Typically when we get this question, “Why isn’t my air conditioner working?” the asker is referring to an air conditioner that’s running, but it may not be pumping out the cooled air that they’ve come to expect and appreciate. Naturally, if there is lukewarm air coming out of your vents on a sweltering hot day, it tends to cause a little alarm.
And we get it! Your air conditioner should be able to keep you effectively and efficiently cool whenever the temperatures rise. So, read on as we uncover why your air conditioner might “not be working,” and what to do about it! Warmer weather may still be a ways off, but it’s always good to be prepared.
You Might Have a Clogged Air Filter…
When an air conditioner won’t cool as effectively as it used to, there may be a really simple solution. The air filter could be clogged!
Despite popular belief, your HVAC air filter isn’t there to protect your indoor air quality. Instead, it’s there to protect the system itself from dust, dirt, and other debris that can get in and damage the components. If the air filter gets too clogged up though, airflow is restricted.
You see, your air conditioner operates by pulling hot air from inside your home and putting it through a refrigerant process. But if the air filter is too clogged up, it can’t draw in enough hot air, and as a result, the hot air stays in your home. So even if your air conditioner is pumping out cool air, you’re likely not going to feel much benefit from it!
Changing the air filter is something you can and should be doing on your own, every 1-3 months during periods of system use, depending on the type of filter and the level of dust and other potential particles in your air (like pet hair, for instance).
…Or a Thermostat Problem…
The good news is that your air conditioner problem might not even be an air conditioner problem! Sometimes it’s an issue like a miscalibrated thermostat. Check on yours first, to see if it is reading as it should be. Also, check that you have it at the right temperature setting.
It’s always possible that someone else in your household might have accidentally (or purposefully, if they have different cooling preferences!) set it to a higher temperature. So even though you might not feel as cool as you’d like to, it could simply be a thermostat issue.
If you set the thermostat correctly, changed the air filter, and still notice your air conditioner isn’t cooling as it should, then it’s definitely time to contact a pro.
…Unless the Problem Is More Serious!
It’s entirely possible that you have a more serious problem going on here. You could have a broken condenser fan or even a failed compressor motor. With a broken fan, the airflow simply won’t be able to enter your living space, staying trapped within the air conditioner.
And the air conditioner is basically the heart of your air conditioner, so if something goes wrong with it, then it’s only natural that your air conditioner will struggle to return chilled air.
Remember, problems of this nature should only ever be left to the pros to fix! So give us a call.