It’s an Arizona homeowner’s worst nightmare: the air conditioning stops working when it’s 110 degrees outside. While in many places across the country the home air conditioning is a matter of comfort, in Arizona, a properly-working AC system is a necessity.
Phoenix heating and cooling systems are complicated machines. And because they run continuously during the extended summer months, there are many opportunities for something to break down. Here are some of the more common items that need to be fixed on air conditioning systems:
Fuses: Their purpose is to prevent excessive load on the supply circuit, which could overload the entire system. Causes of fuse failure include age, a loose connection, an electrical storm, a faulty electrical component in the unit, or from being loose in their holder.
Contactor/Relay: Relays are electrically controlled switches that turn the system’s motors on and off. The largest relay is called the contactor, and it controls the power to the compressor. These devices can fail when the contact surfaces stop making contact, become stuck in the on position, they turn on the wrong component, or from regular wear and tear.
Capacitors: A capacitor helps the air conditioning systems’ motor start from a stand still position and run efficiently. They can weaken over time, decreasing the motors efficiency. Heat can also cause them to swell, leak and fail. A weakening capacitor could cause the motor to run warmer than normal, shortening its life expectancy.
Reversing valve: These valves are found on electric heat pumps and are used to reverse the flow of refrigerant from the cooling mode to the heating mode and back again. The failure of a reversing valve can cause the system to stick in the heating or cooling mode.
Indoor and outdoor coils: The indoor coil absorbs the heat from the home’s indoor air, and passes it to the system’s refrigerant, which is then pumped outside. The outdoor coil draws the outdoor air across the coil to absorb the heat from the refrigerant. An indoor coil in need of cleaning may have lower performance, or can ice up from the low airflow. A leaking indoor coil should be repaired or replaced to prevent further, more costly, damage. An outdoor coil can develop leaks from the constant vibration of the compressor, weakening the solder joints and tubing.
The best way to catch problems in your heating and cooling system before they become costly repairs is to have regular maintenance performed on your system. Chas Roberts Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers the Comfort Assurance Plan (CAP), which provides twice annual check-ups. And should your system be in need of repair, as a CAP member you’ll receive a 10 percent discount (15 percent for seniors) on repairs.
Chas Roberts is your Phoenix heating and cooling expert! For more information on the CAP or to schedule a repair appointment, visit ChasRoberts.com or call (602) 943-3426 in Phoenix, (520) 618-1884 in Tucson or (505) 264-7257 in New Mexico.