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The Most Common Reasons Your Central AC Is Not Cooling

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You turned down the thermostat, but the house isn’t really cooling down. In a worst case scenario, the AC is running but the air coming through the vents is as hot as ever. What could have caused this? There are actually several common reasons for the AC not cooling. We’ll explain the most common causes for air conditioners not cooling things down, what you may be able to repair yourself, and when you need to call in a professional HVAC company in Cincinnati like Pinnacle Air Solutions for AC Service.

The Air Conditioner Needs to Be Cleaned

One reason why your AC may not be as effective as expected is that things need to be cleaned. A dirty air filter will limit how much air can flow through it. If it is grey, it needs to be replaced. If it is black, that explains why the unit works hard but hardly gets anything done. And replacing the black air filter may eliminate that lingering mildew smell.

Dust can build up on the AC coils just like they can anywhere else. A professional HVAC Service for AC maintenance and cleaning in Cincinnati should be part of your yearly spring cleaning list. While there, the technician cleaning the air intake vents for the AC can also check the coils themselves (and other components) for leaks and catch small issues before they turn into possibly larger ones.

You’ve Sprung a Leak

There are several ways your AC could have a leak that’s preventing your home from cooling down as much as you expect. The first would be a coolant leak. One sign of a coolant leak is ice on the coil though the outdoor temperature is comfortably warm. The leaking coolant cools the air, causes water in the air to condense on the coil, and the coolant closest to the leak freezes. All AC coils are going to have condensate, but if it is particularly heavy on one side, you may have a coolant leak. Another sign of a coolant leak is that the unit has to work harder and longer to get your home just as cool. Cincinnati Homeowners aren’t allowed to add coolant to their air conditioners and refrigerators anymore. You must call a professional HVAC company to have refrigerant added after the leak is repaired.

Another potential reason the AC isn’t doing its job is that the cool air simply isn’t reaching you. Animals nesting in the vents or ripping holes in the ducts are one possibility. Another is that you shut the vents to those rooms during the winter and didn’t bother to open them. Rips in the ducts or loose connections in the ductwork let cool air escape before it reaches you.

The Controls Are Malfunctioning

The simplest thing to check is the thermostat. Did you actually turn down the temperature? If so, is it set to cool? A surprisingly common mistake is turning down the thermostat but leaving it in fan mode. If the thermostat is electronic and not working, that explains why the AC isn’t running. If it is generating error messages, you can try to turn it off and back on to clear the errors and get the unit working again. Sometimes you need to change the settings of the thermostat to get it to work.

If the controls are functioning and you’ve turned the AC on, check the temperature readings. Sometimes the thermostat needs to be re-calibrated. More often, the temperature sensors it is using to determine how cool the house is are malfunctioning. Issues with the sensors or wiring will cause repeated error messages. These need to be addressed by a professional.

The AC Unit Is Dead

If the air conditioner is dead, it obviously can’t cool down your home. If you blew a power fuse or need to flip the breaker, that could explain why the air conditioner is off. You want to check that, because it is something you can take care of.

Suppose the air conditioner comes back on but it won’t run. Motors or other components may be damaged – this may be a repair that requires a professional HVAC technician.

What should you do if you never lost power? Your AC may not be working because a safety system has engaged. For example, the compressor was running and overheated, thermal safeties shut it down. If the voltage is too high or it senses wires are loose, it may refuse to turn on. These matters should be investigated by an experienced HVAC repair person.

For all your Cincinnati cooling needs, contact the professionals at Pinnacle Air Solutions today!

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