Imagine it’s the height of summer, and you’re ready to escape the scorching heat by retreating into your air-conditioned home. But when you turn on your AC, it’s not as cool as you expect it to be. What could be wrong?
If your air conditioner isn’t cooling properly, it can be a huge inconvenience. Not only is it uncomfortable to be in a hot home, but it can also be expensive to run the AC all day long.
There are several things that could be causing your air conditioner to not cool properly. Here are a few of them.
Dirty Air Filter
A dirty air filter will prevent your AC from pulling in enough air to keep the house cool. This is one of the most common reasons an AC isn’t cooling properly, and it’s also one of the easiest things you can check on your own (just open up the filter cabinet and see if it’s clogged). You should change or clean your air filter every month or so, depending on the type of filter you have.
Most AC repair experts know that AC filters easily collect pet hair, dust, and other particles, drastically reducing the AC’s cooling power. If you live in a dusty, dry area or if there is a lot of construction happening nearby, you may need to change your filters even more often. Even if the filter isn’t completely clogged and dirty, clean it or replace it anyway. If you use a reusable filter, just wash with soap and water, rinse thoroughly, then allow to dry before replacing.
Dirty Outside AC Unit
Your air conditioner might not be cooling properly because the outside unit is dirty. Over time, dirt and debris can build up on the coils and fins of the AC unit, which can prevent it from working effectively. If you suspect that this might be the problem, try to remove the weed and dirt surrounding it, or call a professional to do it for you.
Considering that outside units are exposed to the elements and all kinds of debris, it is essential to keep them clean. If you choose the DIY approach, make sure that you turn off the power supply first. You can also use a garden hose to spray down the unit and remove dirt and grime from its coils and fins.
Faulty AC Fan Motors
If the fan motor isn’t working correctly, it can impact the overall performance of your AC system. When the motors stop working, they can overheat and cause the system to freeze. You may also hear a loud noise coming from your AC unit if there is an issue with the fan motor. When your AC fans are damaged or not working correctly, the outdoor AC unit won’t dissipate heat, thus interfering with AC’s cooling ability.
This problem is best handled by a qualified professional technician, who can examine the fan motor and repair or replace it if necessary. They’ll be able to check for other potential problems that could also be impacting the unit’s cooling ability.
Low Refrigerant Level and Damaged Compressor
If your air conditioner isn’t cooling properly, you should also check the refrigerant level. Refrigerant is a liquid that’s used in HVAC systems to help cool the air. It can sometimes leak out of systems over time, which will cause an AC unit to lose its ability to cool properly. If it’s low, that could be why your AC isn’t working as well as it should.
You may also have a damaged compressor if the refrigerant level is low. If your compressor is damaged, it could be leaking refrigerant or just not functioning properly. A broken compressor will also need to be replaced by an AC technician. They can help you determine if this is the case and advise on the best course of action.
Incorrect AC Thermostat Settings
If you have an older mechanical thermostat, make sure it has been calibrated recently. Most digital models will calibrate themselves over time, but for those that don’t, check the date on your manual and see how long it’s been since it was last calibrated. If it’s been more than a year, you should recalibrate it following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Incorrect thermostat settings are often one of the most common problems that AC repair technicians encounter when they go on a service call. That’s why opting for a smart thermostat is a great investment. It’s not only more convenient to use, but it will also help you save on your energy bill and avoid unnecessary problems with your AC unit.
Prioritize AC Service and Maintenance
The best course of action when dealing with an AC that won’t cool properly is to call in an HVAC technician. They will be able to determine what’s wrong with your AC unit and fix it promptly. Additionally, it’s important to prioritize regular AC service and maintenance, as this can help prevent future problems and ensure that your AC is running optimally.