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AC Repair: My Air Conditioner Is Running, But Not Cooling

ac repair
Reading Time: 5 minutes

We all know the struggle of trying to sleep through a hot and humid South Florida evening. Let’s face it, sweating in your sleep is no fun. If you’re noticing that your home is warmer than usual, you could have a problem that requires an AC repair.

Are you always trying to lower your air conditioner’s thermostat in an effort to cool your home? Is your AC running but not cooling? 

There are several causes for improperly working HVAC units, but that doesn’t mean you need to suffer. Here’s a look at the top AC repair issues and how to get the cool air flowing again!

Thermostat Setting

Checking your thermostat is a good place to start. You’ll want to make sure that your thermostat is set to ‘cool’ and not ‘heat’. It’s also important to check the temperature setting to make sure it hasn’t been changed. Typically, 78 °F is the recommended AC temperature setting when you’re at home.

Another helpful tip is to check that your AC isn’t set on ‘fan’ mode. This mode simply blows out room temperature air. Once you’ve adjusted the setting, give it a few minutes. Notice that refreshing cool air blowing in? It looks like your AC problem has been resolved!

Clogged Condenser Unit

All HVAC units include an outdoor condenser unit. These units have a large coil that wraps around the unit. The coil contains rows of thinly packed metal fins. Over time, these fins can become blocked with dust and debris that clog the coil and prevent the hot air from being removed.

In addition, blockages tend to use more power, which naturally, increases your energy bill. If you suspect your condenser may be clogged, then it’s time to hire an AC repair professional to inspect and clean your condenser coil.

Want to save money? Invest in a scheduled AC maintenance program so that you never miss recommended service dates. If you’re not taking care of your air conditioning system, you’re likely to have more frequent mechanical issues. More issues mean more costly AC repair bills. Who’s trying to deal with that? 

Being proactive about all the recommended maintenance for your home’s major appliances is going to lower your yearly energy expenses and prolong their shelf life. We believe Picasso said it best: “Action is the foundational key of all success.”

Dirty Air Filter

Most central air conditioning systems include an air filter housed within the indoor unit. AC filters play the important role of trapping dirt, dust, and debris before it finds its way into the air you breathe. Additionally, filters help to protect your home from contaminants and allergens. 

Now, if there’s one thing South Florida never has a shortage of, it’s dust—sand dust more specifically and it’s aggravatingly annoying.  If you’re regularly cleaning your light fixtures, ceiling fan blades, blinds, window sills, and surfaces but you still have excessive dust around your home, a duct and AC system cleaning may be just what the doctor ordered.

Replace It

In order for an HVAC filter to do the job it was intended to, it needs to regularly be changed after a maximum of 60 days. Less if someone in your home suffers from allergies or you have furry pets. In those cases, it’s recommended that you change your HVAC filter every 30 to 45 days.

Over time, just like the filter in your vacuum cleaner, your air conditioner’s filter will begin to get dirty and become less effective at keeping dirt out. Increased dust in your filter means that the airflow volume of your unit will weaken. This also means you’ll be getting less cool air in your home. In severe situations, extremely dirty air filters can lead to a complete AC system shut down. 

So… To avoid that particular AC repair like the plague, make sure you replace or clean your air filter on a regular basis.

Get Features Most Ideal For Your Home & Its Inhabitants

Just as important, you want to make sure you’re using the correct type of AC filter for your HVAC system. All filters are not created equal! Some air filters are designed to trap more allergens and dust particles, others filter out viruses and bacteria, while others are designed to also trap odors! So, how do you choose? 

Depending on the kind of protection you need, you may have to bite the bullet and spring that extra few bucks to purchase a higher quality air filter. Sorry dad, but this is just one area where you can’t compromise…

Get The Right Size Filter

Last, but not least, save yourself a trip back to Home Depot! Check what size filter fits your AC system before purchasing. This information can usually be found somewhere on the edge of the filter already in the HVAC unit

Can’t find it? No worries! If you can’t find the dimensions on your current air filter, all you need to do is measure the length, width, and height of your HVAC filter and then simply round up to the nearest whole number.

AC Pro Tip: If you buy AC filters in bulk, it’s less expensive in the long run. The next time you’re in Sam’s Club or Costco, pick up some filters! Having them on hand saves you time and gives you the ability to regularly replace the dirty filter.

Faulty Heat Pump

We know what you’re thinking… “I live in South Florida; what on Earth do I need a heat pump for?” While it’s not often that we need to turn it on, the heat pump is a component of your home’s HVAC system and it needs to be maintained just like anything else. It doesn’t matter whether you live in Miami Beach, Florida or Anchorage, Alaska.

If you find yourself among those Floridians who are quick to turn the thermostat up at the first sighting of temperatures below 60 °F, having a faulty heating system when you need it is not ideal. If your unit is set to heat, but only blows cool air, you’ll need to get the heat pump motor tested. It might be repairable, but it may need to be replaced. Heat pump servicing should form part of a scheduled AC maintenance program offered by a reputable HVAC technician or AC repair company.

Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant is an important chemical that powers the cooling process of your home’s HVAC system. The refrigerant flows through the indoor and outdoor coils, transforming liquid into gas. This gas then draws heat and humidity from the indoor air and releases it outside. Refrigerant leaks result in less gas cooling taking place. 

One of the most common signs of a refrigerant leak is that your AC needs to run for longer than usual to cool your home. Just to be sure, it’s best to get your refrigerant levels checked often by a local HVAC technician.

Undersized AC Unit

Not sure if you have the correctly sized AC capacity for your home? 

Cooling capacity is measured in BTUh or British Thermal Units per hour. An undersized air conditioning unit may be the reason that you’re battling with unnecessary heat in your home.

In South Florida, as we’re sure you know, you need to be well-covered when it comes to air conditioning. If you think your space has outgrown its current AC unit, perhaps it’s time to call a professional to perform a cooling assessment. Based on their findings, an HVAC technician will evaluate your cooling coverage and make any necessary AC replacement recommendations.

AC Pro Tip: Do you spend a lot of time doing projects in your garage? Perhaps you’re working underneath the hood of your 1963 Stingray Corvette while battling the oppressive South Florida heat. If this sounds all too familiar, think about investing in a single-room air conditioner. Installing an AC in your garage is well worth it if you use the space frequently.

The AC Repair Specialists in Coral Springs 

Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric offers a full range of AC repair and maintenance services. We cover emergency AC repairs, scheduled maintenance, air quality surveys, and more! Whatever the issue, you can trust our HVAC repair technicians for prompt and reliable service in Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami Dade Counties. 

You shouldn’t have to be uncomfortable in your own home; call Art at 1-800-475-1504 to schedule an air conditioning service today!

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