Why Isn’t Your Air Conditioner Cooling Anymore?
You depend on your air conditioner to keep your family comfortable and safe in the summer heat and humidity. Like any mechanical device, it will eventually break down and will stop putting out the cold air you love. What problems make your system stop producing the refreshing cold air?
Clogged Air Filters
Your system must be able to circulate air in order to cool your home. The first part of circulating air is moving through the air filter, which removes small airborne contaminants. Given its job, your filter needs regular monitoring and replacing.
Most 1-inch filters need a replacement about every 90 days. However, if you have poor air quality, you’ll need more frequent replacements. Plan to check it every month, and gently vacuum the intake side to help extend its useful life.
If your system doesn’t have enough refrigerant, it cannot regulate its pressure adequately. This may lead to freezes in various parts of the system. It also prevents effective heat absorption from the circulating air, leading to warmer air coming from your vents.
Dirty Evaporator or Condensing Coil
Both coils work on a premise of heat transference. The inside evaporator coil allows heat to transfer into the refrigerant. The outside condensing coil transfers the heat from the refrigerant to the outside air. Dirty coils at either location prevent the heat from transferring effectively, thus reducing the cooling capacity.
Improperly Set Thermostat
Your thermostat is the brain of your air conditioner, telling it when to turn on and off. However, if the settings aren’t correct, you will not get cold air from the vents.
The most common issue is when the fan is set to “On,” which keeps the circulating fan running all the time. This means that unless the compressor is also on, you’ll only be moving air around your home, but not cooling it.
Your compressor is responsible for raising the refrigerant pressure when it gets to the condensing coil. This increase in pressure raises the temperature, allowing it to vent the heat it absorbed inside.
However, if the compressor is malfunctioning, it cannot raise that pressure as far as it should. This prevents it from getting as cold as it should when it enters the evaporator coil again, reducing overall cooling.
Aging Air Conditioner
Air conditioners have an average service life of about 10 to 15 years. As your system ages, it naturally experiences some efficiency loss, especially if not properly maintained. If your system is nearing the end of its expected service life, you may notice the air is not as cool.
Regular system maintenance will keep better efficiency longer, but all systems will eventually degrade over time. If your system is more than 15 years old, consider updating it for a newer, more efficient model.
Along with pulling air in, your system must be able to push air back out. This creates a pressure differential in your home that moves air around subtly. However, blocked vents prevent the air from moving around effectively.
Make sure all your vents are open so that your system can create the circulating effect. While you’re looking at your vents, be sure they are clear so that the air can move out from them. A good rule of thumb is to give all your vents about 2 inches above and around to allow the air to move freely.
Too Much Debris Around the Condensing Unit
Not only does air need to move around your home, but your outdoor condensing unit must also move air. The condensing fan draws air in through the condensing coil and then vents it back out through the top. If it cannot move air through the coil, the heat never transfers out of the refrigerant.
You’ll want to keep all debris away from your condensing unit, usually a 1-foot minimum clearance. This includes grass and weeds, but also branches, brush, and anything else that could restrict airflow. It also means avoiding building any type of housing around your unit that may restrict air movement.
All Temp Co., Inc. has been the air conditioning provider of choice for people around Concord for over 30 years. Our team of NATE-certified technicians provides heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance, and service, along with indoor air quality solutions. Call to schedule your AC repair with one of our trusted technicians today.
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