottest of summer days.

Thermostat Malfunction

Arguably the most important component of your air conditioning system, the thermostat is responsible for regulating the temperature of the unit and the area it is cooling. When your unit’s thermostat starts to malfunction, things will go haywire in a hurry. Before you know it, the thermostat will no longer be able to give accurate temperature readings, or may in fact give none at all. Should this happen, you are then unable to control your air conditioning system. While you may get lucky and be able to recalibrate the thermostat yourself, chances are you will need a professional technician to examine the problem and replace the thermostat.

Coolant Leak

Air conditioners work by moving heat outside your house. This is accomplished by a liquid coolant. This coolant evaporates at a specific temperature and then condenses at another specific temperature. Evaporation takes energy from the surrounding air. That air becomes cool and is then distributed throughout the house. The coolant is now warm and needs to be pumped out to cool off. Once cooled, it is pumped back inside. If you had a leak and coolant were to escape the whole process would fail.

As you probably realize by now, getting your air conditioning serviced on a regular basis can prevent many problems that lead to breakdowns. Don’t find yourself sweating more than you ever thought you could on a summer day with no A/C. Instead, do your best to keep your unit in great shape.