Turning your air conditioner on should have a near-instant impact on the feel of your Firestone, Colorado home. Although it can take hours for a significant, whole-building temperature change to occur, you should feel cold air blowing out of your vents right away. If your air conditioner is running and you’re getting absolutely no relief, there’s definitely a reason why. Following are six common reasons why air conditioners kick into action but fail to actually cool their service areas.

1. Your Thermostat Is Set to “FAN”

If your air conditioner is on and making its normal sounds, you may be getting warm air from your vents due to an incorrect thermostat setting. You should have the option of choosing between “OFF”, “ON”, and “FAN”. Although “FAN” certainly sounds refreshing, your air conditioner won’t be cycling refrigerant or engaging in any heat transfer. It will simply circulate the warm air that’s already in the room. This is a great way to get your indoor air moving if it feels stagnant, but the “FAN” setting won’t do much for your indoor temperature. If you’ve set it to “FAN”, simply toggle over to “ON” and your problem should be resolved.

2. It’s Time to Change Your HVAC Air Filter

An air conditioner with a dirty filter is under a lot of stress. Moving air through a thick, lint-like mat of dirt, pet hair, pollen, and other collected debris takes a lot of effort. In some instances, this extra effort causes air conditioners to overheat. As your AC becomes increasingly hotter, the air that it distributes will rise in temperature as well. Unfortunately, if you run your air conditioner for too long with a dirty air filter, it may shut down altogether.

To resolve the problem, check your HVAC air filter and change it as needed. This component should be inspected monthly. In most households, it should be changed every 30 to 60 days.

3. Dirty AC Coils Are Inhibiting Heat Transfer

All residential air conditioners should receive yearly tune-up service. To optimize the performance of your AC during the cooling season, you should schedule this professional maintenance in early or mid-spring. During these appointments, HVAC technicians remove build-ups of dirt and other grime that have accumulated on an air conditioners’ condenser coils and evaporator coils.

During the cooling cycle, cold refrigerant in your air conditioner’s evaporator coil absorbs the heat from your warm indoor air. When this refrigerant reaches the condenser unit outside of your home, this same heat is released by the condenser coil. When these two components are covered in grime, the heat transfer process flounders and eventually fails. As a result, the air that’s distributed throughout the building is tepid at best. If you haven’t scheduled tune-up service for your AC yet, now is the time to do so.

4. The Evaporator Coil Is Frozen

It may be that your air conditioner has a frozen evaporator coil. This is a common side effect of running an AC with a dirty air filter, but it can also signify airflow obstructions in other areas. For instance, if one or more residents throughout your home have completely closed their HVAC air vents, there could be an abundance of pressure within your ducting. Blocked condensate lines, overgrown shrubs around the outdoor condenser, and dirty or collapsed HVAC air ducts are all common causes of airflow issues.

Check your condensate drain pan for flooding or clogs at the drain line. Take a look at the outdoor refrigerant line and evaporator coil to spot evidence of frosting or ice. If freezing is the issue, turn your air conditioner off or set your thermostat to “FAN”. You won’t be able to use your air conditioner for cooling until the ice has thawed and the underlying problem has been resolved.

5. There Isn’t Enough Refrigerant in Your Air Conditioner

Air conditioners with insufficient refrigerant can run for quite a long time, but they’ll become increasingly less effective at cooling. In addition to having warm air flow out of your vents, common signs of AC refrigerant leaks include:

  • Build-ups on evaporator coils that look like champagne bubbles
  • Dramatic increases in indoor humidity
  • Increasingly long cooling cycles
  • Hissing or bubbling noises while the AC is on

Running an air conditioner with a refrigerant leak can cause its compressor to fail. If you think your AC has lost a fair amount of refrigerant, turn it off and schedule service right away.

6. Your Air Conditioner Is Too Old for the Job

Unfortunately, there will come a time when your air conditioner is simply too old to do its job effectively. Air conditioners are expected to last between 15 and 20 years. If you’re relying on a unit that’s 20 years old or older, the only lasting solution is to have a new and higher performing model installed.

We serve Firestone, CO and the surrounding area. We offer heat pump, air conditioner, and furnace installation, repair, and maintenance services. We also provide ductless mini-split systems and indoor air quality solutions. If your air conditioner is on but isn’t cooling, give My Guy Heating and Air, LLC a call.

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