Whether it’s the hottest day of the year or the middle of winter, you may find your AC not blowing cool enough air when you need it. It can be quite frustrating spending a sleepless night tossing and turning with the heat, particularly when you’ve taken time and effort to install an air conditioning system.
Most of us look to the condenser unit to see what’s wrong (the unit that sits outside your home). But other parts might be causing difficulty. Other things to look at could be the refrigerant lines (the copper tubing that connects the indoor units to the outdoor ones). Or it could be the thermostat, evaporator coil, or air filter.
Ideally, you want to have aircon servicing every 3 months for optimum functioning, but if for some reason your AC isn’t blowing air that’s cool enough despite your best efforts, here are some things to look at.
Check your thermostat setting
The first place to start if the air isn’t cool enough is the thermostat. It could be that the setting is incorrect, in which case, it’s an easy fix. It might not be set to cool – someone might have set it to constant fan instead.
Once you’ve adjusted the thermostat, wait for a couple of minutes to give the system time to adjust. Check the registers to see if they’re blowing cold air: if they are, then your issue is solved. But if things don’t improve, move on to the next step – the air filter.
Check your air filter
The air filter of an AC unit collects any particles that are airborne as they come into your unit – this includes dust and dirt. So over time, your air filter can accumulate a fair bit of debris, depending on the level of dirt or dust in your environment. A clogged air filter can block the flow of air and therefore reduce your unit’s cooling power or even block it so that it shuts down entirely.
To check your air filter, turn off your system and then remove the filter to check for cleanliness. If the filter is dirty, give it a clean or replace it, as needed. If you are satisfied that your air filter is clean and the problem persists, you’ll want to try looking at the condenser unit.
Check your condenser unit
Your condenser unit – the outside unit, as we said before, usually has a large coil that goes around the outside and has a series of thin pieces of metal that have very small gaps in between them. If these tiny gaps are blocked with dirt, dust, or even grass, your condenser coil could be clogged, which could be one reason your air is no longer cool.
You can try to clean the coil yourself by vacuuming carefully (using a brush attachment) or rinsing it with water (using a hose on a low setting). If you have tried cleaning the coil and your air still isn’t running cool, you may want to call in for professional assistance or advice.
Check the heat pump
You may have a heat pump as your outdoor unit rather than an AC unit. If this is the case, check the settings as above: starting with the thermostat, the air filter, and the condenser unit.
As before, if the problem persists, this is the point at which you may need to call for a professional.
Check the evaporator coil
Your indoor unit will contain an evaporator coil, which could be in its own cabinet (if you have a furnace) or inside the fan coil cabinet (if you have a fan coil system).
Your evaporator coil might be frozen, in which case the coolant power of your unit will be affected. Look for these signs:
· Sudden high utility bills
· Frost on the copper tubing
· Condensate drainage near your indoor unit
It can be difficult to access the evaporator coil, so if you suspect a frozen coil, call a professional for help.
Other possible problems
Other reasons for the aircon not cooling could be:
A refrigerant leak. Problems with refrigerant levels in your system require professional assistance.
An AC unit that is too small for the job. Local weather, the size of your home, the quality of the construction of your home, and other factors all influence the size of the AC unit that you need. An AC professional can assess your home to determine the most effective size for you.