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Why Isn’t My Air Conditioner Cooling The House?

At certain points of the year, the need for reliable air conditioning is about far more than comfort and convenience. On the hottest days, this equipment can be essential for ensuring that everyone in the home remains healthy and safe. Unfortunately, there may come a time when your air conditioning system stops effectively cooling your living environment down, despite the fact that it still turns on, still moves air or still responds to changes in your thermostat settings. If this occurs, there are five common problems that may be the cause.

1. Air Conditioner Isn’t the Right Type or Size

Many homeowners attempt to save money on their AC installation projects by making them largely or entirely do-it-yourself efforts. When an air conditioner isn’t the right type or size for a building, however, it won’t provide reliable cooling. More importantly, it will regularly cycle off and on, overwork and wear down at a far more rapid rate. There are multiple factors that must be considered when choosing cooling equipment for any space. These include the:

  • Physical dimensions of the building
  • Layout of the home
  • Local climate
  • Existing ductwork or lack thereof

Having your cooling system installed by seasoned, licensed professionals can actually be far cheaper than handling the process yourself and choosing the wrong equipment.

If your current cooling system was working well before and has suddenly stopped performing effectively, significant structural changes in your home due to remodeling efforts or building additions may have impacted the required AC specifications. Building modifications and other home improvements often necessitate changes to homeowners’ heating and cooling plans.

2. The Outside Condenser Unit Needs to Be Maintained

Problems with your cooling system can actually start outside of your home. Central air conditioning systems have an outside condensing unit that requires continuous and sufficient airflow. Unfortunately, the outdoor location of condensers means that they’re likely surrounded by fast-growing grass, weeds and other foliage. This makes it important for homeowners to regularly inspect their condensers and the areas around them.

New growth in spring and throughout the early weeks of summer can quickly overwhelm this component. Dirt and other debris can also collect around and within the condenser. If your system isn’t producing or distributing enough cool air for meeting the needs of your home, take a look at the condenser to see if insufficient maintenance is the problem.

3. Air Filter Needs to Be Changed

A dirty air filter can be problematic in a variety of ways. Once this component becomes coated with excess amounts of dirt, pet dander and other debris, it will no longer have the ability to filter the air. Moreover, much of the collected debris will be gradually reintroduced into the air as it breaks away from the filter surface and gets carried throughout your system. This diminishes the overall quality of indoor air, and it impacts airflow. Your system may be working effectively at all other points, but a dirty, clogged filter could be preventing chilled air from getting to you.

If you’ve never changed the air filter in your home air conditioning system before, take a look at your owner’s manual for instructions. This manual will tell you both how to change your air filter and how often this should be done. Many filters can be quickly changed out with relatively low-cost replacements. Others can be washed in a mild solution of soap and water before being dried and put back in. You can also have one of our seasoned HVAC technicians talk you through this process during your next service visit or take care of the task for you.

4. Thermostat Needs to Be Replaced

Despite its compact size, the thermostat plays a very important role in determining whether your air conditioner cools your home. If this unit is not providing accurate temperature readings, the air conditioner may never come on or it may turn off too soon. The thermostat could have a dead battery or malfunctioning circuitry. It might simply be too old. Replacing an old, outdated thermostat with a new, smart one will both increase indoor comfort and provide impressive energy savings.

5. Air Conditioner Has Reached the End of Its Lifespan

One of the most common reasons why an air conditioner is no longer able to cool a home is that it has reached the end of its lifespan. Although your older air conditioner may still be turning on, it’s working far harder than an updated cooling system to produce acceptable living conditions. This extra work can lead to frequent breakdowns, periods of unreliability and other issues.

As outdated cooling systems become increasingly less efficient, they’ll eventually become unable to cool the home at all. It’s also important to note that aged equipment doesn’t represent the latest advancements in home cooling technologies. Consequently, it can’t provide optimum air filtration, humidity control, temperature control or energy-efficiency.

Local Professionals Here to Help

In some cases, air conditioners that aren’t producing or distributing adequate amounts of cooled air require quick, simple fixes. In others, insufficient cooling indicates the need for a total system replacement. When homeowners can’t easily troubleshoot this issue by changing filters, cleaning outdoor condensers and the areas that surround them or changing the batteries in their thermostats, professional help is required.

For expert heating, electrical, plumbing or cooling solutions in the greater Cincinnati, OH, area, call Wingate Heating Cooling Plumbing and Electric today. Whether you need repair, installation or maintenance, we’re ready to serve. We’ve been doing it for more than 50 years.

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