Air Conditioning Issues Unique to Texas

The U.S Department of Energy (USDE) reports there are three primary causes of air conditioning malfunctions throughout Texas.

With a front-row seat next to the Gulf of Mexico, Texas rates as the 4th hottest state annually and receives the silver medal for summertime heat. San Antonio temperatures average 94 degrees per day June through August. While air conditioning may be optional for much of the United States, it is a necessity in Texas. Find out which issues affect Texas air conditioning specifically, and how to avoid them.

Air conditioner unit after repair or service call with clipboard on top

Low Refrigerant

A common mechanical problem among air conditioners is low refrigerant. After a time, refrigerant may leak due to old or damaged components. This will eventually affect the compressor, which acts as the heart of the air conditioning unit. A leak repair is significantly more cost-effective than replacing a damaged compressor. In many cases, owners decide to buy a new unit all together when the compressor is not working properly. The signs of a refrigerant leak are most often warm air emitting from your AC unit and increased energy bill costs. Your air conditioner does not have the refrigerant necessary to cool the air and is working harder to compensate.

While some people opt to refill their unit with refrigerant, this is not an effective solution, as the leak will continue to erode the interior of the unit. Ultimately, this forces owners to spend upwards of $1200 on repairs. Because Texans use air conditioning almost nonstop during the summer months, wear and tear are accelerated. An annual visit from an HVAC specialist will not only equip your home for scorching temperatures, it will save you money on repairs and replacements down the road.

 

Clogged Condensate Drain Line

Another simple but common problem for air conditioning units is a clogged condensate drain line. These drains help remove condensation from the unit which is pulled from the air, resulting in optimal heat and humidity control. Signs of a clogged condensate drain line include water leakage around the unit, a constantly refilled condensate pan, a moldy smell around the unit, and water damage, which can show up on ceilings, walls, and flooring.

The best way to prevent clogged drains is to clean your unit regularly. The recommended frequency is generally once per year, however, in Texas where units are used year-round, it is wise to clean it every 3-6 months. A vinegar and water solution or bleach are both efficient drain cleaners. Finally, investing in quality air filters will help prevent dust from reaching the evaporator coils.  Annual tune-ups and cleanings from a professional with also extend the life and utility of your air conditioning unit. 

 

Inconsistent Maintenance

The final and most simple problem affecting air conditioner performance is the lack of maintenance. Users do not always realize the significance of changing the air filter every 3 months. There are variables that may impact how often the filter of your unit needs to be changed, including the amount of dust, pollen, and animals in and around your home. Because the majority of Texas is high on the spectrum for dust and pollinating plants, filters should ideally be changed once per month. The great news is, this can have an incredible impact on your air conditioner’s performance.

A clogged air filter can restrict performance up to 15%, causing your unit to work much harder to cool your home. This is often reflected in high energy bills. By taking the time to clear away the dust and debris from old filters, you can enjoy a cool home at a lower cost. This in addition to cleaning and paying close attention to any water leaks can have a significant impact on the duration and output your AC unit provides.

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