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why is my air conditioner running but not cooling the house
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We know how the sweltering heat of summer could be too much to bear. We can’t deny that each passing one feels hotter than the last. As temperature rises, a well-functioning air conditioner is a necessity. It is your partner towards a more comfortable home amidst the humidity. If your AC fails to do its primary function, I’m sure you will be left asking, “Why is my air conditioner running but not cooling the house?”

Things like this can happen suddenly. Most times, it isn’t an easy task to know why.

Whatever the reason is, homeowners must have basic knowledge of the most common AC problems as preparation for when they hit. We included several possible culprits for your air conditioning unit not properly cooling the house in the comprehensive list below. It will help you figure out what’s happening with your AC before you make a call to your trusted HVAC professional.

Clogged or Dirty Air Filters

Before lingering on the question, “Why is my air conditioner running but not cooling the house?” ask yourself first, “Are my air filters clean?”

Clogged or dirty air filters are the most common root of all air conditioner issues. Dirt, dust, pollen, or pet hair building up in your filter could cause obstruction. Once your filters are clogged, the airflow through your air conditioner suddenly meets restrictions. As a result, your air conditioner stops cooling your home effectively. 

Obstructed filters can also interfere with your AC system’s outdoor condenser unit and indoor evaporator coil. It can affect their normal function and cause multiple issues at hand. When left ignored, these problems could progress and worsen over time. 

Your best prevention method to avoid having dirty air filters is to have them cleaned regularly. If a replacement is needed, it would be best to do so. Save yourself from any allergens circulating in your indoor air; while maintaining the overall health of your AC. 

Problem with the Compressor 

Still stuck with asking yourself, “Why is my air conditioner running but not cooling the house?” Another possible reason could be a problematic compressor. 

The compressor is considered the heart of the air conditioning system. Its primary role is to disperse the refrigerant between the outdoor and indoor units. Once it gets damaged, you can tell why your air conditioner could not cool your indoor air properly. Sometimes, other electrical parts, such as the capacitor, could also have an issue that can be mistaken for a compressor problem. A simple capacitor replacement would do the trick to keep your compressor running. 

Your compressor issue is best addressed by replacing it. However, this could be very costly on your end. Just make sure that you entrust the work to a professional AC technician to get the most of your money spent.

Low Refrigerant Levels

Sat for hours wondering about the same question, “Why is my air conditioner running but not cooling the house?” Another answer could be related to your refrigerant levels.

Refrigerants are chemicals that are within your air conditioning system. They function by disseminating heat from the indoor air and moving it outdoors afterwards. There are many types, including the already phased-out Freon and another one called Puron. Both function by cooling the indoor air.

Once your refrigerant levels stoop low, you may start to experience your AC not cooling properly. As previously stated, refrigerants cool the indoor air. A shortage of refrigerant would mean that there will be a reduction in your AC’s ability to supply cool air adequately.

Low refrigerant levels can be a result of system undercharge during installation. But another possible reason is a refrigerant leak. It happens when there are holes where the refrigerant escapes the system. Whatever the probable cause for a low refrigerant level, make sure you contact your trusted AC technician to address it. Refrigerant issues are not for you to handle as they can impact your health negatively.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

If you’re still trying to answer the query, “Why is my air conditioner running but not cooling the house?”; you might be skipping another factor – the thermostat.

The thermostat is the component of your air conditioner that measures the indoor air temperature and makes the necessary adjustments. When it fails, you can expect issues such as sensor problems. It could even contribute and lead to overall AC failure. 

You need to check several things when it comes to your thermostat. First is the settings. Occasionally, addressing your thermostat’s settings is crucial. You have to make sure you have it set to cool and not heat. Next would be your batteries. If your thermostat batteries require replacement, always input new ones. Some thermostats work after a hard restart too. Hard restarts are done by removing the thermostat from the power source and returning it. It allows the thermostat to reboot and function again, especially if you touch it and it seems frozen.

If you did all of the above and still have a problem, calling your AC technician would be the best solution. Luckily, replacement is an easy fix for any thermostat failure. 

What is the best answer to this?

Honestly, there’s no “one best answer” to “Why is my air conditioner running but not cooling the house?” It doesn’t work as a one-size-fits-all type of thing.  

Having your AC’s regular maintenance is key to ensuring it is in tiptop shape. It is your best preventative method. Another factor in your AC’s reduced ability to provide cool air is if it does not have regular check-ups. While you can keep other components clean on your own, a thorough inspection of the system by a technician is still necessary. A system tune-up twice a year is best to keep it in perfect condition. It allows the assessment of parts that are beyond your reach. It also enables the HVAC professional to address any potential issues before they worsen and lead to more repairs.  

Knowing the reason behind your air conditioner acting up will not be an easy task to do. It could be that the problem lies beyond your knowledge or has more than one issue. Regardless of its reason, you can never go wrong by placing a call to your trusted AC professional. They won’t be professionals if they don’t know what they do. 

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