Having an air conditioning system is essential to stay comfortable during the hot summer weather. While most of the time your air conditioning system will work perfectly, sometimes it may have problems. If you notice that your air conditioning system isn’t adequately cooling your home, it could be due to several different issues.
1. Too Much Direct Sunlight
If you’ve noticed that your system is having more problems than usual, it could be due to the sun. If direct sunlight is able to come into various windows throughout your home, it can drastically heat up the temperature in those rooms.
As the temperature heats up, your air conditioning system is constantly trying to compete by cooling those rooms, making it run harder and longer. You can easily fix this over-working problem by blocking out any direct sunlight coming into your home. You can do this by adding blinds, curtains, or even blackout filters to your windows.
2. Clogged Air Filter
Another common problem that you may face with your air conditioning system is a clogged air filter. Your air filter works to remove unwanted airborne particles from the air inside of your home. When it reaches the end of its lifespan, the filter will be clogged with debris. This creates an unnecessary barrier that makes your air conditioning system work extra hard to force air through the filter.
It’s best to pull out your air filter and look through it. If you can’t see through the filter, it’s time to replace it. You can find the filter model number on the existing filter. You’ll need to find a replacement filter with the same model number to fit your system.
3. Blocked Condenser Unit
Your air conditioning system has an outdoor condenser unit that is responsible for removing the hot air from your system. The AC grille cover that goes over the condenser unit has a series of openings that allow fresh air from the outdoors to flow through the unit. When these openings get blocked with unwanted debris like leaves and overgrown shrubs, fresh air can’t make its way through the system.
You should take a moment to clear out the area around your condenser coil. This includes cutting back overgrown shrubs and low-hanging tree limbs. It’s recommended to remove the AC grille cover and to clean out any debris inside of the unit as well.
4. Frozen Evaporator Coil
Your air conditioning system has an evaporator coil that is filled with refrigerant. When the air inside of your home is forced over the evaporator coil, the heat is transferred to the refrigerant. At the same time, humidity is removed from the air and drips off the evaporator coil to the drain. When air is unable to be forced over the evaporator coil, it can cause the refrigerant to get extremely cold. This cold temperature will cause the water that is on the evaporator coil to freeze.
To fix this issue, you need to first identify why there is a lack of airflow to the evaporator coil. This could be due to a rodent infestation in your ductwork, dirty coils, or a broken fan. Once you fix the issue restricting your airflow, you can thaw out your evaporator coil. It will take a few hours of having your system off before the coil will defrost.
5. Clogged Drain
As your air conditioning system pulls heat out of the air inside of your home, it also removes excess humidity. That humidity appears on the evaporator coil and drips down into the drain pan. The water will naturally go down the drain and into the drainpipe to be removed from your home.
However, it’s very common for loose debris and water sediment to create a clog in your drain or drainpipe. When this happens, the water pulled out of the air starts to back up inside of your system. Most newer air conditioning systems have a safety sensor that will turn off their compressors when water is sensed to be at a high level in the drain pan.
You can easily diagnose this issue by taking a look at your system’s drain pan to see if it’s filled with water. If so, you’ll need to use a wet vac to remove the excess water. You’ll also need to remove the clog from your drain. It’s a good idea to pour a 50/50 water and bleach solution down the drain to help clear away the debris and hard-water scaling.
6. Bad Compressor Unit
The compressor inside of your air conditioning system is responsible for circulating the refrigerant between the inside and outside units. When the compressor goes bad, the refrigerant gets stuck in one place and can’t move the heat from inside of your home to the outdoors. You’ll need to call in an air conditioning professional to replace the compressor unit to get your system to produce cold air again.
7. Thermostat Malfunction
Your thermostat is the mind behind your entire air conditioning system. Whenever it malfunctions, it can stop your system from working correctly. It’s best to check your thermostat to ensure that it’s on the cooling function and that it’s is set at a temperature that is lower than your actual indoor temperature. It’s not uncommon for kids to hit buttons and mess with your settings.
If everything is set appropriately, but your air conditioning system just won’t turn on when it’s supposed to, you could have a faulty thermostat. Before replacing the thermostat, it’s typically best to call in an AC professional to verify that your thermostat is to blame. Sometimes it could end up being the electrical wiring between your thermostat and the air conditioning system.
8. Low Refrigerant Level
Refrigerant works to transfer heat from inside to outside. This is the main substance that allows your air conditioning system to work effectively. If the refrigerant level is low, there’s not enough refrigerant to move large amounts of heat outdoors. You’ll still notice that your system is running; it just won’t be producing a whole lot of cold air.
Low refrigerant is a two-fold problem that’s best addressed by an air conditioning professional. First, the source of the refrigerant leak needs to be identified and sealed. Second, the refrigerant level needs to be recharged with specialized equipment.
9. Leaky Ductwork
To bring air to and from your air conditioning system, there is a series of ducting that runs throughout the walls in your home. Over time, this ducting can develop small leaks. Rodent infestation could also cause large gaps in your ductwork if the problem is not addressed right away.
When the cold air travels from your air conditioning system to the rooms in your home, you can lose a large majority of it when you have leaky ductwork. To fix this issue, you’ll want to call in an air conditioning professional. They have specialized equipment that allows them access to your ducting in the wall cavities. They’ll need to seal your ductwork backup.
Unrivaled AC Repair Specialist
Beltway Air Conditioning & Heating is your air conditioning repair specialist for the Hanover area. Let our experts assist you with all of your cooling, heating, ductwork, and indoor air quality needs. Simply give us a call to get the help that you need today!