Is your home air conditioning not cooling? Have you noticed your energy bills going up, even though you haven’t used your AC more? Or, maybe your AC unit is making strange noises or just doesn’t seem to be working as well as it used to.
When your air conditioner isn’t cooling your home, it’s a major inconvenience. Air conditioners are complex devices that require a precise balance of temperature, airflow, and pressure to function effectively. Because air conditioning systems are sophisticated, there are numerous places where your AC might fail. Fortunately, a broken air conditioner does not always necessitate a costly repair!
If your home air conditioning is not cooling, don’t panic! In this article, we’ll share why your AC isn’t cooling and potential fixes you can try.
Reason Why Air Conditioning Not Cooling and Possible Fixes
If your air conditioner not cooling, the first step is determining the cause. There are several reasons your air conditioner might not work as efficiently as it should. Some of the most common causes of air conditioning not cooling include:
1. Change Your Air Filter
A common reason your air conditioning not cooling your home is that the filter is dirty. A dirty filter blocks the airflow and prevents the AC from working properly. The filter is responsible for trapping dirt and dust; over time, it can become clogged. This prevents air from flowing freely through the system, making it less effective at cooling your home.
Luckily, cleaning or replacing the filter is a relatively easy task that you can do yourself. Start by cutting the power to your HVAC system. Your filter will be in the air handler cabinet, and it will be simple to get to it from the front door. Think about purchasing a washable filter. You can anticipate your high-quality washable filters to last up to 15 years, which is the lifespan of your AC system.
Close your filter once you’ve finished cleaning it or replacing it, then switch the power back on if you notice ice forming around the coils. Ice is a typical indicator of drastically reduced airflow and can prevent your evaporator coil from operating. It should melt within a few hours when airflow has been restored. This alone may result in a significant improvement in your air conditioner’s cooling capacity.
2. Clean the HVAC Interior
Another potential sign for reduced cooling capacity is a dirty air conditioner. Over time, the coils and fins inside your AC unit will accumulate dust and dirt. This debris can block airflow and prevent your AC from working properly.
Fortunately, you can clean the coils and fins yourself with a brush or vacuum attachment. First, cut the power to your AC unit. Next, remove the screws or bolts that hold the panel in place.
Once you have access to the coils and fins, use a brush or vacuum attachment to remove any dirt or debris. Be careful not to bend the coils while you’re cleaning them.
After cleaning the coils and fins, replace the panel and switch the power back on. This simple cleaning can restore your AC unit’s cooling capacity and improve efficiency.
3. Examine the Condenser
An outside condenser unit is often found on a central air conditioning unit. This unit’s exterior usually includes an outside coil that wraps around the condenser. This coil has many “fins” that are close together. If your air conditioner is not cooling when the system is turned on, you may have a clogged or obstructed coil.
Unfortunately, a wide range of residues, including grass, mud, and other impurities, can find their way into this equipment. This can cause a major clog and, as a result, a system malfunction. While this may allow your unit to blow warm air rather than cold air, it may also reduce your energy efficiency and cause the system to shut down.
Check the condenser and clear away any debris to figure out what’s wrong. This region can be cleaned using a vacuum with a brush attachment or by gently wiping away dirt and grime with a hose.
Still, having problems with your air conditioning not cooling? If this is the case, it may be time to contact a specialist.
4. Check Your Thermostat Setting
If your air conditioner is turned on but not cooling, you should check the thermostat settings first. If the thermostat is set to “Off” or “Cool,” but the temperature isn’t changing, the batteries likely need to be replaced.
The next thing to check is the thermostat’s settings if the batteries aren’t the problem. If the fan is set to “Auto” instead of “On,” your air conditioner will only blow air when the compressors are activated. This can prevent cool air from circulating through your home and make it feel warmer than it is.
To fix this problem, simply change the fan setting to “On.” This will cause the fan to blow air even when the compressors aren’t running, which will help circulate cool air and make your home more comfortable.
5. Frozen Evaporator Coil
An evaporator coil is located on the indoor portion of your AC unit. Warm air is cooled and dehumidified by passing it through this coil before being recirculated into the house. However, this coil can occasionally freeze, resulting in your central air conditioner not delivering cold air.
Keep an eye out for the following indicators of a frozen evaporator coil:
- Ice or frost on the evaporator coils
- Condensation on the floor near the AC unit
- A hissing sound coming from the indoor unit
Unfortunately, repairing a frozen evaporator can be difficult. You’ll likely need to call a professional for help.
6. Improper Installation
Improper installation is one of the most common causes of central air conditioners not delivering cold air. If your unit wasn’t installed correctly, it might be unable to circulate cool air properly.
One of the most common installation mistakes is failing to level the outdoor condenser unit. If this unit isn’t level, the refrigerant inside can’t flow properly, preventing the AC unit from cooling effectively.
Another common installation mistake is failing to seal the ductwork properly. If there are gaps or leaks in the ductwork, cool air can escape before it has a chance to circulate through your home. This can make your home feel warmer than it is and cause your energy bills to spike.
If you suspect your AC unit wasn’t installed properly, contact the company and ask them to come out and look. They should be able to fix any installation mistakes and get your AC unit up and running properly.
7. Water Leaking
Fixing a leaky air conditioner requires a different approach based on the leak’s location. For instance, if your home air conditioner is leaking, you may need to use a vacuum to clear out any debris obstructing the condensate line. If this fails, you may need to have your drain pan or condensate pump replaced, which an HVAC specialist may do.
If your outdoor air conditioner is leaking, the problem may not be with the equipment. Even if a condenser unit works well, it is common to leak some water in hot, humid conditions. Furthermore, using your A/C in cooler temps can cause your unit to freeze and leak water as it melts, which is a regular occurrence.
If your outside unit leaks under other conditions, you should call an expert to troubleshoot the issue.
8. Fan not Working
A central air conditioner’s inside fan may stop working for a variety of reasons. First, ensure your unit’s fuse or circuit breaker is turned on, and your air filter is clean and clear of obstructions. If you’ve done all of this and still have problems, check your evaporator coil and refrigerant lines for ice accumulation. This ice can prevent air from flowing properly through your unit, causing the fan to stop working.
If you’re still having trouble, it’s best to call a professional for help. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem and get your fan up and running again in no time.
9. Circuit Breaker Trips
If your air conditioner’s circuit breaker trips frequently, it could signal that your unit is overloaded. This usually happens when the evaporator coil is frozen, and the compressor is trying to run but can’t because of the ice.
To fix this, you’ll need to thaw out the evaporator coil and clean the coils and fins. Once you’ve done this, ensure the coil is dry before turning the unit back on.
How To Maintain Your Air Conditioner
Now that you know some of the most common reasons why air conditioners fail to deliver cold air, it’s time to learn how to prevent these issues from happening in the first place. Properly maintaining your AC unit can extend its lifespan and ensure that it runs smoothly for years to come.
Here are a few tips for maintaining your air conditioner:
✅Change your air filter regularly
The most crucial maintenance chore that will preserve the efficiency of your air conditioner is to change or clean its filters regularly.
Airflow is restricted, and dirty or clogged filters significantly reduce system performance. Additionally, if the airflow is impeded, dirt may bypass the filter and reach the condenser coil, reducing the coil’s ability to absorb heat.
The energy used by your air conditioner can be decreased by 5% to 15% by replacing a clogged, dirty air filter with a clean one.
Central air conditioners’ filters are typically positioned along the return duct’s length. Filters are commonly found in walls, ceilings, or air conditioners. A filter is positioned in the grill of a room air conditioner that faces the room.
While you can reuse some filters, others need to be changed. They come in a range of sorts and efficiency. When the cooling season begins, the filter or filters in your air conditioner should be cleaned or replaced every month or two. Filters may require more frequent attention if the air conditioner is used frequently, is exposed to dusty conditions, or you have furry pets in the house.
✅Keep the area around your air conditioner clean
If your air conditioner is located in a window, ensure no curtains or blinds obstructing airflow. If the unit is located outside, trim any vegetation blocking airflow to the unit. In addition, keep the area around the unit free of debris, such as leaves, dirt, and twigs. A clean area around the unit will help it operate more efficiently and prevent potential damage.
✅Schedule annual tune-ups with a professional
Just like any other appliance in your home, your air conditioner needs to be serviced by a professional regularly. During a tune-up, the technician will inspect the unit for potential problems and clean the coils and other components. This preventative maintenance can help catch small problems before they become bigger, more expensive ones.
✅Keep your thermostat at a consistent temperature
One of the best ways to save money on cooling costs is to keep your thermostat at a consistent temperature. Every time you adjust the thermostat, the air conditioner has to work harder to reach the desired temperature, which uses more energy and raises your utility bills.
If you’re going to be away from home for an extended period, it’s best to raise the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees. This will prevent the air conditioner from working overtime to cool an empty house.
✅Upgrade to a programmable thermostat
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, now is the time to upgrade. A programmable thermostat can save you money on cooling costs by automatically raising the temperature when you’re away from home or asleep.
✅Use ceiling fans to circulate cool air
Ceiling fans can be a great way to circulate cool air throughout your home without using as much energy as your air conditioner. When paired with an AC unit, ceiling fans can help lower your energy usage by as much as 40%.
✅Seal Air duct and leak to improve airflow
Air ducts that are poorly sealed or insulated can leak a lot of cool air, making your air conditioner work harder than necessary. In addition, gaps and holes in ductwork can allow outside air to enter the system, which can throw off the unit’s balance.
To improve airflow, have your ducts professionally sealed and insulated. This will not only improve the efficiency of your air conditioner, but it will also help improve the quality of the air in your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I clean my air conditioner’s filter?
A: Some filters can be cleaned and reused, while you must replace others. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model.
Q: How often should I have my air conditioner serviced?
A: Most air conditioners should be serviced by a professional at least once a year.
Q: How can I improve airflow in my home?
A: Improving airflow can be as simple as sealing ducts and leaks or adding insulation. You can also use ceiling fans to circulate cool air throughout your home.
Q: Does AC repair cost a lot of money?
A: The cost of AC repair will depend on the problem. However, catch small problems early by scheduling regular tune-ups with a professional. This preventative maintenance can help avoid bigger and more expensive issues.
Q: What happens if my AC is blowing cold air?
A: If your air conditioner is blowing cool air, there may be a problem with the unit itself. However, it’s also possible that the problem is with your ductwork. Have your ducts inspected by a professional to see if they need to be sealed or insulated.
Q: Can the heat pump work in cold weather?
A: While heat pumps are designed for warm climates, some models can operate in cold weather. However, it’s best to have a backup heating system if you live in an area with very cold winters.
Q: Does an air purifier help with cooling?
A: Air purifiers do not help with cooling, but they can improve the indoor air quality in your home.
Q: Does air conditioning not cooling below 80 degrees use more electricity?
A: No, air conditioners are designed to operate efficiently at any temperature. However, if the temperature outside is very hot, your air conditioner will have to work harder to cool your home, which will use more energy.
A properly working air conditioner is important, especially during the hot summer. Not only does it keep your home cool and comfortable, but it can also help improve the air quality in your home.
If your air conditioning not cooling properly, you can try a few things before calling a professional. In most cases, cleaning the unit or ensuring there is nothing obstructing airflow can solve the problem.
If you’re still having trouble, schedule a tune-up with a professional. They can inspect the unit for potential problems and clean the coils and other components. This preventative maintenance can help catch small problems before they become bigger, more expensive ones.
Following these simple tips, you can keep your air conditioner running all summer smoothly.