Common Reasons Why Your AC Is Not Cooling Your House

August 19, 2021
AC Malfunction in Seattle, WA

In the summer of 2021, temperatures hit record highs all across the country. As a resident of the Puget Sound area, it’s likely that you were expecting your air conditioning unit to make your home livable under the intense heat. Unfortunately, you might have noticed your system not cooling your house that well.

Apart from because of higher-than-normal temperatures, an HVAC unit not cooling your home can indicate that you failed to set it up correctly for summer or that something is broken. At Brennan Heating & Air Conditioning, we have been serving the Western Puget Sound community since 1987. We offer boutique cooling services and also take pride in educating our clients on how they can make the best use of their AC units. If you have an HVAC unit that’s not cooling your house, you should first troubleshoot it before seeking professional assistance.

Troubleshooting Your AC System

Here are four ways that you can troubleshoot your AC unit when it’s not cooling your house before calling in an expert.

Check Your Thermostat’s Settings

Although your thermostat looks like a simple device, it can be pretty challenging to get its setting right. Primarily, there are two sets of settings on your thermostat. One setting determines whether your system is set to OFF, COOL, or HEAT, and the other setting tells you whether the fan is ON or on AUTO mode.

For your AC, the second setting should be on AUTO, not ON. The former would allow your HVAC unit to blow cool air into your home’s interior only when it starts getting warm. On the other hand, having your fan setting on ON means that the AC unit would constantly blow air, even if it’s not cooling your home’s interior.

Check Your Air Filter

You should check whether the air filter on your AC unit is in good working order. This means that there should be no dust buildup on the filter. Such dust buildup will choke your system’s air supply and make it work harder to cool your home. If you notice such buildup on your air filter, replace it. If it’s a reusable filter, then clean it.

Depending on the amount of dust in your home, check your air conditioner filter every three months. You can adjust this up or down a month or so depending on the level of dirt you find when you check the filter. Speak with your HVAC professional on the level of filter you need at the intake. In some cases, your unit may work better with a filter that has a larger weave because there are additional in-line filters deeper in the ductwork.

Check Your Condenser

The condenser is part of your AC unit that sits outside your house, and its role is to get rid of the heat from your home. Therefore, if your AC unit isn’t cooling your home as expected, it’s worth it to check your condenser. Dirt and debris might have collected inside your condenser, preventing it from dispersing the heat from your home optimally.

One solution is to clean your condenser and eliminate the dust and debris, even those stuck between the fins. However, you should do this cleaning with a lot of care. This is because if the fins get bent or damaged, they won’t be able to work optimally as they rely on air flowing smoothly between them to expel the heat from your home. Once done with the cleaning, consider getting a condenser cover to reduce the amount of dirt and debris that can get to its fragile parts and protect it from the harsh winter weather when it’s not in use.

Check Your Circuit Breaker

Most HVAC systems have two circuit breakers, one dedicated to the inside unit and the other to the outside unit. If your external circuit breaker is tripped, your AC will keep blowing air, but it would be warm air. Therefore, check whether either of the circuit breakers is tripped. Set it back on and wait for your AC system to start cooling your home. If the circuit breaker trips again, it’s an indication that there’s a more significant electrical problem that requires professional attention.

Time to Call in Experienced AC Experts

If you have tried all the troubleshooting tips mentioned above and your AC unit is still not cooling your home, it’s time to call in experienced AC professionals. There are three primary issues that may be causing your HVAC unit not to do its cooling job, and they require professional attention.

A Malfunctioning Compressor

The compressor is like the heart of your HVAC system as it’s responsible for circulating the refrigerant that gets rid of the heat from your home’s air and dumps it outside. The compressor has to be in top-notch condition to pump the refrigerant optimally for it to get rid of the maximum heat from your home’s air.

If your compressor is malfunctioning, it means that your home won’t cool as expected. Unfortunately, the compressor needs to be wholly replaced as it can’t be repaired. You should have a top-class AC technician handle this for you.

Refrigerant Leaks

Besides your compressor, the refrigerant might be leaking; thus, the unit might not be getting the heat out of your home’s air as it should. It’s vital that any refrigerant leaks on your AC are handled promptly and by a qualified AC technician. This is because some of the refrigerant liquids used in older AC units have been determined to be harmful to human health and the environment.

Two ways you can tell if your refrigerant is leaking is if you see ice buildup on the refrigerant line going to the condenser or you hear bubbling or hissing noises emanating from the AC unit.

Leaky Ducts

The ductwork within your home is responsible for getting the cool air from your AC unit to the rest of your house. Leaky ducts allow cool air from your AC to escape into crawl spaces, walls and attics before reaching the intended destination. The effect of this is that your AC must work much harder to get your thermostat to the desired temperature. Depending on the size of the leak, you may need to repair or replace your ductwork.

Choose Us for Your AC Needs

Over the last 30 years, we have served residents of Snohomish, the Puget Sound and the larger Western Washington area. Today, we boast of having a growing list of tens of thousands of happy customers who constantly refer new clients to us. Our motivation is to help our clients run energy-efficient homes to enjoy all the comforts they need while saving money.

Over the years, we have received numerous industry awards, including the Energy Efficiency Action Award by Puget Sound Energy for nine years in a row. We also won the Top Producer for High-Efficiency Installations by Snohomish PUD for three years in a row. No matter the kind of heating or air conditioning service you are looking for, contact us, and we will be there to help in no time. Know that we also service water heaters, and we also offer free energy consultations.

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