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How Hot Weather Affects Your AC System

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AC System Components That Feel the Heat in Summer

As summer reaches its peak, it is important to recognize how hot weather can negatively affect the AC system. During the warmer months, people tend to run their systems harder and longer which leads to excessive wear on the unit’s components.

In this article, AC experts in Portland will look at what components are most likely to take a heavy toll in the summer, and what can be done can do to prevent a system breakdown and extend the life of the system.


AC compressor with sunflowers sitting on top of itThe compressor is essentially a small motor that acts much like a combustion engine. It works to take in low-pressure refrigerant and release the high-pressure refrigerant.

To ensure the compressor doesn’t get overworked, homeowners should take measures to increase the efficiency of their system. For instance, a dirty filter can obstruct airflow which will make the system work harder for longer periods of time. Homeowners should clean the AC filter regularly and replace it when necessary for optimum performance.

Another problem that people often experience with their AC systems is a low refrigerant charge. This is typically due to a leak and requires service from a professional.


The evaporator and condenser coils in the AC unit are essential. The evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air in the house. The condenser coil is where the absorbed heat gets dumped into the air outside. Problems with the coils are typically caused by three main problems:clean AC coils

  • Freezing
    • Low airflow is typically a result of closed vents and/or a clogged filter. Without sufficient airflow, the refrigerant in the coils will begin to freeze. This can cause the AC to struggle to cool the air in the home. Freezing can also lead to a total system shut-down and can break the compressor resulting in a costly repair.
  • Leaking Refrigerant
    • Over time, coils may spring a leak. A person can usually tell that there is a leak if they hear a bubbling or hissing sound coming from the refrigerant lines. Other signs that a leak is present could include abnormally high energy bills, ice accumulating on the refrigerant lines, or a frozen evaporator coil. 
  • Accumulation of Dust and Dirt
    • Dirty coils lead to poor system performance which costs money and over time, results in leaks and expensive repairs. When dirty copper coils are exposed to moisture, chemical reactions occur that speed up the rate of deterioration. This is why it is crucial to keep them clean and dry.

What Can Be Done?

The best action a homeowner can take to avoid seasonal wear and tear on an AC system is to schedule regular maintenance with a certified professional. At Sunset Heating & Cooling, they have been serving the community for 99 years. They offer stress-free service plans that include seasonal system tune-ups that will keep a system running efficiently all year round. When a homeowner signs up for a Sunset Service Plan, they'll receive a call when it’s time to schedule a tune-up, so all they have to do is sit back and relax.

Contact Sunset Heating & Cooling at 503.234.0611 to learn more and visit their website to get coupons and special offers.

What Our Clients Say

Sunset went out of their way to help with my project and David was amazing. Great job and look forward to future projects.

-Todd T.

Roman did an awesome job. I had the trifecta, new AC unit ,furnace and hot water heater. Courteous, and competent service. I highly recommend Sunset Heating & Cooling.

-Charles E.

Eduardo provided excellent service when he repaired our AC. I felt his effort was over and above expected. Polite and professional at all times. Good job!

-William G.

Caring, professional and helpful. Thanks for making things happen quickly and getting my Dear friend's heating back up and running in such a quick manner. You went above and beyond for a family in need and that is very much appreciated. Thanks from the whole group!

-Kristina K.

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