When your air conditioner (AC) is running but not cooling your home, it turns a comfortable space into a warm, uncomfortable one. This issue confuses many homeowners. Why does it happen, and what actions can you take? Figuring out the main reasons and knowing when to call in professionals, such as an AC repair service like America’s Home Services in Gilbert, AZ can help you fix the problem effectively. Let's look into why your AC  running but not cooling and find out how to make sure it keeps your home cool even on the hottest days.

Table of Contents +

Understanding Why Your AC Is Not Cooling

Several factors can cause your AC to run without effectively cooling your home. Identifying these issues is the first step toward a cooler, more comfortable living space.

Dirty Air Filters

One of the most common culprits behind an inefficient AC is a dirty air filter. Air filters trap dust, pollen, and other airborne particles, preventing them from entering your home. Over time, these filters can become clogged, restricting airflow and significantly reducing your system's efficiency. This not only makes it harder for your AC to cool your home but can also lead to increased energy bills and unnecessary strain on your AC unit.

To prevent this, check your air filters monthly and replace them as needed. Most homes will benefit from a new air filter every 90 days, but homes with pets or high dust levels might need more frequent changes. Keeping filters clean ensures better air quality in your home and helps your AC run more efficiently.

Clogged Drain Lines

Your AC unit removes humidity from the air, which condenses into water and needs to be drained away. If the drain line gets clogged with dirt, algae, or other debris, it can lead to water backing up into the system. This can cause your AC to shut down, freeze up, or run without cooling your home effectively.

Regularly cleaning the drain line can prevent clogs. You can do this by flushing the line with a mixture of bleach and water or by using a wet/dry vacuum to remove blockages. If you're not comfortable doing this yourself, a professional HVAC technician can help.

Refrigerant Issues

Refrigerant is the substance your AC uses to remove heat from the air inside your home. If your system has a refrigerant leak, it won't cool effectively. Signs of a refrigerant leak include ice on the refrigerant lines, hissing noises from the AC unit, and higher-than-normal energy bills.

Fixing a refrigerant leak is not a DIY job. It requires specialized tools and knowledge to safely handle the refrigerant, repair the leak, and recharge the system. If you suspect a refrigerant issue, it's time to call in the professionals.

Faulty Compressors

The compressor is the heart of your AC system, circulating refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units. If the compressor is not working correctly, your AC cannot cool your home. Symptoms of a faulty compressor include the AC unit not turning on, the outdoor unit shaking when it tries to start, or the AC running but not cooling.

Compressor issues often require a complete replacement, which can be costly. Regular maintenance can help extend the life of your compressor and prevent sudden failures.

Thermostat Problems

Sometimes the issue isn't with the AC unit itself but with the thermostat. If your thermostat is not working correctly or is set to the wrong setting, it can cause your AC to run constantly without cooling your home effectively. Make sure your thermostat is set to "cool" and not "fan" and that the temperature setting is lower than the current room temperature.

If your thermostat is old or not functioning correctly, consider replacing it with a newer, programmable model. This can improve your AC's efficiency and help you save on energy costs.

AC running but not cooling Gilbert AZ

Preventive Maintenance Tips

Keeping your AC running smoothly isn't just about fixing problems as they arise; it's also about preventing them from happening in the first place. Regular maintenance can save you from the discomfort of a warm house, high energy bills, and costly repairs down the line.

Regular Cleaning Schedule

Dirt and debris are enemies of your AC unit. They can clog up your system, reduce its efficiency, and even cause it to break down. Setting up a regular cleaning schedule for your AC unit is essential. Focus on the outdoor unit by removing leaves, twigs, and dirt that can accumulate around it. Inside your home, make sure vents are clean and unblocked by furniture or curtains. This allows for proper airflow, which is crucial for your AC to function efficiently.

Seasonal Inspections

Before the peak of the cooling or heating season, it's wise to have your AC system checked by a professional. They can spot issues that you might miss, such as minor refrigerant leaks or parts that are wearing out. These inspections can catch problems before they turn into major repairs, ensuring your system is ready to handle extreme temperatures.

Proper Usage Practices

How you use your AC can impact its longevity and efficiency. Avoid setting your thermostat at extremely low temperatures; it won't cool your home any faster and will only put extra strain on your AC. Using ceiling fans can help circulate cool air more effectively, allowing you to set the thermostat at a slightly higher temperature without compromising comfort. Also, consider using shades or curtains to block out sunlight during the hottest parts of the day, reducing your AC's workload.

Upgrading Your System

Technology advances, and so do AC units. If your system is old, it might not be as efficient as newer models. Upgrading your AC or even parts of it, like the thermostat, can make a significant difference in cooling efficiency and energy consumption. Look for energy-efficient models that have a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. While the upfront cost might be higher, the long-term savings on energy bills and reduced repair costs can make it a worthwhile investment.

Regular maintenance is not just about preventing breakdowns; it's about ensuring your AC runs as efficiently as possible, keeping your home comfortable, and your energy bills low. By following these tips, you can extend the life of your AC unit and avoid common issues that lead to inefficient cooling.

When to Call a Professional

While many AC issues can be addressed with regular maintenance and quick fixes, there are times when only a professional can properly diagnose and repair your system. Knowing when to call in the experts can save you time, and money, and prevent further damage to your AC unit.

Persistent Issues After Troubleshooting

If you've followed all the troubleshooting steps for common problems like dirty filters, thermostat issues, and blocked vents but your AC still isn't cooling effectively, it's time to call a professional. HVAC technicians can diagnose problems that aren't apparent to the untrained eye, such as issues with the internal components or electrical system.

Signs of Refrigerant Leakage

Refrigerant leaks are serious issues that require immediate professional attention. If you notice your AC is not cooling as it should, hear hissing noises, or see ice buildup on the coils, these could be signs of a refrigerant leak. Handling refrigerants requires special training and equipment, so this is not a DIY job.

Electrical or Mechanical Failures

AC units are complex systems that involve both electrical and mechanical components. If you experience frequent power trips when your AC is running, hear grinding noises, or notice that the fan isn't working, these could be signs of electrical or mechanical failures. Such issues not only require professional knowledge to fix but could also pose safety risks if not addressed properly.

Annual Maintenance

Even if your AC seems to be running smoothly, having it inspected and serviced by a professional at least once a year is crucial. This annual maintenance can help catch potential issues before they become major problems, ensuring your system runs efficiently and extending its lifespan. Professionals can perform tasks that go beyond basic homeowner maintenance, such as checking the refrigerant levels, inspecting electrical connections, and cleaning the coils thoroughly.

Calling a professional at the right time can make a significant difference in the performance and longevity of your AC unit. Experts like those at America’s Home Services in Gilbert, AZ, have the skills, tools, and experience to ensure your AC system is in top condition, providing you with peace of mind and a comfortable home environment.

Don't Sweat the Heat

After exploring the common reasons your AC might be running without cooling, from dirty air filters to more complex issues like refrigerant leaks, and understanding both DIY maintenance tips and when to call in the professionals, it's clear that keeping your AC in top shape is crucial for a comfortable home. Regular maintenance, timely troubleshooting, and understanding when to seek professional help are key to ensuring your AC system efficiently cools your home, even during the peak of summer.

Maintaining an AC unit doesn't just prevent discomfort; it also saves money on energy bills and avoids costly repairs down the line. By taking proactive steps and not ignoring small issues, you can extend the life of your AC, ensuring it provides reliable cooling for years to come.

AC running but not cooling in Gilbert

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my AC unit running but not lowering the temperature?

Several factors could cause this issue, including dirty air filters, low refrigerant levels, or a malfunctioning thermostat. Begin by checking and replacing your air filter if necessary, then ensure your thermostat is set correctly. If these steps don't resolve the issue, you may have a refrigerant leak or need professional diagnostics to identify and fix the problem.

How often should I replace my AC's air filter?

It's recommended to replace your AC's air filter every 90 days. However, if you have pets, allergies, or live in a dusty area, you might need to replace it more frequently, such as every 30-60 days, to maintain air quality and system efficiency.

Can a dirty AC filter cause the unit not to cool?

Yes, a dirty AC filter can significantly impact your unit's ability to cool. It restricts airflow, forcing the system to work harder and less efficiently. This not only reduces cooling performance but can also lead to higher energy bills and strain on your AC, potentially causing more serious issues.

What should I do if my AC's outdoor unit is not working properly?

First, ensure there's no debris blocking the unit and that it's clean. Check for any visible signs of damage. If the unit still isn't working properly after cleaning, it's best to contact a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and resolve the issue, as it could be related to internal components or electrical problems.

How can I improve my AC's efficiency during hot days?

To improve your AC's efficiency, use window treatments to block heat from the sun, set your thermostat to a comfortable but not excessively low temperature, and ensure your AC unit is free from obstructions. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning filters and servicing the unit, also plays a crucial role in maintaining optimal efficiency.

Ready for a Cooler Home? Contact America’s Home Services Today

If you're facing persistent AC issues or just want to ensure your system is ready for the heat, don't hesitate to reach out to America’s Home Services. Located in Gilbert, AZ, our team of experienced professionals is ready to provide you with top-notch AC repair and maintenance services. Whether you need a routine check-up, emergency repairs, or advice on upgrading your system, we're here to help you keep your home cool and comfortable. Contact us today to schedule a service and take the first step towards a cooler, more efficient home.