Why Is My AC Running but Not Cooling?
Few things are more frustrating than experiencing air conditioning issues during the middle of the sweltering Arizona summer. When that happens, your home can quickly become a sweaty, uncomfortable place. Household AC units can encounter a variety of problems, and in one very common circumstance, your system may be running but not producing cool air. Since an air conditioner’s primary function is cooling down your home, that situation is certainly not ideal.
Air conditioning systems are comprised of many different components working together to keep you comfortable. And in many cases, all it takes is one part malfunctioning, breaking, or wearing out to hamper the appliance’s performance. If your AC unit isn’t effectively cooling, it’s possible that a significant repair is needed. However, it’s also possible that the issue is a minor one that can be fixed with little effort or money required.
Dirty or Clogged Air Filter
When a household air conditioner is having airflow issues or failing to cool down your home, it’s very common that its air filter is the source of the problem. This filter has the important task of trapping airborne contaminants like dust, dirt, and other particles before they can get cycled into the system. Eventually, though, the filter can become so packed with pollutants that it runs out of space, which makes it much more difficult for the AC unit to consistently circulate air. Not only can this prevent your air conditioner from effectively cooling your living space, but it can also worsen your indoor air quality and increase energy usage.
If your cooling system is struggling to do its job, checking the status of its air filter is always a wise first step. If the filter appears to be dirty or you know that you haven’t changed it in several months, it would be prudent to switch it out for a brand-new filter. Ideally, AC filters should be replaced every one to three months whenever the system is being regularly used.
Improperly Set Thermostat
If your air conditioner isn’t producing cool air, another early troubleshooting step should be checking the household thermostat. It could be that the thermostat is set to a higher temperature than you realized, resulting in your HVAC system blowing warmer air than what you’d expect. This could be a malfunction, or someone else in the household may have switched the setting without your knowledge. If you find this to be the case, set the thermostat to the appropriate temperature, then give it a few minutes. If you start feeling cool air coming through your home’s vents, you’ll know that you’ve remedied the problem.
Obstructed Outdoor Unit
If your home uses a central air conditioning system or a ductless system, it most likely includes a condenser unit located outside the house. One key component of this outdoor unit is the condenser coil, which covers much of the unit’s exterior and features several metal fins. Over time, things like leaves, grass, dirt, and random debris can accumulate around the outdoor unit and get stuck between those metal fins. When that happens, the condenser coil can become clogged, which can prevent the air conditioner from effectively cooling down your home. An obstructed condenser coil can also worsen the unit’s efficiency and increase the likelihood of a system malfunction or breakdown.
If your air conditioner is running but not cooling, it’s possible that an obstructed outdoor condenser unit is the culprit. Once you’ve checked the thermostat and the air filter, checking and cleaning this unit is a good next step. To clean the unit, you can carefully brush between the metal fins or use a hose to gently rinse away any accumulated dirt and debris. To keep your air conditioner running smoothly and efficiently, it’s prudent to periodically check the outdoor unit and verify that the condenser coil is clean and unobstructed.
Frozen Evaporator Coil
In addition to the outdoor condenser unit, your home’s central air conditioning system has an indoor unit featuring an evaporator coil. This coil has the crucial job of removing heat and moisture from the warm air to reduce its temperature before its redistributed around your household. In some cases, though, the evaporator coil can become frozen, which prevents it from effectively doing its job. That typically results in the air conditioner failing to effectively circulate cool air.
There are several signs to look for to determine if your air conditioner’s evaporator coil is frozen. You may see frost forming on the copper tubing coming from the cabinet where the coil is located. There may also be an unusual amount of condensate draining from the indoor unit, which may even be causing water to leak out into your home. Additionally, your monthly cooling costs may be inexplicably rising, and there may even be frost forming on your outdoor unit. If you suspect that your system’s evaporator coil is frozen, you should schedule an appointment with local HVAC professionals like 365 Mechanical.
Whenever your home’s air conditioner is running, refrigerant is flowing through the indoor and outdoor units. The refrigerant is integral to the cooling process, as it’s the chemical that removes heat from the air and expels it from your household. Without a sufficient amount of refrigerant, an AC unit won’t be able to consistently cool down the air. So, if your air conditioner is having trouble effectively cooling your home, there may be a refrigerant leak somewhere in the system. In addition to affecting your comfort, a severe refrigerant leak may also damage the compressor and cause the appliance to break down.
When your cooling system has a refrigerant leak, your trusted local HVAC professionals will be able to locate the source of the problem and find an effective fix. As long as you catch the issue early, the job typically shouldn’t be too difficult to resolve.
Local HVAC Professionals You Can Count On
In the greater Mesa area, you can always rely on 365 Mechanical to handle your home comfort needs. If your air conditioner is struggling to cool your living space and your troubleshooting attempts haven’t resolved the issue, don’t hesitate to call and schedule an appointment. Before you know it, your comfort will be restored, and you’ll receive dedicated customer service throughout the process.