The sweltering summer heat can be unbearable, and most homeowners rely on air conditioners to maintain comfortable indoor conditions. If you don’t prepare your unit well for summer, it might stop circulating cool air when you need it most. An AC requires a perfect balance of airflow temperature and pressure, and if any of these components get out of balance, the unit will not work optimally. Here are some common problems that can prevent your air conditioning unit from cooling your house adequately.
1. You Have a Malfunctioning or Wrongly Set Thermostat
When you notice that your house gets uncomfortably warm even after turning on the air conditioner, the first thing to check is the thermostat. The thermostat reads the house temperature and signals the AC to start or stop the cooling cycle. So, if there is a problem with the thermostat, it will affect the entire air conditioning process. If you set the thermostat to the ‘ON’ position, the blower will run continuously even when the AC is off. The unit could be blowing warm air from the vents. Turn it to the AUTO position so that the fan circulates only the conditioned air. If changing the settings won’t solve the problem, change the batteries. If this fails to work, have a professional check the thermostat for possible defects.
2. Clogged Air Filters
The air filters trap dust particles, pollen, pet dander, and other contaminants from the air flowing through the AC. When neglected, debris may accumulate on the air filter, limiting the airflow. This will interfere with the entire cooling process. The unit will struggle to circulate sufficient air to cool your home to the set temperature. Check your air filters after every 30 days. If it’s clogged, clean or replace it with a new one.
3. Low Refrigerant Level
The refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor air and dispels it outside to allow cooler air to flow back. When the refrigerant level is low, it can only draw a small amount of heat from the air, and the system will begin to blow out warm air. There are two possible reasons for low refrigerant levels. The technician could have undercharged the unit during installation, or there is a leak. Some common signs of refrigerant leaks include ice buildup around the unit, hissing, or bubbling noises. If you notice such signs, turn off your system and call a professional immediately to fix the leak and recharge your unit. Keep in mind that prolonged exposure to the refrigerant can cause adverse health effects and harm to the environment.
4. Frozen or Dirty Coils
As the indoor air flows through the system, the evaporator coil removes heat and moisture. This results in the circulation of cooler air back into the house. If your air filter fails to trap most contaminants, they might get to the evaporator coils. Note that the coil is usually moist, and debris can easily cling to it. The dirt accumulation limits airflow, affecting the heat exchange process, so the moisture from the indoor air begins to cool and freeze over the coils. When neglected, the unit will eventually stop working. Some symptoms of frozen evaporator coils include excessive condensate near the outdoor unit and frost on the refrigerant tubing. Turn off the AC to thaw the ice, then call a professional to diagnose and fix the issue.
5. The Ductwork Has Leaks
You could be losing your conditioned air through leaky ducts. Pests and rodents may get into the ductwork, chew it, and create openings. Improper installation can also cause the ducts to deteriorate faster than expected. The cooled air will then escape through such holes, and your house will end up hot and uncomfortable. Have a professional inspect the ductwork, clear off pests, and fix the leaks.
6. You Have a Wrongly Sized Unit
Most homeowners make a common mistake of buying an AC based on their budget rather than the house requirements. If you install an undersized unit, it will not adequately cool a large house. On the other hand, if you go for an oversized AC, it will cycle on and off often, so it won’t consistently cool the house. Always ensure that you purchase an AC with the suitable capacity to cool your space. Consult an HVAC technician to help you choose the right unit based on your home’s square footage, the number of occupants, and climatic conditions in your region.
7. The Outdoor Unit Is Dirty
Leaves, sticks, dirt, and other debris can accumulate on the outdoor unit, inhibiting the heat exchange process. In such a condition, the AC begins to blow back the collected heat into the house. For a condenser to work efficiently, it needs plenty of breathing space. So, check around the unit and clear any plants or shrubbery. Leave at least 18 inches of clear space around the unit. Check for clogs within the condenser fins, clean it with the foam coil cleaner, rinse it gently with a hose, and straighten the fins.
8. Your Unit Is Old
The air conditioning unit loses its efficiency over time. If kept in the proper condition, an AC will serve you for about 10-15 years. An old AC might not cool your house as adequately as it did when newly installed. Consider replacing your old unit with a new model.
9. Faulty Compressor
The compressor increases the refrigerant’s pressure to facilitate heat movement from your indoor air to the outside. If the compressor fails, it affects the entire unit. The compressor is a very delicate part, and if it develops issues, you might need to consider a replacement rather than carry out a repair in most cases. Also, the compressor is the most expensive part of the AC, so you might need to replace the entire AC unit if you don’t have a valid warranty.
10. Faulty Fan
The AC’s exterior fan primary role is to release the hot indoor air to the outside. If the fan’s motor gets damaged, the outdoor unit will not dissipate heat. This interferes with the AC’s cooling ability. Note that a faulty fan can cause the compressor to overheat, so you should get an expert to troubleshoot and fix the issue as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Are You Having Issues With Your AC? Consult the Experts
You can avoid most AC problems by keeping up with maintenance. Have a technician inspect and service your unit in the spring and fall. During tune-ups, the professionals will clean or change the air filters, lubricate moving parts, clean the coils, and adjust the blower components accordingly. The technician will also inspect internal parts for damages, seal leaks, and fix minor problems to ensure that your unit runs efficiently.
If you try out all of the above suggestions but your AC still fails to circulate cool air, reach out to Bardi Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing. We deal with air conditioner repairs, installation, tune-ups, and heating system repairs. Our company also offers duct cleaning, insulation, air purification, water heaters, water treatment, and plumbing repair services in Norcross, GA, and the nearby areas. Call us now to request any of our services.