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Poway Ca HVAC tech working on Air Conditioner that broke down during the summerTop 7 Reasons An Air Conditioner Breaks Down During The Summer

Have you ever called for an emergency AC repair in Lakeside, ca, or another hot San Diego city? If so, you know how infuriating it is to have your AC breakdown during hot days when you need it most. Fortunately, most cooling system malfunctions are preventable with a bit of care.


Our goal is to help you stay comfortable in your home this Summer. We’ll do this by sharing seven common causes of AC breakdowns and how you can handle them. Keep reading to learn more about how to keep your HVAC system running all Summer.

Lakeside ca man and woman using fan to cool down after ac broke down in sumerWhy Does My Air Conditioner Quit Working When It’s Hot Outside?

There are many reasons why an AC may overheat during the summertime. Understanding these will help you detect them before a major HVAC service is required. In addition, proper HVAC maintenance can help you catch your AC issues before they cause significant system damage.

A dirty furnace air filter a furnace warranty inspection in Santee Ca

The Seven Reasons Why Air Conditioners Will Fail During The Summer


Most AC units contain two fans to circulate air within the unit. One fan blows the indoor air over the evaporator coil. The other expel the warm air by blowing it over the condenser coils. When these AC fans fail or malfunction, your unit will have less airflow than is needed. This deficiency can cause the compressor to fail or cause many other types of failure.


An AC removes your indoor air’s moisture as it circulates through the system. This moisture drains down the line into the pan and exits a drain. When this line clogs or the pan starts overflowing, the excess water can and will go back into the system. 

This water can damage your air conditioning system or cause it to fail. In addition, if left unattended, it can cause water damage and cause mold to grow in your ceilings, walls, and furniture.


Some problems can cause your AC to develop an ice buildup even in the middle of August. When this occurs, the air conditioner will start blowing warm air or not blow any air at all. 

Ac failures of this nature are caused by:

  • Clogged filters can cause the evaporator coil in the air conditioner to freeze. The coin can freeze because there is a lack of air moving over the coil, transferring heat. In turn, this leaves the refrigerant within the coil too cold. The excess cold creates moisture which in turn will often freeze.
  • Not enough airflow can be a symptom of a faulty air handler or closed-off air registers. For example, evaporator coils need air blowing over them to supply enough heat for absorption. A lack of absorbable heat will cause condensation on the coil to freeze. Closed-off ducts and vents can cause similar issues to happen as well.
  • Low refrigerant in your AC unit will cause the system to absorb less heat. Low refrigerant levels can reduce the system’s absorption rate due to a leak. This will result in colder air passing over the coils, which can then cause them to freeze.
  • Faulty thermostats can cause the temperature of the condenser to drop below freezing. This can also happen if the thermostat is set too low. This causes your A/C unit to freeze and leads to a decrease in inefficiency.
  • Circulating fans that are not running or running slow will produce little or no airflow over the coils. This can cause them to become cold, and frost or ice will often form. This ice will restrict airflow and often make the issue worse. The result is often little or no cool air circulating in the home. This lack of circulation will warm your home and can damage your system.

Home with broken air conditioning system when coils iced up4. CLOGGED CONDENSER COILS

Condenser coils in the exterior unit of your AC are responsible for expelling the warm air out of your home. Dust, grime, debris, and pet hair can build up and cause these coils to become clogged over time. These issues can be even worse if your AC is in an area with high pollution levels.


Dirty condenser coils can prevent heat from transferring. This can then cause your air conditioner to work more than needed. This additional work can increase the wear and tear and shorten the life of your AC. It will also cause extra energy consumption meaning higher bills each month. Finally, extreme conditions and situations can cause your HVAC system to overheat. 


No AC system will last forever. In most climates, it is safe to expect a maintained AC to last 10-15 years, with some lasting longer. However, regular use will often cause an AC system to malfunction over time. When repair bills start adding up, replacing the old AC with a newer, more efficient model is usually better. Once replaced, the Ac unit should last for another decade or more and have a warranty for most of that time!


Your Air conditioner uses refrigerant to extract heat and remove humidity from the air. Unfortunately, when refrigerant lines leak, your AC won’t have enough refrigerant to cool your home. This will reduce your home’s comfort and cause increased wear on your HVAC unit. If you believe this is your issue, you should call an HVAC service company immediately.


Most of the reasons above often are due to a lack of maintenance. Regular HVAC maintenance will help to prevent most of the issues above. Maintenance will never catch or solve every problem, but you can avoid most of them. By adhering to a strict maintenance plan, you’ll assure you did everything you could to keep your home cool.

San Diego woman holding a sign asking why her air conditioning brokeWhy does my AC stop working every Summer?

Like an engine, air conditioners are mechanical devices with multiple moving parts. These parts get exposed to harsh weather, temperature fluctuations, and electrical surges. Add in the dust, dirt, moisture buildups, and other conditions, and it’s only a matter of time till parts start to fail.

Often homeowners forget about the upkeep of their air conditioning system. Most only call an expert HVAC technician when their AC stops working. This can lead to extensive repairs and even require a new installation. 

Regular service of an air conditioner will help maintain efficiency. This will also ensure it runs for years and maintain your warranty.

What should you do when an AC stops working?

AC breakdowns are a common occurrence in the Summer. Switch it off if the air conditioner unit has no air coming out or is blowing warm air.

Next, it is best to create a more comfortable environment by opening windows and doors. Finally, you can help this air circulate by turning on any fans you may have in your home.

Once that’s done, check the following for quick, simple fixes:

  • Breaker box. An air conditioner can trip the circuit breaker. If it’s tripped, flip it back on and see if the AC still works. When your breaker keeps tripping, stop using the AC immediately. The next step would be to call a certified HVAC technician.
  • Thermostat. It may seem obvious but check your thermostat to see if it’s set to heat instead of cool. If it’s set to heat, switch it back to cool and try running the AC. This is also a great time to replace the thermostat batteries as well. If none of these solutions solve your problem, it may be time to call a professional.
  • Filters. Are your filters or your air ducts covered in a layer of dust and debris? If so, replace them or clean them if they are reusable.


If none of the above solutions solves your problem, it is likely best to contact a reputable HVAC service.

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San Diego’s Best AC Repair Near Me

So you spent the day at Lake San Vicente Recreation Area with your family. After a long day, you head home to relax in your air-conditioning. You realize your home is so hot, and your AC unit has stopped working when you walk in. Scenarios like this are an unfortunate pain for everyone in your home.

Here at Hamel’s Air Conditioning and Heating, we have one goal. It’s to assure your HVAC systems are continuously operating at peak efficiency. 

As an AC and heating company that’s well-trusted in the San Diego area, we’ll ensure your system’s fixed fast. Hamel’s has been voted San Diego’s Favorite Heating & Air Company in the 2021 Union-Tribune SD Best poll; you can rest easy as we’re the team on your side. So contact us today and have your AC serviced by the best HVAC technicians in Lakeside, Ca, and the surrounding San Diego county areas.

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