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Why Is My AC Not Cooling?

why is my ac not cooling
Reading Time: 2 minutes

As we all know, our air conditioners get quite the workout here in sunny South Florida and one of the worst feelings in the world is to walk into a hot house after a long day at work. You may or may not need a service call to get back to that beautiful cool air we all love. Today I want to take a quick look at some basics of the air conditioning system that you will need to check before making a service call.

  1. Begin At The Thermostat
    I cannot tell you how many service calls we’ve ran over the years because the batteries are dead in the thermostat. If the screen is blank the batteries are going to be your likely culprit. Most thermostats either have a battery compartment on the side or the entire front of the thermostat comes off to reveal the batteries. After you change the batteries check the thermostat settings and make sure the fan setting is on auto and the system is set to cool. Also, you will likely need to wait five minutes for the unit to come back on. Today’s air conditioners have a time delay built into them to allow the system to stabilize before it engages.
  2. Check Your Air Filter
    If you neglect an air filter for an extended length of time, it can cause your air conditioner’s indoor coil to freeze due to lack of airflow. There are other mechanical things that can cause a coil to freeze, however, an extremely dirty filter is high on the hit list. If the coil is frozen because of a dirty filter head switch the thermostat cooling setting to OFF and set the fan to the ON position to allow the coil to thaw. After the coil thaws change the filter; put the thermostat back to the original settings and see what happens. Again, you may need to wait thirty minutes or so to see if the cool air is back, and remember to include changing your filter on your calendar.
  3. Check The Drain Line
    A backed-up condensate drain line is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to the dreaded “no cooling” situation. Per building codes, all air conditioner drain lines have safety float switches on them that will shut the unit off in the event the line backs up. If you see water in the line or if you lift the safety switch up and the unit starts, the drain is the bad guy here. You will likely need to have the drain line professionally cleaned, however a shop vacuuming of the drain line outside might get you up and running again.
  4. Check Circuit Breakers
    Don’t forget to check the circuit breakers. Occasional power surges can cause breakers to trip and sometimes flipping a breaker will get you cooling again.

I have in no way covered all the reasons that an air conditioner can stop working, however, checking some of the basics can get you cooling again and save you the time of a service call. I know I ride this horse all the time but doing regular maintenance on your air conditioner can also keep you cool without hassles. Until our paths cross again my friends, if you have any bowling puns; please spare me!

House Whisperer out!!


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