Do you have problems with the home cooling system?
Here are 6 reasons why your air conditioner is not cool.
Ever tried calling an electrician in the dead of the summer becasue your air conditioner is not cooling?
I hear you, my friend. Its easier to escape to Siberia to survive July and August than to get your air conditioner to work properly. While we all can’t specialize in home cooling systems, there are a few simple things you still can do to check your air conditioner for cooling as it should.
You’ll want to do these troubleshooting steps first before calling the professionals.
Dirty Air Filter
The most common reason your air conditioning unit is no longer cooling as it should is this: DIRTY AIR FILTER.
As the air enters the unit the air filter helps ensure the small particulates are trapped, so the air is clean but the filter can only hold so much dirt. If you pull out the air filter and notice it’s covered in brown material, it’s time to change it. If you can still see the color of the air filter then it may still be useable. Some filters are reusable so you can just wash it off with a bit of soap and water and ensure it’s entirely dried before placing it back in.
Don’t forget to check the thermostat as well. There are different settings and differences between “ON” and “Auto.” Start by turning it to the “ON” setting and set it 5 degrees below the current inside temperature. This will allow you to see if the unit kicks in or not. If the thermostat doesn’t light up at all, it may be that the battery needs a replacement. This is an easy fix, but if after changing the battery it still doesn’t start up the unit then that’s the time a professional should be called.
Unit Is Too Small
Because all of our home purchases are tied to a budget you might not have purchased the unit is appropriate for the size of the location it’s in. Before you buy an air conditioning unit, read the recommendations for the square foot/meter ratio that it can serve. If you purchase a small unit meant for a small space and expect it to cool multiple rooms, it won’t be able to keep up during the peak summer heat.
Unit Is Too Large
On the other hand, if your air conditioning unit is too large, it may cause issues with cooling your home as well as it will “short-cycle.” This means it will continuously turn on and off quickly but not consistently. During these short-cycles, you’ll often feel freezing one minute and then warm a minute after as it doesn’t get to circulate the air well enough.
Check for Leaks
If you’re using a central air conditioner, it relies on the ductwork that runs through your home to circulate the air around your home. If for any reason the ductwork becomes unhinged, cracked, or disconnected it may no longer cool your home appropriately. Also, much of the air may be wasted going into the basement, ceiling, or even outside. Take a look in your basement and out to make sure all of the connecting ducts are appropriately connected throughout your home.
The refrigerant is what ends up absorbing the heat from the air and makes it come out colder. If there is not enough refrigerant, then the air conditioner can’t adequately cool your home. The great thing is that the refrigerant in your air conditioner doesn’t go away over time. It should stay at a consistent level within your air conditioner.
When to Call a Pro for Refrigerant Leak
If you notice that there is an icy buildup on your unit, some hissing noises when it’s running, or it now takes a longer than average for your home to cool, then it may be the refrigerant is leaking. Do not attempt to repair any refrigerant leaks on your own and call a professional to handle this issue for both your safety and also to ensure you don’t cause damage to the unit.
The condenser is what you’ll see outside your home as the standalone unit. The condenser helps to perform the heat exchange process and depends on the fan to deliver outdoor air to keep it functioning. If the condenser is dirty or clogged, it becomes much harder for it to work.
How to Fix It
- This is usually a simple fix with some cleaning and landscaping tweaks.
- Don’t plant anything within 18 inches on all sides of the condenser.
- At the start of every summer clean the unit thoroughly.
- Get a cover which is inexpensive compared to a whole new condenser. It will help to extend the lifetime of the condenser. You can easily clean it using a bucket of warm soapy water and wipe away all of the dirt.
Above are some common things that you can look into yourself when determining why your air conditioning unit is no longer cooling your home. It’s important to schedule annual check-ups on your heating and cooling systems to ensure they are working correctly. This will not only help prevent cooling and heating issues but it will also keep the system running efficiently and save your electricity bills.
Author: John is a certified Level THREE electrician. He is a real household nerd and writes his blog https://housetechlab.com/ to share the experience with others.