When you live in a hot area, like Murrieta, California, you know the value of having air conditioning to keep your home cool and comfortable. Unfortunately, it’s often during those hot summer months that you suddenly realize that your air conditioning is running but not cooling your home, and the temperature is rising by the minute.
Not only is it inconvenient when your air conditioner decides to stop working properly, but diagnosing the issue can also be a challenge. That’s why we’ve come up with these four questions you can ask yourself in order to identify why your air conditioning isn’t cooling your home as it should.
1. Is your thermostat set correctly?
If you’ve been looking up how to diagnose AC troubles, you may have already learned that the best place to start is with your thermostat. In many cases, a simple error in your thermostat settings can result in your air conditioner failing to cool your home as it should.
First, you’ll want to be sure that you have your air conditioner set to “cool” instead of to “heat.” If the thermostat is set to “heat,” even if you have it set to the right temperature, your AC won’t kick on and begin to cool your home. With this in mind, it’s important to check the temperature you’ve set your thermostat to. If it’s not lower than the indoor air temperature, your AC will also fail to begin cooling your home.
Perhaps your thermostat settings seem correct. The next thing you’ll want to consider is if the thermostat you have was installed correctly or if the thermostat itself could be faulty. To explore potential thermostat issues, check out our article: Why Is My Thermostat Not Working?
2. When did you last change your air filters?
Does everything look good with your thermostat? If so, it’s time to move on to checking your air filters. When your air filters become clogged, it restricts the airflow of your air conditioning system, preventing the system from cooling down your home as much as it should. In some cases, the airflow becomes so restricted that it overheats the system, causing it to shut down completely.
If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your air filters, there’s a strong chance that your air filters may be the cause of your AC troubles. The good news is that you can purchase AC filters from your local hardware store and replace them yourself. Simply be sure to identify how many air filters, as well as what size of air filter, you’ll need.
Even after you’ve changed your filters, you’ll want to be sure to continue doing so on a regular basis. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to change your air filters every 90 days or so. If you have more dust or allergens that you are concerned about, consider changing them out about twice as often.
You can also learn more by reading this article: How Often Should Air Conditioning Filters be Changed?
3. Is cool air coming out of only some of the vents?
When you’ve ruled out your thermostat and air filters as the potential problem, the next thing you’ll want to look at is your vents themselves. For example, have you noticed that cool air is only coming from some vents? If that’s the case, there may be an issue with your ductwork, which will require the help of an HVAC professional to repair.
On the other hand, if you have noticed that only warm air is coming from your vents, there may be a larger issue at play. Some potential issues may include a refrigerant leak, a broken compressor fan, or a broken compressor. If you suspect one of these issues, it may be worth contacting an HVAC professional to diagnose the issue.
Before doing so, you may still want to look into the next consideration.
4. How do your evaporator coils look?
One of the last things you can do, before getting professional assistance, is check your evaporator coils. Your evaporator coils are located inside your outdoor condenser unit. When you open up the unit, you will see them. These coils should be clean and free of any ice.
The first thing you can do is double-check that your condenser unit itself is free of any debris, such as leaves or otherwise. If your evaporator coils appear dirty, you can actually rinse them off with water—be sure to turn off your air conditioning system though. For more information on how to clean your evaporator coils, check out How to Clean an HVAC System.
If you notice, however, that there is condensation frozen around them, this is cause for concern. Your system may be low on refrigerant due to a leak. When this happens, it causes your air conditioner to overwork and then causes the condensation to freeze around the coils.
If this is the case for your system, you should stop running your air conditioner immediately, as doing so can only damage your system further. Then, you’ll want to contact an HVAC professional who can diagnose and repair the issue as quickly as possible. In many cases, an HVAC technician can add refrigerant as a temporary fix; however, a system upgrade is often needed to fully repair the issue.
Ready to Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner?
We hope that this article has helped you to gain a better understanding of what to do when your air conditioning is not cooling. As we have explained, some issues call for a simple fix, while other issues call for assistance from an HVAC professional to repair or replace your air conditioner entirely.
At Edge Heating & Air, we know that your air conditioner plays an important role in ensuring that you and your family are comfortable year-round, but especially in the summer months. That’s why we offer 24/7 emergency services to get your air conditioning running properly again ASAP.
For professional HVAC assistance, call (951) 304-9658 or schedule your service online today.