AC Not Cooling Properly? Here Are 8 Reasons Why

Is your air conditioner running but not making your house any cooler? A number of factors could be responsible for your air conditioner’s poor performance. The good news is that most issues can be solved with professional air conditioning repair services.

Let’s discuss some of the most common reasons why your AC might not be cooling your home properly.

1. Incorrect Thermostat Settings

Before you panic, the first thing you should do is check your thermostat settings. This might seem basic, but it’s a common oversight that can easily solve your cooling problem. If your thermostat is set to ‘heat’ or ‘fan only’, it’s not going to cool your home. Ensure that your thermostat is set to ‘cool’ and that the desired temperature is lower than the current room temperature.

2. Dirty Air Filter

One of the most common reasons for an AC not cooling is a dirty air filter. The purpose of the air filter is to filter out dust and other particles from the air before it goes through the cooling process. If the filter becomes too dirty or clogged, it can restrict airflow, causing a decrease in the cooling capacity of the AC. It’s recommended to check and change your air filters regularly, typically every 1-3 months, depending on use.

3. Low Refrigerant Levels

The refrigerant in your air conditioning system plays a crucial role in its operation. It’s a special substance that has the unique ability to absorb and release heat at a rapid pace, a process that is essential in achieving the cooling effect of an air conditioner.

Here’s how it works: When your air conditioner is turned on, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor air as it passes over the evaporator coil, which is located inside your home. The warm air is drawn in by the fan, and as it blows over the evaporator coil, the refrigerant absorbs the heat, turning from a low-pressure gas into a high-pressure liquid. This process is what cools down the air, which is then circulated back into your home.

However, if the system is low on refrigerant, it won’t be able to absorb as much heat from the air. As a result:

  • The air conditioning unit will have to work harder to produce the same amount of cooling
  • Decreased efficiency and increased wear and tear on the system
  • The air coming out of your vents is not as cool as it should be
  • The system is constantly running but never reaching the desired temperature

Low refrigerant levels often indicate a leak somewhere in the system.

4. Dirty Condenser Coils

The condenser unit, which is usually located outside the house, dispels the heat absorbed from your home’s air. If the condenser coils are dirty or covered with debris, they won’t be able to effectively release this heat, causing your system to work harder and potentially leading to overheating and poor cooling. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the condenser coils can prevent this issue.

This is why regular maintenance is so crucial. Regularly cleaning the condenser coils can help ensure that the heat transfer process is as efficient as possible, thereby maintaining the overall performance and lifespan of your air conditioning system.

5. Wear and Tear

Like any mechanical system, an air conditioner’s efficiency can gradually decrease over time due to natural wear and tear and the aging of its various components. Many parts of an AC system, such as fans, coils, capacitors, and compressor, are subject to continuous use during operation, and over time, they can degrade or fail, leading to a decline in overall system performance.

The general rule of thumb is if your air conditioner is over 10-15 years old, it might be more economical to replace it rather than continue to invest in repairs. Modern air conditioners are significantly more energy-efficient, thanks to advances in technology and stricter energy standards. They can cool your home more effectively while using less energy, leading to savings on your utility bills.

6. Improperly Sized Air Conditioner

Choosing the right size for your air conditioning unit is a critical aspect of ensuring its efficiency and the overall comfort of your home.

If your air conditioner is too small for the size of your home, it will struggle to cool the space effectively. This is because it lacks the necessary cooling capacity to reduce the indoor temperature to a comfortable level. As a result, a small AC unit will run continuously in an attempt to reach the desired temperature, leading to excessive wear and tear and higher energy costs, and it may still not be able to adequately cool your home, especially on very hot days.

On the other hand, an oversized air conditioner can also pose problems. While it may cool your home quickly due to its large cooling capacity, it will not run long enough to effectively remove humidity from the air. This is because the cooling cycle of an oversized unit is too short, resulting in it frequently turning on and off (a process known as short cycling). Short cycling prevents the unit from running the longer cycles necessary for effective dehumidification, which can leave your home feeling damp and clammy even when the air is cool.

7. Poor Insulation

Poor insulation allows cool air to escape and warm air to infiltrate your home, making it difficult for your air conditioner to maintain a comfortable temperature. Ensuring that your home is properly insulated can dramatically improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system.

8. Duct Leaks

If there are leaks in your ductwork, cool air can escape before it reaches the rooms in your home. This can lead to your air conditioner not cooling your home adequately. A professional HVAC technician can inspect your ductwork for leaks and make necessary repairs.

Trust Our Experts to Diagnose & Repair Your AC Problems

In conclusion, various factors can contribute to your air conditioner not cooling properly, ranging from low refrigerant levels, dirty condenser coils, to the aging and wear and tear of the system or even the improper sizing of the unit for your home. Understanding these issues can help you identify when there’s a problem. However, diagnosing and fixing these problems often requires professional expertise.

Regular maintenance by a professional HVAC technician can prevent many common issues and extend the life of your system. If you’re experiencing persistent cooling issues, it’s important to reach out to a reputable HVAC service provider. They can accurately diagnose the problem, provide necessary repairs, or guide you on the path to replacement if needed, ensuring that your home remains comfortable year-round.