When an air conditioner malfunction, it's usually for a predictable cause. The thermostat stops working, the air filter is clogged, or there's a problem with the compressor. However, Murphy's Law dictates there will be times when an air conditioner will break down for reasons that seem odd or no one could have foreseen. Here are two of those instances and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Using the A/C During Cold Weather
There are a variety of reasons people run their air conditioning units when the weather doesn't call for it. The home may have become unbearably warm due to cooking or one or more of the occupants in the home may be suffering from hot flashes that never seem to cease. Whatever the cause, the air conditioner is running during a time when it's chilly outside.
While doing this every once in awhile may not hurt your air conditioner, continuously running in when the outside temperature is below 62 degrees can actually cause the appliance to literally freeze up, as in the appliance becomes covered in ice. This prevents the unit from working properly and, if the A/C is not allowed to thaw, can result in damage that's expensive to repair.
If you find your home just isn't cool enough for you on a cold day, it's best to find alternative ways to reduce the indoor temperature rather than using your air conditioner. For instance, open the windows and turn on a few fans to help push warm air out of the home. Alternatively, turn on the air conditioner's fan — but not the unit itself — to help circulate air. You'll achieve the desired effect and save money on your energy bills in the process.
2. Excessive Smoking in the Home
It's a pretty well-known fact that cigarette smoking isn't good for your body. What people don't realize is that it's not that great for their homes either. That's because, in addition to releasing particulates in the air, cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals.
The problem is that the stuff in cigarette smoke doesn't magically disappear when you exhale. Some it may go out an open window or through a vent, but some of it will also remain in the home and settle on walls and furnishings. This is why the walls and floor in a home with a smoker will turn yellow after a period of time, and it's unbelievably difficult to eliminate the smell of smoking from a space.
When it comes to your air conditioner, some of the tar, nicotine, and particulates will pass through it via the fan. If you don't clean the unit on a regular basis, those sticky chemicals will mix with the dust and debris and coat sensitive, eventually causing the air conditioner to malfunction or break down due to reduced air flow or overheating.
It's best not to smoke in your home at all. If you do, though, be sure to clean your air conditioner on a regular basis to counter the negative effects cigarette smoke can have on the appliance. Contact a company like Nathan's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. for more information and assistance.