Reasons Your AC Isn’t Cooling Your Home

August 16, 2021
AC Malfunction in Roseville, MI

When the summertime heat rears its ugly head, many of us turn to our air conditioning systems to stay comfortable. When the AC units are working like they’re supposed to, you can enjoy the time you spend indoors. However, if your air conditioning system isn’t producing cold air, it’s a problem that you’re going to need to fix.

Incorrect Thermostat Setting

One of the easiest problems to fix is an incorrect thermostat setting. If you notice that your home isn’t cooling like it used to, it could just simply be that someone messed with the thermostat. Before you look at anything else that could be a problem, take a look at your thermostat and see if the temperature is set correctly.

Your thermostat should be on the cool setting and at a reasonable temperature. If the actual temperature reading on your thermostat is too close to what your desired temperature is, your system may not have kicked on. Go ahead and set the thermostat to five degrees lower than the actual temperature inside of your home. If your air conditioning system kicks on and starts cooling, you’re good to go.

Dirty Air Filter

Another common culprit that can mess with your air conditioning system’s ability to cool your home is a dirty air filter. Depending on the size of your air conditioning system, you may have one or more filters. These filters work to trap unwanted airborne particles like dust and debris from inside of your home. As the filter does its job, it becomes clogged with all the particles.

Once your air filter gets clogged, it puts a massive strain on your air conditioning system and could hinder its ability to produce cold air. You want to pull out the existing air filter and check to see if it needs to be replaced. You can do this by holding the filter up to a light and trying to see through it. If you can’t see through it, then it’s time to replace it.

Blocked Condenser Unit

Another issue that you may have with your air conditioning system, which is stopping it from producing cold air, is a blocked condenser unit. Your condenser unit sits outside of your home and is responsible for transferring heat from inside your home to the outside. When you look at your condenser unit, you’ll notice many grates that open up the unit for fresh air to flow through it.

Whenever those grates get blocked by loose debris, it hinders your system’s ability to disperse that hot air. This essentially leaves the hot air in your home, which makes it difficult for your air conditioning system to produce any cold air. Take a look at your outdoor condenser unit and see if there’s any loose debris up against it. The most common culprits are leaves and overgrown shrubs. You want to remove anything that’s blocking the unit and ensure that it has a good two feet of open space around it.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

One of the most common culprits of an inefficient air conditioning system is a frozen evaporator coil. This confuses many homeowners as they think that something being frozen in the air conditioning system will help to produce cooler air. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Your evaporator coil has a substance inside of it called refrigerant. As your air conditioning system works, the air from inside of your home passes over the evaporator coil and transfers its heat to the refrigerant. It also removes excess humidity from the air. The refrigerant is then pumped outside, and the heat inside of it is dispersed into the outside air.

When there is not enough warm air going over the evaporator coil, the refrigerant inside of the coil gets extremely cold. The water remnants from the humidity tends to sit on the evaporator coil. When the coil gets too cold, this water turns to ice. This is how an evaporator coil freezes.

There are many different root causes of a frozen evaporator coil, including a dirty coil, blocked tear ducts, low refrigerant, and a dirty air filter. In order to fix this issue, you’ll need to start by identifying the root cause of the freezing. Then, you need to let the system thaw out for a couple of hours before turning it back on.

Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant is a very necessary part of your air conditioning system that works to transfer the heat from the inside of your home to the outside. Whenever your refrigerant gets too low, your air conditioning system will be unable to cool your home. Your refrigerant may develop one big leak and create a hissing noise. Or, your air conditioning system may develop multiple pinhole-sized leaks in the tubing that is responsible for moving your refrigerant.

Either way, these holes will need to be sealed off before having your refrigerant recharged. When it comes to recharging your refrigerant, it’s best to leave it up to the professionals. Refrigerant can be a dangerous substance when not handled safely.

Undersized AC Unit

One of the more unlikely causes of your air conditioner not being able to cool your home is that it’s undersized. You’ll notice this when you first move into the home or after you add onto an existing home. One key indicator that this could be an issue is that your air conditioning system seems to be running all of the time and not cooling your home.

To see if this is your issue, it’s best to head down to your AC unit and look at the cabinet panel. There should be a label that tells you the size of the air conditioning unit that you have. Simply hopping online can reveal how many BTUs your system needs to produce to match the square footage of your home.

If your air conditioning system’s BTU output is nowhere close to what the online charts reveal, it’s highly likely that you have an undersized air conditioning unit. If you think that your conditioner is undersized, you’ll want to call in a professional just to verify the issue and come up with a better solution.

Leaky Ductwork

An important component of your air conditioning system is the ductwork that runs throughout your home. Since most of this ductwork is encased within your walls and floors, it’s not visible for you to see any massive holes or gaps. It’s not uncommon for a pest infestation to cause damage to the ductwork that runs throughout your home.

A good way to tell if you have leaky ductwork is to locate the first supply vent that comes from your air conditioning system. This is most likely going to be the room right above where your indoor air conditioning unit sits. If you notice cool air coming out of that supply vent, go ahead and move down the line to see where the air is coming out warm.

This will allow you to determine what section of your ductwork is likely experiencing a leak. This is another issue that you’ll need to call in air conditioning experts to handle. They have the specialized equipment to go in and fix the ductwork while minimizing the damage to your home’s interior.

Helpful AC Repair

C & C Heating & Air Conditioning provides air conditioner repair services for the Roseville, MI, area. We also offer genuine cooling, heating, indoor air quality, water heater, and ductwork services. Simply give us a call today to get the help that you need.

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