My Air Conditioner Is Not Cooling My House! 5 Amazing Troubleshooting Tips
by The Cooling Company, on Apr 25, 2016 6:15:00 PM
The last thing you need on hot summer day is to return exhausted from work and discover that your air conditioner is not cooling your home as it should. You could hardly wait to get home and cool off on the couch, with a cold drink in one hand and the TV remote in the other!
Well, you have two options: play the handyman or call the cavalry. The first option is appealing because it could help you save money, but also risky and tiresome – especially when it’s as hot outside as it is inside. The second one costs money, but is safe and comfortable, assuming that you have a reliable contractor providing emergency assistance around the clock.
Just in case you decide to try your luck, here are five possible explanations for the fact that your air conditioner is not cooling your home properly and a few things you can do on your own to restore the unit's functionality.
5 AC Troubleshooting Tips
- It could be the thermostat! Check its temperature settings and try to remember the last time you had it tested or replaced. Perhaps it is not programmable, in which case you cannot hold it responsible for not knowing when to start and when to stop. You can try lowering the temperature first, resetting it, and, if this fails, check the other troubleshooting solutions.
- Have you checked the fan settings? You may find it hard to believe, but many homeowners call professionals to only to discover that their fan is set to “on” and forces the indoor blower to continue working, instead of switching to “cool”. The solution could all be a matter of pushing a button.
- Make sure the air filters are clean! Just check the air filter on the return vent. If it is covered in dust and debris, it is time to clean or replace it. If the filter is a washable filter, just cleaning it will be enough. However, if the filter is not washable then it will need to be replaced. We recommend replacing them every 3 months. Clogged air filters prevent air circulation which restricts airflow and can cause other more costly components to go bad. A dirty air filter can also encourage the spread of germs and allergens, so be careful!
- Do not neglect the outdoor unit of your A/C, either! If it has not been cleaned in a while, it could be the reason why your air conditioner is not cooling your home. Besides the usual dust and debris, outdoor units also have to withstand wind, moisture, freezing temperatures and even twigs, leaves and branches, so they deserve your attention. Clean yours with coil cleaner or with a water sprayer, but do not hesitate to employ a professional for routine care and maintenance.
- Your AC could be low on refrigerant! This is often the first thing that crosses homeowners' minds. Before doing anything about it, it is important to know the difference between low refrigerant levels as a result of a faulty installation and low refrigerant levels caused by leaking copper lines connected to the unit. Problems related to refrigerant should be left to professionals, as the cooling substance is dangerous if not handled properly. More than that, refrigerants like R-22 are more difficult to find. Your HVAC professional will know how to repair these issues.
As you can see, these troubleshooting tips cover simple operations, such as resetting certain parts, ensuring the unit has power, conducting a visual inspection or cleaning the unit.
These tips should help homeowners figure out what is wrong with their unit and schedule the necessary repairs. Even throughout these simple operations, some basic precautionary measures should be taken. Here are the most important of them:
- Never start working on your air conditioner with wet hands – remember that the unit runs on electricity, and you could get electrocuted;
- Always turn it off before removing screws, air filters or any other parts, to prevent accidents and electrocution;
- Never try guessing and repairing problems you know nothing about. Air conditioners are neither easy not cheap to fix, and you risk causing greater damage and spending more money later on;
- Never trust uncertified, uninsured or inexperienced contractors. It is your money and your comfort at stake, so you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to work with professionals.