The purpose of your air conditioner is to help maintain a comfortable interior environment no matter what it looks like outside, but your system isn't immune to environmental factors. Not only is your condenser exposed to the full brunt of nature, but no home's envelope is perfectly sealed. A variety of environmental contaminants can enter your house, potentially threatening your HVAC system.
You can discover more here about three environmental factors that may lead to air conditioning repairs. Depending on where you live, your AC may be vulnerable to one or more of these issues, so it's a good idea to be aware of them so you can prepare for the worst.
1. Overloaded AC Filters
If you live in an area prone to wildfires, then it's inevitable that ash and soot will make their way into your home. Sealing doors and windows can help, but your air conditioner's filter will often handle the brunt of the work. A good filter can keep your interior air clean even if it's ashy outside, but this challenging work will quickly overload most filters.
You can avoid problems by checking your filter weekly (or even daily), but it's easy to lose track. A severely clogged filter can cause numerous issues, such as straining your blower motor or causing your evaporator coils to freeze.
2. Blown Capacitors
Your air conditioner's capacitors live in the outdoor condenser unit. Although located behind a cover, they're more exposed to hot conditions than most parts of your system. Excessive heat can cause already aging capacitors to fail, resulting in a system that will trip your breaker or simply not turn on at all.
If you live in an area experiencing extreme heat events, it may be worthwhile to watch out for the signs of a failing capacitor. Load humming noises, frequently tripped breakers, or a compressor that's very slow to start may all be signs of trouble.
3. Condenser Storm Damage
Summer storms can be great fun to watch from the safety of a house or porch, but they can damage exterior appliances such as your AC's condenser unit. If you live in an area that suffers from storms with high winds, you should periodically check your condenser for signs of damage from flying debris. Twigs or heavier branches can easily damage the coils or even jam the condenser's blower.
If you notice any damage to your condenser unit following a storm, it's usually a good idea to contact an HVAC contractor as soon as you can for an evaluation. You'll often be able to make an insurance claim for this type of damage, so it's helpful to get an expert opinion as early as possible.