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Clawson Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Why An Air Conditioner Might Struggle to Cool Effectively


We may still be in the middle of spring, but summer is just around the corner, and our air conditioners need to be ready to handle the warmer temperatures.

Hopefully, you’ve already scheduled your air conditioner maintenance appointment. Professional maintenance allows our technicians to comprehensively inspect, clean, and adjust the components that need it. This keeps your air conditioner working as efficiently and effectively as possible for as long as possible.

Whether you have scheduled it or not, one thing is for sure–if you turn on your air conditioner and it doesn’t seem to be cooling your living space as it should, or like it used to, you have a problem on your hands.

But what’s wrong? Read on to find out!

Your HVAC Air Filter Is Clogged

“Wait…” you might be wondering, “isn’t the air filter there to protect my indoor air? Why would it have any impact on how effectively my air conditioner can cool down the air?”

Well, the thing is, the air filter that comes standard with your air conditioner actually is not in place to protect your indoor air quality. Instead, it is in place to protect the interior components of your HVAC system itself from dust, dirt, and other debris that can get inside and damage its sensitive components.

What occurs is your air conditioning system pulls hot air from your home and expels it outdoors. If the air filter gets too clogged up with debris, it can’t pull out all that hot air. As a result, it stays in your home, and even though cooled air might come in, it is inefficient and can feel like your AC system isn’t cooling the home at all.

A Thermostat Issue

Sometimes, a problem with your air conditioner isn’t actually a problem with the air conditioner at all. Instead, the problem might be a miscalibrated or malfunctioning thermostat. Check yours to see if it’s reading correctly. It’s also a good idea to check that you have it at the right temperature setting.

Another member of your household might have accidentally (or hey, even purposefully, depending on their cooling preferences) set it to a higher temperature. So even though you might not feel as cool as you would like, it might be due to nothing more than a thermostat setting.

Refrigerant Leak

There’s a common misconception among homeowners that the refrigerant within their air conditioners is like a fuel, and that it depletes the way gasoline does from a car.

On the contrary, your air conditioner is supplied with enough refrigerant upon installation to ideally last its entire lifespan and operates in a closed-loop system. If your system is losing refrigerant, it means there is a leak that must be located and repaired, then the refrigerant must be recharged (refilled).

Without enough refrigerant to absorb heat, there won’t be enough chilled air to return to your living space, which will cause the air coming from your vents to not feel as cool. Your air conditioner will also have to run longer to meet the desired temperature setting on your thermostat. This is highly inefficient for your air conditioner and can lead to a compressor breakdown, among other issues.

For professional Portland AC services, look no further than Clawson Heating & Air Conditioning. Contact us today!

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