• Home
  • |
  • Blog
  • |
  • Why Your Air Conditioner Is Overheating

Why Your Air Conditioner Is Overheating

Air conditioners keep our homes cool, but sometimes they get too hot and stop working well. This is called overheating. An air conditioner that overheats can break down and might need expensive repairs to fix it.

Normally, these machines last between 15-20 years if we look after them properly.

When an air conditioner is getting too hot, it may smell like something is burning, make strange noises or feel very warm to touch. This can happen for a few reasons. Sometimes the filters get blocked or the parts inside that help cool the air become dirty.

If the machine doesn’t have enough coolant – a special liquid that cools the air – it might overheat because there could be a leak.

If your air conditioner is not the right size for your room, it has to work harder than it should which makes it overheat more quickly. Taking care of your machine by cleaning and checking its parts often can help stop this from happening.

Making sure your outdoor unit sits in the shade can also keep things cool.

Keeping an air conditioner from overheating keeps you comfortable and saves money in the long run. With some smart steps, you can avoid these problems before they start. Let’s see how to do this!

Recognising an Overheating Air Conditioner

An overheating air conditioner often gives off a burning smell. You might also hear odd sounds, like buzzing or rattling from the unit. If parts of the AC feel very hot when you touch them, this is another clear sign.

Don’t ignore these warnings; they tell you something is wrong.

Act fast if your AC shows these signs. Switch off the circuit breaker to stop more damage and call an HVAC professional for help. They can check things like the compressor and fan motor to find what’s causing the problem.

It’s better to fix issues quickly before they get worse and cost more money to repair.

Common Causes for AC Overheating

Understanding the common causes for an air conditioner’s overheating is crucial in maintaining its efficiency and lifespan. A variety of issues, ranging from restricted airflow to mechanical malfunctions, can lead to excessive heat buildup within your system.

Clogged Air Filters

Dust and dirt can easily clog air filters in your air conditioning system. This may cause your AC to work harder and overheat. A clogged filter restricts airflow, forcing the blower motor to strain.

Over time, this extra effort overheats the motor and could lead to a shut down.

It’s vital to change your air filters regularly. In dusty or moist places, replace them more often than every six months. Clean filters help maintain good indoor air quality and prevent AC problems like overheating.

They ensure that the cool air keeps flowing through your home without putting stress on the system.

Dirty Coils

Condenser coils in your air conditioner work hard to release heat outside your home. If these coils are dirty, they can’t do their job well. The dirt acts like a blanket, trapping heat inside the AC unit instead of letting it escape.

This buildup makes the air conditioning unit overheat.

Your AC struggles to cool your house if its coils are clogged with grime. It has to run longer and harder. That strain can lead to more serious problems like a total system breakdown or costly repairs.

Cleaning the condenser coils should be part of regular ac maintenance by an HVAC technician to keep your cooling system running smoothly.

Low Coolant Levels

Low coolant levels in your air conditioner can spell trouble. A drop might mean there’s a refrigerant leak somewhere. The coolant, or refrigerant, is vital for absorbing heat from the air inside your home.

Without enough of it, the system can’t cool the air effectively. This puts extra strain on the AC unit as it tries to make up for lost cooling power.

This added pressure heats things up within your HVAC system. Over time, excessive heat harms important parts like the compressor—the heart of your AC. Checking for leaks and maintaining correct coolant levels are crucial steps to avoid overheating issues.

If you suspect low refrigerant in your system, call an AC repair expert right away to fix any leaks and recharge your system properly.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Overheating and Ensure Compressor Health

Your air conditioner works hard to keep your home cool. Proper maintenance keeps it running smoothly and prevents overheating.

  • Change air filters regularly. Aim for every six months, or more often in dusty areas. This helps airflow and stops the unit from working too hard.
  • Keep evaporator and condenser coils clean. Dirty coils can cut efficiency and cause the unit to overheat.
  • Schedule professional maintenance yearly. Experts can catch electrical problems and other issues before they lead to overheating.
  • Prune trees and vegetation around outdoor units. This ensures good airflow and shade without blocking vents.
  • Have a pro check coolant levels during service visits. Too little coolant makes the system overheat while trying to cool your home.
  • Inspect all electrical components yearly. Faulty wiring or a bad relay switch can make an AC overheat.
  • Make sure ductwork is clean. Air flows better through clean ducts, easing strain on the air handler.

How to Prevent Overheating

5. How to Prevent Overheating:.

Mitigating the risk of your air conditioner overheating requires proactive measures and an understanding of its operational demands. Implementing preventative strategies not only enhances efficiency but also extends the lifespan of your unit, ensuring a comfortable environment during those sweltering months.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance keeps your air conditioner running smoothly. It can prevent overheating and extend the life of your unit.

  • Check and replace your air filters often.
  • Schedule professional inspections.
  • Keep the area around your AC clear.
  • Listen for unusual sounds.

Correct AC Size

Continuing from regular maintenance, another vital step is ensuring you have the right-sized air conditioner for your space. HVAC professionals can guide you to the perfect fit. A unit that’s too small struggles to cool the area and will overheat.

On the flip side, a big AC turns on and off more often than needed. This too causes damage over time.

Getting the size right matters for both performance and longevity of your AC system. Professionals measure in BTUs to find what suits your place best. They look at room size, windows, insulation, and other factors.

This helps stop overheating before it starts by matching you with an AC that runs smoothly without extra strain or constant cycling.

Providing Shade for the Unit

Your outdoor AC unit can overheat if it’s in direct sunlight. To help keep it cool, plant trees or shrubs around the unit for shade. Make sure you don’t block airflow or crowd the compressor though.

Trim these plants often to stop them from hampering your air conditioner’s efficiency.

Using shade wisely reduces the temperature of your AC unit and can lower cooling costs too. It’s crucial to position shades so they protect during peak sun hours but also allow enough space for maintenance and proper air circulation.

This balance keeps your air conditioner running smoothly on hot days without risking overheating due to blocked vents or restricted airflow.


Taking care of air conditioners is key to avoiding overheating. Remember, blocked filters, dirty coils and low coolant can heat up your AC. Sizing the unit correctly and shading it from the sun helps too.

Regular maintenance checks every 12 months will keep it running smoothly. Treat your AC well, and cool air will fill your home without a hitch!

For comprehensive guidance on keeping your AC unit in peak condition, visit our expert tips on air conditioner compressor maintenance.


1. What causes air conditioners to overheat?

Air conditioners may overheat due to reasons like old age, dirty filters blocking airflow, or problems with the evaporator coil. A well-maintained AC system reduces the chance of overheating.

2. Can central air conditioners also experience overheating?

Yes, central air conditioners can overheat if they have not been serviced regularly; issues such as blocked ducts or faulty parts might cause them to produce warm air instead of cooling your space efficiently.

3. Should I be concerned if my AC releases hot water?

If you notice your AC unit discharging hot water, it could indicate an issue with its heating and cooling process that needs checking by a professional technician right away.

4. How often should I change the filtration in my AC to prevent overheating?

It’s important to check and replace your AC’s filtration system regularly according to manufacturer guidelines or more often if it runs constantly or you live in a dusty area.

Related Posts

Importance of Regular Aircon Maintenance

Importance of Regular Aircon Maintenance

DIY Aircon Maintenance Checklist

DIY Aircon Maintenance Checklist

Essential Tools for Basic Aircon Services Explained

Essential Tools for Basic Aircon Services Explained

Aircon Compressor Maintenance

Aircon Compressor Maintenance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}