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AC Not Cooling

When your air conditioner’s not cooling your house, it’s a big problem — especially if you live in Florida.

Air conditioners are complicated systems that need the perfect combination of temperature, airflow, and pressure to work properly. Air conditioning systems are complex, so there are many places your AC can fail along the way. Luckily, this means an AC that’s not cooling is not always an expensive repair!

AC not cooling? Read on to learn a few DIY methods you can try to fix this issue yourself and when you need professional service instead.

7 Reasons Your AC Is Not Cooling The House

Several factors can cause your air conditioning system to stop cooling your home, but these are the most common.

1. Improper Installation

Did you recently install a new air conditioning system and it isn’t cooling enough or at all? If so, your AC may have been installed incorrectly, or the unit could be too big or too small for your home.

Solution: Have a second HVAC company inspect your system because the first did not do something correctly.

2. Unmaintained Condenser Unit

One of the most overlooked aspects of AC maintenance is taking care of the outside condenser. Your condenser needs good airflow at all times…but it’s outside. That means weeds and grass are always growing around it.

Solution: Regularly maintain the area around your condenser.

Use a weed wacker to keep growth clear of the equipment so it can work at its best.

Even if there’s no grass around the condenser, keep in mind this piece of machinery is outside all day, so it becomes dirty. If there are trees around your condenser, debris may fall from above into the casing.

If you haven’t cleaned your condenser in over a year, this could be the cause of your AC not cooling.

For more information on cleaning your condenser, check out our blog: How to Clean Your Air Conditioner’s Condenser Coils in 5 Easy Steps

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Broward: (954) 800-2858
Palm Beach: (561) 701-8274
St. Lucie: (772) 879-5656

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3. Insufficient Airflow

If there isn’t enough air coming through your vents, it doesn’t matter how cold your AC makes the air — you’ll never feel cooler!

How do you know if there’s enough air blowing?

Solution: Hold a lighter to the direct airflow from the vent. You’ll want to do this throughout your home, making sure the vents furthest away from the HVAC unit still have good airflow.

In one room, start with the flame close to the vent and move progressively farther away until the flame stops wavering. You should be able to reach the opposite end of the room from the vent and still have an effect on the flame, especially in rooms close to the HVAC unit. The flame is less likely to waver across a room that is far away from the unit, but ideally, you would still be able to reach the other side.

AC not cooling
This diagram from Carson Dunlop shows another easy method for testing airflow.

What should you do if the airflow is too low? First, check your air filters. If they’re dirty, replace the air filters and repeat this test. If you still aren’t achieving the results you want, it may be time to contact an HVAC company to perform a duct cleaning or to check your AC fan for any potential problems.

4. Electrical Issues

Sometimes a breaker can be tripped, but it doesn’t flip into the “OFF” position.

Solution: Look for the breakers (there are usually two or three) labeled something along the lines of HVAC, AC, Air Conditioner, Condenser, or Compressor. Flip them off, then back on again and see if this fixes your problem.

5. Thermostat Issues

Another common, but difficult to spot problem is a thermostat issue.

Is your thermostat’s display blank? That’s one telltale sign that something inside has malfunctioned.

The batteries could die, the circuitry inside can malfunction, and a host of other failures can happen to a thermostat without drawing much attention. It’s not as dramatic as a sudden clanging noise or grinding.

This could especially be your problem if you are dealing with a home with multiple conditioning zones.

Solution: Change the batteries and see if this remedies your problem. If it doesn’t, a licensed HVAC professional can further troubleshoot this issue for you.

Sometimes you need to replace your thermostat’s electrical board or even install a new thermostat altogether. Your thermostat’s electrical wiring is tied to the back of the AC unit so it’s best to have a licensed HVAC professional install the thermostat.

6. Frozen Air Handler

If none of these solutions take care of your AC’s cooling problem, look behind your air filter inside the unit’s evaporator coils.

Are they frozen?

It sounds a little weird, but yes, if your AC is frozen it will cause the air to be too hot. The ice will block the air inside your home from coming into contact with the refrigerant of the evaporator coils, preventing the air from being cooled and also preventing your AC from dehumidifying the air.

Solution: If your AC is frozen, turn it off. You’ll need to allow it about 24 hours to defrost and dry out before you attempt to use it again (sorry if this happened to you in the summer!).

Going through the above steps, you would have already resolved most of the common reasons for an AC freeze. An additional step you could take to try to remedy an AC freeze is to look at the evaporator coils after they defrost. 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 attempt to clean them yourself by gently scrubbing the grime with a soft brush like a toothbrush or a toilet brush. You want to be careful not to bend the fins or the coils at all.

If the grime isn’t coming off, you can attempt to use some water to loosen the grime as well.

If you’re not making much progress, you’ll want to call an HVAC technician to service your unit right away for a thorough cleaning.

7. Low Refrigerant

One of the main causes of your AC not cooling is a low refrigerant level. Refrigerant is necessary to produce cool air.

Solution: Contact an HVAC company. A licensed HVAC professional will have the proper equipment to measure the levels inside your unit, and a method to properly dispose of the used refrigerant.

AC Repairs in South Florida

It’s frustrating when you can’t get your AC to cool your home, especially when your AC calls it quits in the middle of the Florida summer!

Call Sansone, or contact us online and we’ll send one of our friendly, licensed HVAC professionals to service your AC back into fighting shape.
Broward: (954) 800-2858
Palm Beach: (561) 701-8274
St. Lucie: (772) 879-5656

Schedule Service

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