Top 3 Reasons Your A/C will Overheat + Shut Down | Columbia Heating & Cooling
Written by Columbia HVAC

Top 3 Reasons Your A/C Will Overheat + Shut Down

Summer has officially arrived in Portland and temperatures are heating up. Is your air conditioner ready for the job? When the heat hits, A/C units can overheat and even shut down if your unit isn’t in fighting shape.

As the weather gets warmer, it’s important to maintain your A/C unit so you and your home stay cool all summer long.

Here are the top 3 reasons A/C malfunctions and what you can do to avoid it.

1. Dirty Air Filters

The air filter defends your air conditioner from dirt and pollutants. Dirty air filters block airflow, forcing the unit to run for longer periods to cool your home. If left unchecked, dirty air filters will eventually cause your A/C unit to break down or overheat and trip the circuit breaker. You don’t want to be stuck with no A/C with triple-digit temps on their way!

What You Can Do: Change your air filter once a month – or a minimum of every 3 months. That’s it! Need to purchase new air filters? Contact us today, we can help select the right air filters for your unit.

2. Dirty Condenser Coils

The condenser coils are tubes filled with refrigerant that run through your air conditioner’s outside unit. If the coils get dirty, your air conditioner will run longer and eventually overheat or shut down.

A typical split A/C unit has two main parts: the outside and inside unit. The interior unit pumps refrigerant through the condenser coils to cool the indoor air. The refrigerant liquid absorbs heat from the air and then transfers it to the outside unit where the heat can be released.

However, if your coils are covered in dirt, they won’t be able to release the heat as easily because dirt acts as an insulator. It’s kind of like wearing a wool sweater on a 90-degree day. Your body wants to release the heat, but the wool prevents the heat from escaping. What does that mean for your air conditioning unit? The dirt inhibits the refrigerant from absorbing the heat in your home, causing it to pump out lukewarm air, or possibly worse.

What’s the Solution?
We recommend cleaning your outside unit with coil cleaning spray. Call Columbia today and we’ll send an A/C professional to ensure your unit is functioning properly.

3. Low Refrigerant

This problem is like the issue we described in #2. Using your air conditioner with low refrigerant levels will also cause your unit to run constantly, eventually making it overheat.

Look for the signs:

  • Is your home taking longer to cool down?
  • Is your air conditioner having a hard time performing in higher temperatures?
  • Is the outside unit covered in ice?

If you answered yes to the questions above, your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, this also means you have a refrigerant leak, because refrigerant is not depleted like gasoline in a car.

What’s the Solution?
Contact us for repair! Give Columbia a call today, and we will confirm if there’s a leak, repair it, and charge your air conditioner with the right amount of refrigerant to keep it running smooth all summer long.