Air conditioners Maintenance

Troubleshooting an Air Conditioner that Runs Without Cooling

Man cooling off in front of fan

You can hear your air conditioner and know that it must be running, but your home doesn’t feel any cooler. Sound familiar? It’s a frustrating problem to have, especially in the middle of summer when days are long and more humid, but there are some simple steps you can take to help solve the issue. All you need is to know what you’re looking for and a little spare time.

Here we take a look at some key troubleshooting tips to help troubleshoot when you suspect your air conditioner isn’t doing its job to cool your home.

Checking Areas Around Your Home

First, we recommend you look for a few common sources of inefficiency around your home. There is a chance one of these issues is the reason your air conditioner is not cooling.

  1. Close all doors and windows
  2. Uncover all vents, even in rooms you are not using
  3. Turn off any humidifiers
  4. Thermostat is set to “Auto” not “On”
  5. Reset your air conditioner (if applicable)

If none of these solutions help, it’s time to take a closer look at your air conditioning unit.

Troubleshooting AC Problems and Solutions

The best way to keep your air conditioner cooling your home is through regular maintenance, including inspections from an HVAC technician. Even with that maintenance, however, you may find yourself troubleshooting an air conditioner that is running without doing much else.

If this is the case, you will want to inspect these additional elements for symptoms that your AC isn’t running as well as it should and see if you can make simple improvements before calling in an expert:

  • Air Filter Cleanliness. Filters should be cleaned every couple of months. A dirty filter restricts air flow, making cooling more difficult and time consuming for your unit.
  • Air Filter Model and Compatibility Issues. You may also find that your air filter is too restrictive for your HVAC system. Your air conditioner has a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating that is calculated on a scale of 1-16. You might not be aware that air filters are also given a MERV rating. If you have persistent trouble with your air conditioner, double check that your air filter and conditioner are compatible.
  • Leaky Air Ducts. In some cases, the problem may not be your air conditioner at all. Check that your air ducts are in good condition. Leaky air ducts lead to inefficiency because cool air is dispersed before cooling the desired area, then your system continuously runs as it fails to achieve the desired temperature. If you notice your ducts are in need of repair, it’s time to call in the professionals.
  • Refrigerant Leaks. Refrigerant is the liquid that absorbs heat from the air. Your air conditioner has a set amount and does not need a “top up” like your car needs gas. A lack of refrigerant means that your air conditioner has a leak and, because refrigerant is dangerous to handle, you will need a professional to help. Signs that may indicate a refrigerant leak include ice build-up around the refrigerant line and bubbling or hissing noises coming from your unit.

Technician checking AC unit

Call Your AC Technician

Contact an HVAC specialist to service your system regularly and help you troubleshoot any problems that can’t be solved simply. With their assistance, you’ll have your air conditioner back in top shape in no time. Contact us at Comfort Plus ClimateCare with questions or concerns anytime! We look forward to helping you.