When It's Too Hot for Your Poor Old Air Conditioner

Even though your air conditioning cools your home, the system can overheat, just like any appliance. The fact that it might be too hot to run your air conditioning probably seems contrary—after all, what else is it for? And how can you make sure your AC is ready to cool your home no matter the temperature?

The Unit's Operational Capacity

Older units are unlikely to be quite so effective in extreme heat when compared to their newer counterparts. This is noticed as less effective cooling inside your home. When the unit reaches its operational capacity, it essentially becomes impossible for it to reduce the temperature inside the room any further. As the operating temperature of the appliance reaches a potentially dangerous level, its condenser may be unable to properly release extracted heat into the outside air. You may only notice this on extremely hot days when you lower the unit's thermostat. While it continues to operate and maintain the current temperature, it cannot cool the space any further—because it has reached its capacity. 

The Effects of Ageing

Why does this reaction to extreme heat affect older units? Older units are more likely to have components that are showing the effects of ageing, such as unclean filters, with a thick, embedded layer of dust that can impede airflow, making the unit work harder. Additionally, the unit's fan belt and the bearings that help regulate its rotation may have become misaligned—although this should only be relevant if the unit hasn't received its regular maintenance. All these factors come together to influence an air conditioner which may begin to struggle in extreme heat, and may soon break down entirely.

Time for Maintenance

If your air conditioner seems to be struggling in extreme heat, you must have it serviced immediately. Ideally, any instances of extreme heat will be isolated, but this often isn't the case in Australia, where brutally hot summer days are quite standard. Regular maintenance keeps your air conditioner working at its most efficient, meaning the threshold for its operational capacity will shift to be more in line with the manufacturer's original specifications. Moving forward, your unit will require regular servicing to stop the issue from striking again.

Regardless of how hot it is outside, your unit should still respond to any changes you make to its thermostat. When your AC doesn't respond as it should, it's a sign of an overworked and overheated unit that needs urgent maintenance. 

For more information about air conditioning, contact a local company.