One thing you don’t want, or need, at this time of the year is to come home to a hot house and find that your central AC is not blowing cold air! There are several reasons why your AC may not be working properly. Some are easily corrected and some are not so easily fixed. The solution could be as easy as flipping a switch on your thermostat or cleaning a dirty air filter. However, there are also more complicated issues that will need you to call a professional AC repair technician.
R & S Mechanical has a team of experts who are available to diagnose and repair whatever the issue is that’s preventing your home from being cool and comfortable. In this article, we wanted to give you nine reasons why your AC can be operating improperly and what you can do about it.
Nine Reasons Your AC Unit isn’t Working Properly
Always check your power source first. Check to make sure that it is plugged into the outlet and that the power cord is intact. Sometimes a cord can become worn or frayed and this can cause the unit to malfunction. Also, because AC units require large surges of power, it can cause a fuse to blow or trip a breaker, so check for these. Depending on the issue, you may or may not be able to correct the problem yourself.
If everything with the power is OK, then the next step is to check your thermostat. If your AC is blowing both cool and lukewarm air off and on, it may be because your thermostat is set to “ON.” When it is set to “ON,” it runs the fan continuously even when the air isn’t being cooled. Adjust the thermostat to “AUTO” to see if that makes a difference. If this isn’t the case, it may be that the thermostat isn’t set at an appropriate temperature. Try turning the temperature dial down all the way or push the buttons to the lowest setting to see if it trips the unit to run. If you can, check to ensure that all the wiring in the thermostat is connected correctly.
The Air Filter
The air filter screens particles from the indoor air supply. When it is at capacity, in other words clogged, less air gets through. This directly impacts the temperature in the house. For instance, the thermostat may be set at 74 but the temperature may not get below 80 degrees. A dirty air filter can also cause the evaporator coil to freeze, which turns into a block of ice and stops cool air from going into your home. Some AC units have a built-in device that shuts the unit down if the filter is clogged in order to prevent damage to the motor and overheating. Check the unit’s filter and clean or replace it, if necessary.
The Outdoor Unit
Over time, debris like dirt and leaves can build up and prevent the unit from operating optimally. If the condenser in the outdoor unit is dirty or covered in debris, it can cause the unit to build up heat and the AC will struggle to function properly. You can remove the blockage by gently spraying the outside unit with a hose. As regular maintenance, you should clean the area around your compressor and cover it for the winter. Always ensure the unit is shut off before you begin any work on it. A best practice is to have a professional check and clean the unit on a regular basis.
Your unit can build up ice when it has either dirty coils and filters or a lack of refrigerant. You may be able to correct this problem by cleaning your air conditioner’s filter and coils, which improves the air flow. If your unit has ice buildup, run the unit with just the fan to melt the ice. If this doesn’t cause the unit to blow cold air, your refrigerant levels might be low.
Low Refrigerant Levels
Refrigerant is the liquid that absorbs the heat from your house and cools it off. If you have ice buildup on the refrigerant line or outside the unit or if you hear a hissing sound, you may have a leak. A leak is a common reason for not having cold air. Leaks can be slow, which is a reason for having a HVAC professional perform a regular check on your system’s lines.
A Clogged Drain
When the air conditioner removes moisture from the air, the water usually drains out a hose or pipe. A hose and pipe can get clogged with algae, which will eventually cause the unit to shut down. This is a safety feature that prevents water from backing up into your home or the unit and can cause damages. Sometimes the piping can be replaced or cleaned with a mild bleach solution.
Condensate Airflow Switch
Some AC units have a safety float switch that trips and shuts off the unit when the drain pipe backs up with water. If the switch trips, it should be reset after the condenser drain pipe has been cleaned.
The compressor is the main component of your air conditioning system. It moves the refrigerant between the inside and outside of the unit. A damaged compressor usually requires replacing the outside unit. You should definitely call a professional technician when you suspect that the compressor is the problem.
Call Us Today if Your AC is not Blowing Properly!
If you think any of these nine reasons are why you don’t have cool air in your home, call us at R & S Mechanical. Our professional, expert technicians know how to correct and maintain your AC unit for optimum efficiency. Your comfort and peace of mind is our number 1 goal! Call us at (919) 823-7368 or fill out the form below.