Why is My Air Conditioner Not Cooling the House? A Pittsburgh Tech Answers

| Posted in:  Help Guides/Cooling
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There’s nothing worse than an AC that’s not cooling your home. In the heat of summer with potentially a full home of roommates or family, nothing really flares up arguments in the house like an air conditioning unit that refuses to do its job.

If your AC is running but isn’t cooling your home, there could be a variety of issues that range from minor fixes to major issues you'll want to call an expert for. Some of these potential problems include:

  • The thermostat is set to ON
  • The air filter is dirty
  • You have a refrigerant leak
  • You have a bad compressor
  • You have an improperly sized AC system

Below, we’ll walk you through these potential issues and their solutions.

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Issue #1: Thermostat is set to ON

There are two settings on your thermostat, ON and AUTO. If your thermostat is set to ON, your AC fan will run constantly, regardless of whether your air conditioner is producing cold air or not.

Set thermostat fan to ON not AUTO

The fix: Set your thermostat to AUTO. When on AUTO, your AC will only blow air when it has been cooled, rather than blowing air constantly.

Issue #2: Dirty air filter

Your AC system cools your home by drawing in warm air and stripping the heat away. It then blows the cool air back into your home.

For your AC to work efficiently, it needs a healthy supply of air from your home. When your air filters are clogged or dirty, it restricts this air flow to your indoor AC unit, which makes it harder for your AC to cool your home.

The fix: Clean or replace your air filter if it’s dirty. A good rule of thumb is to replace your air filter every month during the summer.

Clean air filter vs. a dirty air filter

Example of a clean air filter (left) and a dirty air filter (right).

Issue #3: Low refrigerant levels

Like we mentioned above, your AC cools your home by drawing heat out of your home’s air. Refrigerant is the substance that absorbs that heat and dumps it outside.

If you have low refrigerant levels, your AC can't disperse as much heat as usual, which means your AC won’t be able to cool your home as efficiently.

The fix: Contact a professional. If you have low refrigerant levels, it means you have a leak, and it will need to be repaired by an experienced tech. Refrigerant is a harmful substance, so we do not advise attempting to make this repair on your own.

Issue #4: Faulty compressor

Your AC compressor is in charge of circulating refrigerant (and the heat it carries) out of your home. If your compressor is damaged or faulty, it won’t pump refrigerant the way it should, and your AC will likely have trouble cooling your home.

The fix: Contact a professional. Unfortunately, if you have a bad compressor, it will need to be replaced. Compressors are “hermetically sealed,” so they cannot be opened up to repair broken parts in the field. If your AC is still covered under your parts warranty (from your manufacturer), it may cover the cost of a new compressor.

Issue #5: Improperly sized AC system

If you’ve recently installed a new AC system and it’s not cooling your home, it could be the wrong size. If your AC system is too small for your home, it will run constantly but will always struggle to cool your home.

If you think your AC is improperly sized, you should contact the company or technician who installed your AC. If they did install an AC system that is too small for your home, the cost to replace it could be covered under the labor warranty.

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Our team of pros always take the time to investigate the issue and provide you with a solution that works for you and your budget. Plus, our trucks are fully stocked, which means if you’re ready to sign off, we can start work on your AC that same day.

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