Top-Reasons Why Your Air Conditioning Unit is Overheating?

by | Jan 5, 2024 | HVAC

Maintaining a cool indoor temperature is important during the blazing summer. But what if your air conditioner starts overheating and suddenly stops working? Of course, it can ruin your comfort, making it essential for you to hire an air conditioning service and repair expert to restore your AC unit.

There are various reasons behind the overheating of air conditioners. Generally, an HVAC system overheats and breaks down when a specific component is overworked, straining the rest of the HVAC unit. Identifying and dealing with such issues requires the expertise of a professional with vast experience performing an AC repair in Flagler Beach, FL. 

Moreover, relying on skilled air conditioning repair technicians is vital because they know the ins and outs of AC units and can offer an effective solution. At Koontz Heating & Air, we take pride in delivering the best air conditioning service and repair facilities. Call us today for trusted Ormond Beach air conditioning installation and  repair services.

Now, let’s dive into what happens when your AC system overheats, explore the underlying causes and discuss effective strategies for handling it.

Issues that Arise During Air Conditioner Overheating

When an HVAC system works for an extended period, the temperature inside the system rises. Typically, HVACs have venting systems that help cool them by releasing excess heat. However, if your venting system has an issue, the system will overheat.

As the air conditioner overheats, the chances of a breakdown or tripping the circuit breaker increase. This breakdown can cause damage to one or more of the following parts:


The compression pumps refrigerant to the coils to generate cold air. If the compressor is damaged, your air conditioning unit can’t cool the air efficiently, or possibly not at all.


Every air conditioner has capacitors that are used to power inside components. Excess heat can lead to short circuits in capacitors. Moreover, power fluctuations during outages can also cause overheating, resulting in short circuits.

Fan Motor

A fan motor plays a pivotal role in controlling the fan, which is responsible for blowing hot air out of your home. So, if the vents or air filters are blocked, the excess heat will not effectively escape, resulting in overheating and damaging the fan motor.

These components are crucial for your AC to work properly. Damage to any of them can affect the entire unit, resulting in expensive air conditioning repairs.

Signs Your System is Overheating and Requires Air Conditioning Service and Repair

Generally, an overheating ac system is not very noticeable until the problem is serious, so you may have to figure out other cues to identify an overheating air conditioner. 

If you notice any of these signs, there is a good chance your system is overheating and requires the attention of an HVAC repair technician.

Strange Smell

A common sign that your AC unit may be overheating is a slight burning or smokey odor coming out of the vents.

Unpleasant Noises

Any unusual buzzing or rattling sounds from the main body of your air conditioner are also a sign of overheating. 

Heat Sensation

Another way to determine if your AC is overheating is by touching the exterior of the unit to check for heat. If the air surrounding the system is too hot to touch, it’s an indicator that your AC may be overheating and requires air conditioner repair service.

High Electricity Bills

An overheating air conditioner can lead to an increase in your monthly energy bills, even when your usage remains constant.

Declining Performance

Overheating hinders your air conditioner’s capacity to provide effective cooling, resulting in the AC struggling to generate cold air.

Causes of Air Conditioning Overheating

Below are some of the most common reasons air conditioners overheat and how to fix them. 

Clogged Air Filters 

The primary reason that causes AC overheating is a clogged air filter. These filters capture dirt, dust, and other particles, preventing them from circulating in the air. 

When these filters get clogged, they restrict the airflow, causing the unit to work harder and consume more electricity. Moreover, dirty air filters not only exert more pressure on the unit but also deteriorate the indoor air quality. 

The solution is simple. Regularly check your AC’s air filters. Also, changing them when they are clogged, or every three to six months is highly recommended.

Generally, the MERV value of residential air conditioners is between 10 and 13. If the clogging problem is frequent, try switching to an air filter with a lower MERV value.

Dirty Coils

A dirty condenser coil or evaporator coil is one of the common reasons for overheating. These coils are responsible for extracting heat from the air and releasing it outside your home. 

When dirt and grime accumulate around the coils, they minimize the surface area of the air contact, making it difficult to generate cold air efficiently. This leads your AC to overwork to meet the desired temperature on the thermostat. Furthermore, the overload on your AC unit causes overheating. This usually happens with older HVAC units.

Regularly cleaning your coils is essential to ensuring optimal performance without placing unnecessary stress on your system. If your coils are dirty on your outdoor unit, you can gently spray them with a hose to clean them off. At the same time clear away any vegetation that may be within 24” of the cooling grills around the exterior of the unit.

Lack of Maintenance

General wear and tear, caused by lack of regular maintenance, can also result in overheating. The older your AC unit gets, the less efficient it becomes, making your system work harder. A worn-down system generates more heat, increasing the chances of overheating.

Getting regular maintenance keeps your system in its best condition, so it’s less likely to overheat. Our HVAC company experts recommend getting professional maintenance on your HVAC unit at least once every six months. However, it’s worth noting that maintenance requirements vary based on the type of air conditioner you have and the time elapsed since your last appointment.

Our maintenance services include:

  • Changing air filters
  • Cleaning coils
  • Inspecting a heat pump and burners
  • Inspecting electrical components
  • Flushing drain lines
  • Testing thermostats

Final Words

If you find your air conditioning system often overheating despite regular maintenance, seek help from local HVAC contractors. Usually, the lifespan of an air conditioner ranges from 15 to 20 years. So, if your unit is old and overheats all the time, consider replacing it with a new one. 

At Koontz Heating and Air, we provide affordable AC repair services in Flagler Beach, FL, and nearby regions. Call us for any repairs.