If you’ve ever experienced rising temperatures and an AC that simply won’t cool, you know that it can become stressful very quickly. In the Florida heat, it can even become a safety issue if you can’t get your indoor climate under control quickly. There are several common issues that can cause your AC unit to have trouble cooling your home. But which ones can you fix yourselves, and what requires the assistance of a professional?
6 Reasons Your AC Is Not Cooling
1. AC Unit Is Too Small
If your AC unit does not have the cooling capacity (measured in tonnage or BTUs) required to cool a given space, even constantly running it will not be enough to keep your home cool. In general, one ton (= 12,000 BTUs) of cooling capacity is enough for 400-600 square feet of a residential space. A 5-ton unit, therefore, is capable of cooling 2,000-3,000 square feet. Of course, factors like insulation, climate, and more can affect the air conditioner’s performance.
You can check your AC unit’s cooling capacity by looking at the label on the condenser unit, which is located outdoors. The top portion of the label will show the model number (M/N). Usually the unit’s BTUs are contained in the model number. Look for a number between 12 and 60. Sometimes these are set off by dashes, but not always. To determine the tonnage of your unit, divide that number by 12. For example, if it says 60, you would have a 5-ton unit (60/12 = 5).
For more information, check out our blog: 5 Signs Your AC Unit is Too Small for Your House
2. Air Filters Need to Be Changed
When was the last time you changed your air filters? If you don’t remember, they probably have a thick layer of dirt blocking the airflow and are likely causing the AC coils to freeze.
In order to know how often to change air filters, you should take into account several factors: the material the air filters are made of (the less expensive the filter, the more often you have to change it), how many people live in your home, whether you have pets, people with allergies, or if there are smokers in your household.
Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Simply replace the air filter, and your unit should be back to cooling properly in no time. If the problem persists, keep troubleshooting to see if there are other issues, or call a licensed HVAC technician to inspect the unit and perform the necessary repairs.
3. Condenser Unit Is Obstructed
If your AC’s condenser unit (located outside) is surrounded by landscaping, trees, shrubs, or even tall grass, it can become obstructed or dirty enough to prevent it from functioning properly. In many cases, removal of obstructions and cleaning can be done yourself, but in some cases this might require a professional cleaning. Having semi-annual tuneups is a great way to prevent problems like this from occurring in your condenser unit.
4. Refrigerant Leak
Since refrigerant is what allows your AC unit to cool the air in the first place, a leak will no doubt have a detrimental effect on its cooling ability. Moreover, refrigerant is toxic if inhaled and can lead to several health problems. These leaks are not uncommon but should still be taken seriously. Signs of a refrigerant leak include the following:
- Hissing sound coming from your air conditioner
- Vents are blowing warm air
- Home feels humid
- Frost buildup on the condenser unit
- Higher energy bills
Repairing a refrigerant leak is the job of a professional. Not only is this the safest option, but also only a licensed professional can purchase refrigerant for the repair.
5. Thermostat Problems
If your AC is running but not blowing cold air, it could be a thermostat issue. To troubleshoot your thermostat, check the following:
- Whether the display is working
- Whether the mode is set to COOL
- Whether the desired temperature is set lower than room temperature
- Whether the fan is set to AUTO
- Whether the AC turns on if you lower the temperature 5 degrees
If everything checks out, but the system is still not cooling, then the thermostat is probably not the main issue. If the thermostat settings are correct but the system is not turning on at all, it could either be a bad thermostat or another problem that requires more extensive repairs.
6. Damaged Air Ducts
Ductwork that has become damaged or was installed poorly can allow warm air to enter your system, making it difficult to cool. If the other parts of your AC unit seem in good condition, call an HVAC professional to inspect the ductwork and to perform any necessary repairs.
If Your AC Isn’t Cooling, Call Complete Air Mechanical
If you’re still not sure why your air conditioner isn’t cooling, or if you simply prefer a professional’s expertise, we’re here to help! At Complete Air Mechanical, we offer comprehensive air conditioning repair services in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties. We also offer financing options.
Call us at (407) 915-0144 and let us make your home comfortable.