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Why Is My Air Conditioner Not Cooling the Home? 10 Most Common AC Problems  

Having a well-functioning air conditioning system is essential for the whole family’s comfort. When it fails to cool the whole house, it causes not just discomfort but an inconvenience to every member of the household.

Some AC problems though are more common than others. Usually, these Air Conditioning issues are borne out of wear and tear, and failure to keep an ideal routine maintenance schedule. These days when the outdoor heat is unbearable, keeping the AC well-maintained is in the best interest of everyone.

Most common home air conditioning issues

Sometimes though, no matter how much a homeowner stays on top of the AC maintenance, and the regular scheduling of professional air conditioning care, the AC can still bog down. After all, they are still machines that get worn out over time. Knowing the most common air conditioning problems and how to deal with them will help homeowners stay comfortable and cool all the time.

1. Dirty or frozen coils

When the coils are dirty or frozen, the AC will have a hard time cooling the whole house to the owner’s desired temperature levels. Check out our guide on how to clean your dirty ac condenser coils it is very easy to clean the outside unit. Coils get dirty over time, and the gunk can build up, especially when the AC filters are not cleaned or replaced routinely. When coils are frozen, it meanwhile could also indicate that the there is an issue with the air handler blower motor. A frozen coil could be the reason why your ac is not blowing cold air.

In these two situations, it is best to immediately seek professional AC servicing to prevent the worsening of the problem. Dirty coils can give way to mold, mildew, and mud that not only affect the AC mechanism but also affects the air quality inside the home. An AC professional can easily remediate this issue. 

2. Leaking refrigerant or low refrigerant levels (R22 or R410A)

Low refrigerant levels will surely cause any air conditioning system to stop blowing cold air. This could definitely be a reason why one room is always hotter than the rest of the house. This is because refrigerant is the chemical responsible for absorbing the hot air in rooms where the air conditioner is installed. When refrigerant levels are low the coils can freeze too sending the system to malfunction. 

Usually, refrigerants run low when it is undercharged, to begin with, or if there is a leak in the refrigerant hose. This situation however can only be assessed by a certified HVAC technician, who has the right knowledge and equipment to detect and repair issues.

3. Clogged Air Filters

Clogged air filters are the primary cause of non-cooling air conditioners. When the air is not as cool and crisp as it usually is, chances are the homeowner forgot to replace the filter. Filters get clogged over time as it gets to trap dust, debris, hair, pollen, and dander. If there are pets around the house, filters get clogged up much faster.

Homeowners should consult the AC manual on when to replace the filters and follow it routinely. He should also call for professional AC maintenance to ensure that the AC will work in perfect condition.

4. Failing Compressor inside the Condenser

One of the most expensive issues to repair on any home air conditioning system is a malfunctioning compressor. Since the compressor can be likened to the central nervous system of a person since it distributes the refrigerant throughout the whole system, then when it stops running, cooling will stop as well. If its not your compressor it could possibly be your capacitor, you’ll want to know how to tell if your ac capacitor is bad.

A professional HVAC technician can easily diagnose this issue even if there are similar occurrences that make it look like the compressor is malfunctioning. He can detect whether the issue is due to a clogged condensate drain, a problem with a capacitor, or another electrical component within the AC mechanism.

In any case, if the compressor is indeed the problem, then the best thing to do is to have it replaced. That may be more cost-efficient to replace the outdoor unit altogether than buy a new compressor. Ask a technician for his assessment.

5. AC Condenser Exterior Fan Issues

If the fan in the outdoor unit fails to function, then the AC will instantaneously break down. Here is how to tell if your AC fan motor is bad. The AC will no longer work because the condenser is no longer able to take the hot air inside the house, or outdoors. When this happens, the compressor can overheat too and will become a bigger problem.

Get in touch with an AC technician right away to resolve the issue, since nothing much can be done to prevent a breakdown of the outdoor fan. It gets worn out over time especially if the unit has been installed more than a decade ago.

 Make sure that nothing is impeding the airflow from the condenser unit and that at least one-foot clearance is observed within the perimeter of the outdoor unit. Check it from time to time too so that debris will not pile up near it.    

6. Air Leaks from The Ductwork

One of the none-mechanical issues that cause the AC to fail in cooling the whole house properly is problems with the ductwork. When there are leaks in the ductwork, the air blown in by the AC system could not get into the house and cool it appropriately. Homeowners should immediately act on this by tapping the services of a certified technician. Problems in the ductwork do not only cause problems in cooling, it can also inadvertently overwork the AC mechanism wearing it out much earlier than it should, and making it consume more energy than needed. When this happens, utility bills increase too. 

One of the most common ductwork issues is the wrong installation. If it is incorrectly installed, it could get dislodged over time and leak cold air outside the house. Leaks in your air system could be why your air conditioner is constantly running. Sometimes pests like rodents, or critters like squirrels would invade attics and accidentally get into the ductwork and rip it. The damage they make become gaps where cold air can escape, and these leaks could affect the coolness level inside the house.

Another possible reason why the ductwork could have problems is when plumbers, electricians, handymen, or even owners themselves accidentally damage it while working on the attic. Leaks like these should get immediately repaired.

7. There’s an Issue with The Thermostat

Sometimes the problem with the AC cooling is so simple, that even the homeowner can resolve it. The first thing the homeowner should check when the AC fails is the thermostat. You need to find out why your thermostat isn’t getting to desired temperature. Is it working correctly? Does it have batteries? Is it installed next to a heat generating device or home appliance? The aforementioned situations can affect the performance of the thermostat and so the homeowner should check this first before calling for professional AC servicing.

Sometimes the issue lies in the setting. It could have been accidentally set incorrectly. Just adjust accordingly and if all else fails, call an HVAC technician.

8. Blocked air vents or registers

Sometimes, homeowners accidentally block the air registers inside their homes. This is especially true if the issue is the non-cooling of a certain part of the house. If for example, the bedroom is not as cold as the rest of the house, then most likely the air register in that area is clogged, dirty, or blocked. Check the vents and ensure that nothing is impeding the airflow from the AC registers.

9. Failure to keep the AC well-maintained

While homeowners have the responsibility to clean or replace air filters, professional inspection and tune-ups are necessary to keep the AC performing in top condition. A certified HVAC technician can inspect, clean, and tune up the whole AC system and detect potential issues that could call for expensive and complicated repair jobs. It is crucial to have the Central Air Conditioning checked every six months to ensure that it works well.

10. Need help with a failing AC that cannot cool the house?

If you need help with your AC because it is failing to cool your whole house, do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Reliable Standard. Most of the issues mentioned above are easy to diagnose and troubleshoot and are easy to avoid moving forward. Allow our licensed AC technicians to work their expertise in your home. We have helped countless San Diego homes remain comfortable amid the intense heat of summer, thanks to our prompt servicing and excellent workmanship. Call us up today!  

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