Is your central air conditioning system running, but failing to cool your home? The last thing you want to experience during the hot summer months is waking up or coming home to discover that your air conditioner is not working properly. Not only does a malfunctioning AC make your home uncomfortable, but it can also pose health risks for you and your family. This article will help you understand why your AC is not cooling your space, and more importantly, what you can do to fix these issues.
A malfunctioning AC unit that is not circulating cold air can be caused by several variables including incorrect thermostat settings, a dirty air filter, clogged condenser coils, a frozen evaporator coil, or leaking refrigerant.
Incorrect Thermostat Settings
If your AC is running but not cooling, you should first check the settings of your thermostat. It may seem simple, but sometimes when an AC isn’t functioning properly it is the result of someone switching the thermostat from “automatic” or “cool” to “fan”. When the thermostat is set to “cool”, the AC will be constantly running. When the thermostat is set to “automatic”, the system will turn on whenever the home rises above a preset temperature. If the switch is accidentally set to “fan” the unit will blow air through the system, but no cooling will take place. If your AC is set to the correct setting and you are still having cooling issues, move on to the next step.
Dirty Air Filters
If it has been more than a few months since you’ve inspected and replaced the return air filters in your AC system, they may be clogged, dirty, and affecting airflow. Changing the air filter for your AC system not only gives you cleaner air but also ensures that the proper airflow is taking place. If your filter looks clean, then the problem with your AC not cooling lies elsewhere.
Clogged Condenser Coils
If your air conditioner is running but not cooling, dirty coils may be the cause. A typical AC system contains two sets of coils: condenser coils and evaporator coils. Condenser coils are located in the outdoor compressor unit and evaporator coils are encased near the indoor blower unit. When either set of these coils is impacted by debris or mold, proper air output can suffer. Although you can attempt to clean these coils yourself, it is best to have a trained HVAC technician take a look at your system if you can’t see any visible mold or debris. If you have cleaned both sets of coils and your AC is still failing to cool your home, proceed to the next section.
Frozen Evaporator Coils
Another problem associated with your AC not cooling your home is a frozen evaporator coil. If you notice an evaporator coil covered in frost, it is best to turn your AC off and let it run on “fan” until the coils thaw out. If you let the coils thaw and your air conditioning issues persist, move on to the next problem below.
Refrigerant or freon is the fluid inside the copper coils in your air conditioning system. Refrigerant works by absorbing heat from the air in the evaporator coils. If your system is not filled with a precise amount of freon or refrigerant it will negatively impact the ability of your AC to cool the air in your home. If the refrigerant in your system is low or leaking it is important to get it repaired immediately.
When to Contact an HVAC Professional
If you’ve gone through the guide above and your AC system is still not cooling properly, you need to contact an HVAC specialist. Contact Certified Heating and Air Conditioning today for all of your HVAC needs. One of our trained technicians is always happy to help!