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Why Heating & Air Conditioning Units Struggle In Extreme Temperatures

Heating and AC units are essential for maintaining comfort in our homes, especially during extreme temperatures. However, in regions like Austin, TX, where the weather can be unpredictable, these units may face challenges during scorching summers and freezing winters. 

At Air Comfort Systems, a leading HVAC service provider in Austin, TX, we understand the unique weather conditions and their impact on HVAC systems. 

In this blog post, our experts will discuss why heating and air conditioning units may stop working in extreme temperatures and provide solutions to ensure your home stays comfortable all year round.

Why Heating & Air Conditioning Units Stop Working In Cold Temperatures?

Heating and air conditioning unit under strain in extreme temperatures

In frigid temperatures, heating and air conditioning units can encounter various issues that affect their performance. Let’s explore some common reasons:

  • Loss Of Power

Uncharacteristically cold weather, as experienced in the winter of 2021 in Austin, TX, can lead to widespread power outages. Many heating systems, including gas-based ones, require electricity to operate. When power is not restored promptly, homes may be left without heat.

  • Heat Pump Issues

Heat pumps, commonly used in Austin, can face challenges during winter due to debris and ice accumulation. Clogged coils and a lack of airflow can cause the compressor to overheat and stop functioning. If you notice your HVAC system is not working, check the condenser fan outside for any signs of malfunction.

  • Frozen Heat Pump

Heat pumps in HVAC systems may experience freezing issues, especially in excessively cold weather. Defrost cycles are supposed to melt the frost that forms on the coils, but if the frost persists and spreads, it may lead to unit shut down.

Why Air Conditioning Units Stop Working In Hot Temperatures?

In scorching summers, air conditioning units may struggle to keep up with the demand. Let’s explore some common reasons for their inefficiency:

  • Frozen Evaporator Coil

Air conditioning units can experience frozen evaporator coils when trying to cope with excessive heat. Running the unit at extremely low temperatures or having Freon leaks, dirty filters, or fan issues can contribute to coil freezing.

  • Low Refrigerant

Insufficient refrigerant in the AC unit can cause it to run for prolonged periods, leading to overheating. If your AC is not cooling as efficiently as before or struggling to match the thermostat settings, low refrigerant levels could be the culprit.

  • Outdoor Temperatures vs. BTU Capacity

High outdoor temperatures can reduce the BTU capacity of the air conditioning unit. As a result, the unit may struggle to cool the home adequately, especially when outdoor temperatures exceed 99 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is Your HVAC System Struggling? Call Air Comfort Systems!

Air Conditioning Maintenance - Air Comfort Systems, Austin

If you find that your heating or air conditioning unit is underperforming or shutting off during extreme temperatures, don’t hesitate to contact Air Comfort Systems. Our experienced and local HVAC experts understand the unique challenges posed by Austin’s weather and can quickly diagnose and resolve issues. To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, give us a call or reach out to us online today.


Extreme temperatures can place significant stress on heating and air conditioning units. Understanding the common issues and implementing the right solutions can ensure your HVAC system performs optimally throughout the year. 

If you’re facing challenges with your HVAC system during hot Texas summers or freezing winters, trust Air Comfort Systems to keep your home comfortable and cozy. 

Contact or visit us today to experience top-notch HVAC service and enjoy a comfortable living space all year round.