When Your Air Conditioner Can't Keep Up

You have air conditioning to cool your home. So if the air conditioner is running and running, but it can't seem to keep up with cooling your home, then something is wrong. Here are some of the most common causes of this problem and what you or your HVAC contractor can do to fix them.

Cause #1: Clogged Air Filter

The air filter is important for trapping dust so the dust does not just get re-scattered through your home. But if it gets too caked with grime, the air will not pass through it well. The buildup in pressure that results from the blocked filter can cause your AC unit to overheat, and as you can probably guess, an overheated AC unit won't cool your home well. All you need to do to address this problem is pull out the old filter and slide in a new one. If your home still doesn't cool well after you change the filter, then move on to considering the other possible causes below.

Cause #2: Coolant Leaks

If your AC unit is losing coolant, then it won't cool the air as much as it should and your home may stay overly warm. You can tell whether your AC unit has a coolant leak by putting a white sheet of paper under the refrigerator coil. Leave the paper there for a few hours. If you come back and find colored spots on the paper — they'll usually be red or green — then you know you have a refrigerant leak. An AC contractor can come to repair the leak and then top off the system with coolant. This is a pretty big repair, though, so if your AC unit is old, you may be better off just replacing it. 

Cause #3: A Poorly Programmed Thermostat

There is a chance your thermostat is not reading the temperature properly. In other words, your thermostat may tell your AC unit to turn off because it thinks your room is cooler than it really is. You can tell whether this is the case by keeping a separate thermometer next to your thermostat. If the thermostat temperature and the thermometer temperature are different, contact your HVAC contractor. They may be able to re-program your thermostat, or they may recommend simply replacing it.

If your air conditioner cannot keep up, then look into the possibilities above. Once you address the cause, you can enjoy a cool home again.

Contact an AC service to learn more. 

About Me

heating and cooling a garage

My husband spends more time out in the garage than he does in the house. He had been begging for a heating and cooling system for the garage for a few years, but until now, we couldn't afford to make the investment. Now that we have the money to buy it, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the most efficient way to heat and cool a garage would be. Find out what I learned here on my blog. You will learn what kind of systems to choose and what you can do to improve the efficiency of your garage.