Top 5 Reasons Your AC is Not Cooling

Air conditioning is an incredibly important appliance for any home, providing cool or hot air during any time of the year. So when your AC unit is not working correctly it can be concerning, especially when you are depending on it to cool down your home during the summer months. If your air is not cooling properly there are certain things that could be failing. We put together this guide so you can know when it is a fixable issue or you need to call the specialists at AC Authority!

1. Mechanical Failures or Faults

There is a lot of technology and mechanical marvel that goes into making an AC system operate correctly. Several working parts take air, cool or heat it, disperse it through the system and expel hot air outside of your home. Here are the basic components of most air conditioning units:

  • Fan or Heat Pump
  • Evaporator coil (for cooling the air)
  • Compressor (electric pump)
  • Condenser Coil (transfers heat)
  • Expansion Valve

In addition, there may be a duct system utilized for directing the air throughout your home if you have a central AC unit. With all of these parts there is often an issue on the mechanical level. If your fan is not operating correctly the main unit cannot disperse heat correctly. Or, if the compressor is faulty, the refrigerant can’t circulate between the inside and outside units.  

The best way to fix mechanical issues is to get regular maintenance and seek professional advice!

2. Dirty or Clogged Air Filter

Every air conditioning unit has a filter that the air being drawn through the system passes. When this filter becomes clogged with dirt, dandruff, pet hair or other large particulates it can affect the entire system. In rare cases, if the air flow is extremely blocked, the cool air can cycle back through into the evaporator coil, which in turn causes it to freeze. 

Overall, a dirty air filter can hinder the air flow and reduce efficiency of the entire system, making it much harder to cool your house. For Central conditioning units you should be changing your filter once a month. You can make things easier on yourself by having a Smart Thermometer, as they can alert you when a filter needs to get changed.

2. Low Refrigerant

Refrigerant is the magic elixir that makes an AC unit cool air. When cold liquid refrigerant evaporates on the evaporator coil, it turns into gas. The much hotter gas is then pumped outside into your system’s condenser, where it transfers the heat to the outside air and reverts into a liquid again and the cycle continues. Already you can see how low refrigerant is a huge issue. 

Manufacturer’s specifications can tell you what the levels would be at, but this is definitely an issue that should be handled by a professional. Here are a few reasons why: 

  • It is likely there is a leak, so adding more would just be pointless. A professional can pinpoint the leak and fix it to keep refrigerant from spilling out. 
  • Refrigerants can be toxic if handled incorrectly. 
  • Your system may use a special kind of refrigerant rather than the standard freon most systems use. 

AC Authority knows the best methods for repairing coolant leak and can get your issues sorted out, ASAP!

4. The Outdoor Unit Is Overheating

This is a more common problem if your AC system has a secondary unit outside of your home and may have been installed incorrectly. These units need a proper amount of space from the building as well as any shrubs or bushes in order to cycle air properly. While cutting some bushes away is an easy problem to solve, if your unit had been installed on the side of the house that gets the most sun, there is little that can be done. 

Pro tip: When we install an AC unit, we always take into consideration the placement of your outside equipment. That’s part of the reason AC Authority is the best!

Typically, you want to make sure there is at least 2-3 feet between the unit and any plants, fences or trees. But when it comes to the top of the unit, which expels more heat, make sure there is nothing within 5 feet of it!

5. The Unit Is Unfit For The Space

Our final and perhaps biggest culprit of an insufficiently cooled home is that the system is not fit to cool the space. Some air conditioners are perfect for a single room while others are better for entire houses. If your home isn’t being cooled then you may have the wrong system!

Typically smaller homes or single rooms can be cooled by:

  • Portable AC units
  • Mini-split Ductless units
  • Window Mounted units

Whereas, large homes need things like:

  • Central air conditioning
  • Geothermal air conditioning

This is also the time to call a professional, but it’s better to do it when you are shopping around. They can provide general guidance and recommendations that you may not have thought of!\

Key Takeaways: 

Making sure you stay cool during the hot months is easy as long as you know what could stand in the way of your air conditioning system. Faulty parts, dusty filters, refrigerant leaks and improper placement of external units can all contribute to your AC not cooling correctly. IT can also save you time, money and a headache if you consult with AC Authority when you are ready to purchase a new unit!

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