7 Common Reasons Behind AC Not Cooling Properly


Air conditioners provide welcome relief from the summer heat. But when cooling falls short, determining the root cause can be perplexing. There are various common issues that prevent ACs from effectively chilling indoor air.

From refrigerant leaks and clogged filters to frozen coils and busted fans, identifying and addressing the specific problem is key to restoring comfort. Here are 7 prevalent reasons your AC fails to cool properly and when to call for professional AC unit repair in Cincinnati, OH.

1. Refrigerant Leak

The refrigerant circulating through an AC’s sealed system is essential for heat transfer and cooling. However, over years of use, refrigerant can leak out through cracks, faulty seals, or loose fittings. Insufficient refrigerant levels reduce an AC’s cooling capacity significantly. Warning signs include higher utility bills plus warm air blowing from vents on hot days despite unit operation. Contact AC repair pros to test pressures and recharge the refrigerant to resolve this issue.

2. Clogged Air Filter

Air filters trap dust and allergens from forced airflow in an AC system. But excessively dirty clogged filters prevent adequate air from circulating, lowering operational efficiency. Routinely replacing filters approximately every 3 months ensures maximum airflow. Signs of overly clogged filters include restricted air output, indoor humidity, freezing coils, and elevated energy consumption. Simply swapping in fresh filters can restore cooling.

3. Frozen Evaporator Coils

If AC airflow gets obstructed, refrigerant passing through the evaporator coil can freeze up from lack of motion. Ice buildup on coils blocks air and disables cooling. Causes include low refrigerant, dirty filters, condenser issues, and poor airflow. Have an AC technician thoroughly inspect the system to identify culprits. Once addressed, coils must defrost completely before cooling resumes.

4. Broken Outdoor Fan

The large fan in the outdoor condenser unit circulates air over refrigerant-filled coils to release absorbed heat outside. If this fan seizes up and stops rotating due to age, wear or damage, heat transfer cannot occur. The interior air consequently does not get cooled. Replacing failed condenser fans is a common repair for restoring AC cooling capabilities.

5. Faulty Thermostat

The thermostat controls AC operation based on programmed temperature settings and readings. If a thermostat falls out of calibration, provides incorrect readings or fails to send electrical signals to initiate cooling, this affects performance. Issues include displaying the wrong temp, not dropping when cooled, or complete failure. Swapping in a new thermostat typically resolves such control problems if an AC unit otherwise checks out fine.

6. Low Refrigerant Pressure

Technicians check system pressures to assess refrigerant levels and flow, which directly impact cooling capabilities. Low side pressure indicates insufficient refrigerant. Causes include leaks, blockages, or condenser issues not allowing proper compression. High-side pressure points to restrictions preventing heat dissipation. Addressing proper refrigerant pressures through pressure testing and recharging restores cooling.

7. HVAC Sizing Mismatch

Sometimes an AC simply cannot keep up with cooling demands due to inadequate system sizing for a home’s square footage. Oversized rooms, high ceilings, expansions, insulation issues, and leaky ductwork also overburden an AC. Upgrading to a right-sized air conditioner or adding supplemental window units may be needed for extreme mismatches. An HVAC pro can evaluate the capacity needed.

To Wrap Up

By identifying whether refrigerant leaks, airflow obstructions, frozen coils, thermostat problems, insufficient refrigerant, sizing mismatches, or condenser fan breakdowns are preventing adequate AC cooling, the proper fixes can be implemented. Routine maintenance also prevents many common cooling issues. Partnering with experienced AC repair technicians assists in troubleshooting and restoration of chilled comfort when hot summer days hit.

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