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6 Reasons Your Air Conditioner Isn’t Cooling Your House and How to Fix It

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Air conditioner running but your house doesn’t feel cool? Fixing the problem could be as simple as adjusting your thermostat or changing your air filter. Learn about six of the most common problems why you’re getting hot air and how you can fix them.

1. Wrong Thermostat Setting

Fixing a lack of cool air can be as easy as adjusting your thermostat:

  • Check that it’s set to “cool” and “auto.”
  • Make sure your desired temperature is lower than the room’s temperature.

If settings were causing a problem, your air conditioner should kick on momentarily. If not, we recommend checking your air filter next.

2. Dirty Air Filter

Your air filter keeps dirt, dust and other particles from circulating throughout your home. It also keeps your home comfort equipment clean. For optimal performance, we recommend changing flat filters once a month and pleated filters every three months.

An air filter that gets too dirty can restrict airflow and affect your comfort. Your air conditioner will have to work harder and longer to reach your desired temperature. This additional strain can:

  • Increase your energy bills.
  • Wear your system out faster.
  • Make it more susceptible to breakdowns.

Can’t remember when you last changed your filter? Follow these three simple steps and then consider installing a smart thermostat, which will remind you when to change it:

1. Turn your air conditioner off at the thermostat.

2. Remove your air filter and hold it up to the light.

3. If you can’t see light through it, replace it.

If a dirty air filter was the problem, you should be getting cool air quickly after you replace it. If not, we suggest checking your air conditioner outside.

3. Dirty or Blocked Air Conditioner

Your air conditioner exhausts hot air through the metal coils and fins that wrap around its exterior. If the coils are dirty or blocked, your air conditioner won’t be able to get rid of warm air.

Some of the most common things that can clog or block your air conditioner include:

  • Dirt
  • Leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Twigs

If you haven’t regularly been scheduling professional air conditioning maintenance, now is a good time to start. Your air conditioner is delicate, so it’s best to have an Aspinwall professional take care of cleaning it. We’ll also make sure it’s working correctly so you can enjoy worry-free cooling.

Plants can also be a problem if they grow too close to your air conditioner. It needs at least 12 inches of clearance on all sides and at least 60 inches of clearance on the top to run properly.

4. Frozen Air Conditioner

An ongoing lack of airflow from a dirty filter, dirty coils or a refrigerant leak can freeze your air conditioner. A frozen air conditioner should be turned off immediately, since the ice strains the compressor and could cause major problems.

If your air conditioner has frozen:

  • Turn it off and change the filter, if necessary.
  • Set the blower fan to “on” to thaw the ice. This will safely speed up the defrost process.
  • Don’t chip away at the ice. This can damage your air conditioner.
  • Once the ice is going, keep the blower fan running to dry the coils.

If your air conditioner froze because of a dirty air filter, it should run normally after defrosting it. If it freezes again, you might be dealing with a refrigerant leak or another issue.

5. Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioner relies on refrigerant to transfer heat. Low refrigerant can cause:

  • Warm air
  • Long run times and higher energy bills
  • High indoor humidity
  • Damage to the compressor
  • Expensive breakdowns

You’re probably dealing with a refrigerant leak if you’re hearing hissing or bubbling sounds. Or you’re smelling a sweet odor near your air conditioner.

Refrigerant leaks should be handled by an Aspinwall professional since they can be hazardous to your health. We can also help determine if it’s better to do air conditioning repair or replace your system entirely.

If your air conditioner was installed before 2011, there’s a good chance it runs on R-22 Freon. This refrigerant isn’t produced anymore due to its damaging effects on the environment. As a result, repairing R-22 refrigerant leaks can be expensive.

6. Failing or Improperly Sized Air Conditioner

Your air conditioner may last 15 years or longer with proper maintenance. But it’s important to note it becomes less efficient with age. It can struggle to keep your home cool when it’s wearing out.

Here are a few other signs that it’s time for air conditioning installation:

  • Your home is too humid.
  • Your air conditioner is making weird noises.
  • Your air conditioner smells bad, like smoke or something is burning.
  • Your electricity bills are more expensive than normal.

An air conditioner that’s too big or too small can also cause comfort problems. One that’s undersized will have to run frequently, driving up your energy bills. And one that’s oversized might shut off too quickly, causing hot and cold spots.

When you’re getting a new air conditioner, it’s important to work with a trusted heating and cooling company like Aspinwall Plumbing & Heating. We have more than 50 years of experience serving homeowners like you on the South Shore. When you work with us, you’ll feel confident you’re getting the right system for your needs and that it’s installed correctly.

Whether you need air conditioning repair in Quincy, MA, and surrounding areas or want a free quote for a new air conditioner, we can help. Give us a call at (617) 539-7672 to schedule your appointment today.

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