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What Do I Do if My Air Conditioner Is Not Cooling?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

Learn Tips and Tricks to Fix an AC That’s Not Cooling

A functioning air conditioner is essential for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment, especially when the weather is hot and humid. But there are times when the AC fails to provide fresh, cold air. It can happen due to a number of reasons, from incorrect thermostat settings to a faulty refrigerator compressor.

If you find yourself in this situation, there are various troubleshooting steps you can take before calling a professional. This article will explore all that, including the common reasons behind an air conditioner not cooling. At the same time, we’ll provide you with practical solutions to address the issue. Let’s get started!

Simple Air-Conditioning Troubleshooting
Check out our list of common solutions to your air conditioner not cooling properly.

Common Reasons Your Air Conditioner Is Not Cooling

You’ve been wondering, “Why is my AC running but not cooling? There could be several reasons why this is happening. Some of the possible causes are as follows:

Thermostat Settings

You need to ensure that the thermostat is in the correct setting for it to work effectively. It shouldn’t just be set to “on” but also “cool” and “auto. The “on” setting only means that the AC is running at all times, which doesn’t mean that it produces cool air. On the other hand, the “auto” setting means the AC runs and circulates cool air as needed.

Dirty Air Filters

The filter in the AC traps harmful and irritating contaminants such as dust and mold spores. It’s incredibly important in making sure that the air conditioner is working properly. The thing is it becomes clogged over time, especially when not properly cleaned. As a result, either the air doesn’t pass through it properly or it’s trapped inside the AC.

Dirty Evaporator Coil

The part of the AC that cools your space is known as an evaporator coil. It absorbs heat from inside the house, moving the air to the blower and changing the refrigerant into a gaseous state. A dirty evaporator coil affects the amount of heat absorbed, leading it to freeze over and mess up the cooling process.

Refrigerant Leak

If an AC has a refrigerant leak, the coolant that absorbs heat from the indoor air escapes. This results in reduced refrigerant levels, inadequate heat adsorption, inefficient heat transfer, and potential ice formation on the evaporator coil. Instead of your AC blowing cool air, it blows warmer air and shows notably decreased cooling performance.

Faulty Compressor

The compressor is responsible for pressurizing and circulating the refrigerant, which is essential for cooling the air. When it fails or malfunctions, it cannot properly compress the refrigerant, resulting in inadequate cooling. Without the necessary pressure, the refrigerant cannot absorb and release heat effectively, leading to warm air being circulated instead of cool air.

These are only a few possible reasons why your air conditioner is not cooling properly. If you’ve checked these factors and the problem persists, it’s recommended to contact a qualified HVAC technician to diagnose and resolve the issue.

Expert Repairing Air-Conditioning Compressor
Review our list of common issues causing your Air conditioner to not cool properly.

What to Do If My Air Conditioner Is Not Cooling? Troubleshooting Tips

You’re asking yourself, “What do I do if my AC is not cooling?” “Why is the AC temperature not going down and what can I do about it?” Well, you can try fixing an air conditioner that isn’t cooling with the following troubleshooting tips and tricks:

Check the Thermostat Settings

Start by checking the thermostat settings. Ensure that it is set to “cool” and the temperature is lower than the current room temperature. If it has programmable features, make sure the schedule is correctly configured. Adjust the settings as needed and wait a few minutes to see if the air conditioner starts cooling.

Clean or Replace the Air Filters

Clogged or dirty air filters can restrict airflow and reduce the cooling efficiency of your air conditioner. Check the filters and clean or replace them if necessary. This simple maintenance task can make a significant difference in the cooling performance of your unit.

Inspect the Condenser Unit

The condenser unit is located outside and plays a crucial role in the cooling process. Ensure that it’s free from debris, such as leaves, dirt, or other obstructions. Use a garden hose to gently clean the condenser coils and remove any accumulated dirt or dust. Also, make sure that the condenser unit’s fan is functioning properly. If it’s not spinning or is making unusual noises, it may need professional attention.

Check for Blocked Air Vents

Inspect all the air vents in your home to ensure they’re not blocked or obstructed by curtains, furniture, or other objects. Blocked vents can restrict the airflow and prevent cool air from reaching the desired areas. Ensure that the vents are open and unobstructed to allow proper air circulation.

Verify Proper Insulation

Inadequate insulation can result in air leakage and prevent your space from cooling effectively. As such, part of the “How to fix AC not blowing air” tips is to check doors, windows, and other openings for any drafts or gaps. Seal any leaks with weatherstripping or caulking to improve insulation and prevent warm air from entering your home.

Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, has provided a list of common reasons why your A/C is not cooling properly, along with some troubleshooting suggestions and DIY tips to fix it.

Assess the Air Ducts

Inspect the air ducts for any damage or leaks. Damaged ducts can cause cool air to escape before it reaches the intended areas. If you notice any visible issues, such as disconnected or torn ducts, consider contacting a professional to repair or replace them.

Check the Refrigerant Levels

As mentioned, low refrigerant levels can lead to an air conditioner not cooling. You can address this particular issue by checking and adjusting refrigerant levels. However, this task is best left to a qualified HVAC technician. If you suspect a refrigerant issue, it’s recommended to seek professional assistance.

Consider Outdoor Temperature

Air conditioners have limited cooling efficiency in extremely high outdoor temperatures. If the outdoor temperature is excessively hot, it might be why the AC is not cooling properly. In such cases, using additional methods to cool your space, like shading windows or fans, can help alleviate the discomfort.

Schedule Regular Maintenance

Prevention is the key when it comes to maintaining the efficiency of your air conditioner. Regular maintenance by a professional HVAC technician can help identify and address potential issues before they get worse. Schedule annual maintenance to ensure your unit operates at its best and provides optimal cooling performance.

If your air conditioner is not cooling effectively, troubleshooting the issue can help you identify and resolve the problem without professional intervention. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can address common issues that may be hindering your AC’s cooling performance. But like always, call a professional if the problem remains.

Professional Air-Conditioning Repair And Maintenance
HVAC contractors are certified to do heating ventilation and air conditioning maintenance and repairs.

Faulty Air-Conditioning FAQs

Is it normal for an air conditioner to take some time to cool a room?

It’s normal for an air conditioner to take a short while to cool a room, especially if there’s a significant temperature difference between indoor and outdoor environments. But if the air conditioner consistently fails to cool the room or takes an excessively long time, there may be an underlying issue that requires the attention of a professional.

When should I contact a professional for help?

If basic troubleshooting steps like cleaning the air filter and ensuring proper thermostat settings don’t resolve the cooling issue, it’s advisable to contact a professional HVAC technician. They have the expertise to diagnose and fix more complex problems related to air conditioner components, refrigerant systems, or electrical connections.

How often should I schedule AC maintenance to prevent cooling issues?

It’s recommended to have regular AC maintenance performed at least once a year. Routine maintenance includes cleaning or replacing air filters, checking refrigerant levels, ensuring proper airflow, and inspecting components for damage or wear. With regular maintenance, you can prevent cooling issues and extend the lifespan of your AC system.

Hire a Local HVAC Expert

If you’re having difficulties troubleshooting your air conditioner despite following the steps in this article, you can always count on our local HVAC professionals to help. Just reach out using the phone number or form on this page.

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