Why Is My Air Conditioner Surging?

July 02, 2024

You hear the air conditioner come on, and it's at full blast. Then it shuts off. Maybe this only happens once, or maybe it happens dozens of times per day. Either way, it likely means your air conditioner is surging, which can cause a lot of damage long term.

Power surges can damage important parts of air conditioners like circuit boards and compressors, making them less efficient and causing them to break down sooner than they should. Worse, given how frequent lightning strikes are here in Southwest Florida, it's important for homeowners to use surge protectors to shield their air conditioners from sudden spikes in power.

To help you safeguard your AC, in this article, we'll explain:

  • What is power surging?
  • Common causes of air conditioner surging
  • Why AC maintenance can help you avoid AC surging

Safeguard your AC from power surges.

Regular AC maintenance can protect your AC from the damaging effects of power surges, which are more common during storms. Schedule a professional maintenance check today, and our highly-trained technicians will safeguard your AC system, improve its efficiency, and extend its lifespan. We make scheduling a breeze with convenient appointment times, Monday through Saturday– including emergency hours!

What Is Power Surging?

Power surging, commonly referred to as a voltage surge, occurs when there's a sudden spike in the electrical current flowing through power lines. When a surge travels through your home’s electrical system, it can overwhelm and damage electronic devices, appliances, and electrical components, potentially leading to costly repairs and replacements– including your air conditioner. For this reason, surge protectors are often used to shield sensitive electronics and appliances (such as your AC) from these sudden increases in voltage. All the more so during hurricane season, when rough storms can lead to lightning strikes.

Common Causes of Air Conditioner Surging

When an air conditioner experiences a power surge, it might cause the air conditioner to act strangely, work less efficiently, or stop working altogether, often requiring a professional repair. But what causes an air conditioner to surge? Let’s take a look at some common culprits. This way, you can spot potential problems before they lead to bigger issues.

Thermostat Issues

Much like the motor in your car, your air conditioner also has idling and active cycles. If your thermostat isn't working properly, it can send the idling motor into overdrive, using way too much power without much cooling and causing a lot of wear and tear.

Dirty or Clogged Filters

When air filters are clogged or dirty, airflow is restricted, forcing the AC to work harder. This strain can result in power surges as the system attempts to compensate for reduced efficiency.

Refrigerant Issues

Low refrigerant levels or leaks can impact the cooling process, causing the AC to overwork and potentially experience power surges as it tries to meet cooling demands.

Oversized AC Unit

If your AC unit is too big, it's pulling a lot of power to cool your home. That means it's constantly pulling surge power, which is what all appliances do when they first turn on. They need a big surge of electricity to get started. Then, they use less during the regular cooling cycle. If your unit is too big, it cools off your home too quickly and reverts to surge again and again throughout the day.

Electrical Problems

Faulty wiring, electrical shorts, or component malfunctions can cause irregularities in the AC's power use. Now, with many items, you'd simply use a surge protector to protect against intermittent surges, but can you plug an air conditioner into a surge protector? Only if it's a window unit. If you have central cooling, you'll need whole-home surge protection to keep your AC unit safe from power surges.

Evaporator or Condenser Coil Issues

Dirty or damaged coils impede heat transfer, forcing the AC to work harder, which means pulling more power and potentially wearing out wiring faster.

Why AC Maintenance Can Help You Avoid AC Surging

Regular maintenance is essential for preventing air conditioner surging. At Advanced Air, our tune-ups include thorough inspections and cleaning, refrigerant level checks, and electrical system evaluations, covering all the normal sources that could cause surging. A well-maintained AC operates more efficiently, reducing power consumption and minimizing the risk of surges from overworking.

Protect your AC from power surges.

Secure your AC against power surges and storm-related damage by booking AC maintenance service now. An expert tune-up can increase efficiency, prevent costly breakdowns, and extend the lifespan of your unit. Contact Advanced Air today to ensure your air conditioner is up to the challenge this hurricane season. We’ve proudly served Fort Myers, FL, residents with 5-star service since 1989!

Similar Articles: