AC Not Cooling

8 Reasons Your AC Is Not Cooling Your Home

It can be frustrating to wake up to your AC not blowing cold air! Here’s the scoop on the most common reasons why your AC doesn’t cool well enough:

#1. The Thermostat

Be sure that your thermostat is set properly. If your power went out recently, keep in mind that this may reset your thermostat settings!

Make sure that it’s set to “COOL” and not “ON,” because only the fan would run.

You would be surprised how many issues can be traced back to a faulty thermostat.

The batteries can die, the circuitry inside can malfunction, and a host of other failures can happen without drawing a lot of attention.

A thermostat failure isn’t as dramatic as a sudden, loud metallic noise or grinding.

#2. The Breaker

You should check the breakers to both the indoor and outdoor unit. The breakers should be labeled AC, HVAC, or condenser in your breaker panel.

Even if your power didn’t go completely out, a strong surge could trip the breakers.

#3. Closed Air Vents

Did you close the vents in some of the far off parts of your home? It’s okay if you forgot about it!

You’d be surprised how many routine calls can be solved by flipping a few vents open.

If none of the vents are closed, you may want to survey all of the vents around your home and see if they have proper air flow.

Get a lighter and hold it up in the stream of air coming from the vent.

Starting on one side of the room, you should move further and further away from the vent until the flame stops waving or until you’re at the other end of the room.

In a perfect world, the flame would still be waving at the other end of the room for all the vents in your house. Keep in mind that the strength of the air flow will depend on how far away from the unit your room is, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

#4. Clogged Air Filter

This is one of the most common causes of air conditioner failure. Before you check out more complex solutions, try changing your air filter.

#5. The Condenser Outside

One of the most important parts of an ice cold air conditioner is maintaining the condenser outside, but many homeowners overlook this important step!

Sometimes debris can fall inside of the casing, or grass can grow tall and block the airflow from the bottom.

First, you’ll want to be sure that you’re regularly maintaining the lawn (or other nature) around your unit’s condenser. Use a weed whacker and keep the growth clear from the equipment so it can work its best.

You can also trim back any overhanging tree branches to prevent debris from falling in.

Even if there’s not grass around the condenser, you have to keep in mind that it’s sitting outside all day so it’s still getting dirty.

You should rinse your condenser once a year to keep it running smoothly.

#6. Improper Insulation

Some parts of your home may be hotter than others.

Maybe you have one room that’s always hotter than the rest of your home, like a bedroom or a bonus room.

Look at your ductwork.

First, do they have insulation? Even “insulated” ducts need exterior insulation wrapped around them.

If you have naked ducts that could cause the air inside to heat up too much after leaving your blower!

If you have uninsulated air ducts you’ll want to get an HVAC professional to your home right away to make insulation recommendations.

While you’re looking at the vents to see if they have insulation, hold your hand close to any joints to see if there is air leaking. Another common cause of your AC not cooling your home are leaks in the air ducts, which can be tricky to spot when you’re not looking for them.

#7. Clogged Ducts

If there isn’t enough air coming out of your vents, then it doesn’t matter how cold your AC makes the air because you’ll never feel it.

If you’ve already replaced your air filter, you should get an HVAC technician out to you right away.

More than likely you’ll need a duct cleaning, but you should find out if the low airflow issue is being caused by a malfunctioning AC blower fan first.

#8. Frozen Air Handler

There is water vapor in the air all around you.

One of your air conditioner’s jobs is to dehumidify the air in your home.

It does this by passing the air over the evaporator coils, which are extremely cold because of the refrigerant running through them. The water vapor in the air turns into a water droplet and gets stuck to the coils because they’re so cold.

The air that passes through the other side of the evaporator coils is now “dehumidified” because the water vapor is removed from it.

When your air conditioner is working regularly, the evaporator coils will get full, and the water will drop into the condensate drain pan below.

Your unit has to maintain a careful balance of airflow and pressure for this to work properly.

Some malfunctions can mess this up though, and if there is a lower airflow, then the water can hang out on the evaporator coils too long. If the water stays on the coils too long, then it can freeze on there.

Even a thin layer of ice formed on the coils increases the frequency of more ice forming even in the future because it lowers the volume of air passing over the coils.

A whole block of ice can form if this goes on for too long!

You’ll notice when your AC isn’t cooling the air at all. It seems a little counter intuitive, but the ice prevents the air from passing over the refrigerant.

If your AC is frozen, turn it off and allow about 24 hours for it to defrost.

You want to be sure that it’s completely dry before you try to use it again.

Assuming you’ve already looked at the air filter, check the evaporator coils.

Are they dirty?

If they are dirty, try cleaning them.

Professional HVAC companies have a special cleaning chemical they spray on the coils, but you can try to clean them yourself by gently scrubbing the grime with a soft brush like a toothbrush or a toilet brush. Be careful not to bend the fins or the coils at all.

If the grime isn’t coming off, you’ll want to get an HVAC technician out to service your unit right away.

Your technician will be able to clean the fins more thoroughly and inspect the blower fan for a malfunction.

When Do I Need Professional Help?

It’s frustrating when your AC isn’t cooling your home, especially in the Florida summer.

If you’ve tried to resolve your unit’s issue with these steps and you still can’t get it to work, you should get professional help.

The issue could be something mechanical, which they can help you diagnose.

Fix Your AC Not Cooling in Central Florida

You can get one of our friendly, licensed HVAC professionals from Gainesville to Ocala and everywhere in between! If you weren’t able to fix your situation with our directions, contact us and we’ll make sure your AC is working in no time.

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