Why Is My AC Not Cooling? 9 Potential Reasons and How to Fix Them

Man on phone asking Why my ac is not cooling,

Dealing with a broken air conditioner is never fun, especially during the extreme heat of Nevada summer. AC repair Sparks, NV can be expensive, but luckily, many air conditioning problems are relatively easy and inexpensive to fix.

Below are some common reasons why your unit may not be cooling properly and how you can troubleshoot them.

  1. The Thermostat Is Set Incorrectly 

The thermostat senses the temperature of the air inside the room and turns the air conditioner on or off to maintain the desired temperature. It also hints to the compressor when to cycle on and off. The AC works harder when the temperature difference between the indoor and outdoor units is large. So, if your unit is not cooling, the first thing to do is check the thermostat.

Is it set to “cool”? Is the temperature set too high or low? The air cooling system will not cool properly if the thermostat is set to “fan” or “heat.” The same goes if the temperature is too low because it will turn on and off frequently to maintain the temperature, which will lower the air conditioner’s efficiency.

All you need to do is set the unit to “cool” and adjust the temperature. If it doesn’t seem to be helping, there may be an issue with the thermostat itself that a qualified contractor can help you with.

  1. The Outside Unit Is Dirty

Perhaps one of the most overlooked maintenance tasks is cleaning the outdoor unit. It contains a fan that helps circulate air and remove heat from your home. When the fan is obstructed by dirt, leaves, or other debris, it has to work harder to circulate air, which can make your air conditioning system less efficient. So, make sure it receives good cleaning at least once a year.

Use a hose to remove dirt and debris on the outdoor unit. You should also trim any shrubs or plants close to it, so there is at least 2 feet of clearance on all sides. Be careful not to bend or damage the fins. You can use a fin comb to straighten out bent fins. Remember that even a small amount of debris can turn into expensive AC repair Sparks, NV, so it is best to nip the problem in the bud as early as possible.

  1. The Air Filter Is Dirty

Usually placed inside the return air duct or blower compartment, the air filter helps trap airborne particles such as dirt and dust before they enter the air conditioner. It is important to keep it thoroughly clean to do its job accurately. A clogged air filter will decrease the system’s efficiency and cause the evaporator coil to freeze and the entire unit to shut down.

How often you need to change or clean the air filter depends on the air conditioning unit you have, the level of air contamination, and how often you tend to use your unit. A good rule of thumb is to check it monthly and clean or replace it as needed. It is a relatively easy AC repair Sparks, NV that you can do yourself. But if you have doubts, it is always best to call an HVAC technician.

  1. The AC Unit Is too Big or Small for the House

HVAC contractors usually recommend an air conditioner based on the property’s square footage. Other factors are also taken into account, such as the layout, insulation, and the number of windows. Choosing the right unit is crucial because an air conditioner that is too small will have to work overtime just to keep the room cool, while one that is too big will not run long enough to remove the humidity – leading to a stuffy room.

The AC unit size is determined by the British Thermal Units (BTUs). You can use an AC BTU calculator to find your home’s ideal unit size. Once you have the number, add about 10% to 20% more to account for heat loss through the windows and doors. For extra guidance, you can ask an AC repair Sparks, NV contractor to do a load calculation. 

  1. The Ductwork Is Leaking

The ductwork helps distribute cooled air throughout the house. If it is not properly sealed or insulated, conditioned air can leak out, which may end up in wasted energy and money. Hold a tissue near each duct connection to check for duct leaks and have someone turn on the unit. Do you feel air coming out of the ducts? If so, you are dealing with a leak.

You can use mastic sealant or metal tape to seal the leaks, but they are not a long-term fix. You should call an HVAC contractor to seal the ducts appropriately. It is especially important if you have a central air conditioning unit because any leak in the ductwork will affect the system’s overall efficiency.

  1. The Evaporator Is Dirty

Your AC’s evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air in your home and helps remove moisture. It is usually located inside the AC unit, and over time, it can accumulate dirt and dust. Poor maintenance, lack of airflow, and high humidity are some of the reasons why the evaporator coil gets dirty.

Before calling an AC repair Sparks, NV, you can try cleaning the coil yourself. Turn off the air conditioner first, then remove the access panel. Using a soft brush attachment, gently remove any dirt and debris on the coil. You can also use a no-rinse evaporator coil cleaner approved by the AC manufacturer. Just be sure to follow the instructions carefully. If you are not confident doing it yourself, asking for professional help is always the best option.

  1. There’s a Refrigerant Leak

The refrigerant’s purpose is to transfer heat from the indoor air to the outdoors. It relies on a closed system to operate well, so any leak can cause major AC repair Sparks, NV problems. A hissing sound coming from the unit is usually an indication that there is a refrigerant leak.

There are several potential causes for this, such as loose connections, damaged valves, or a cracked heat exchanger.

You may notice that your air conditioner is not blowing as cold as it used to or not blowing any air at all. A leaky refrigerant is not something you can fix on your own. A certified HVAC technician should handle it since they require specialized tools and knowledge. Depending on the severity of the problem, your technician can simply recharge the refrigerant or replace some components of your air conditioner.

  1. The Compressor Is Broken

Considered the heart of air conditioning systems, the compressor circulates refrigerant throughout the unit. If it fails, the entire unit will fail to function. AC repair Sparks, NV that involves a compressor replacement can be expensive, so it is best to catch the problem early on.

It’s not always easy to say why a compressor might break as there are a variety of possible causes, such as a lack of lubrication, a build-up of contaminants in the system, and damage to the compressor itself. Loud noises, hissing, and leaking are some signs that the compressor is having issues.

If you’re experiencing problems with the compressor, it is best to have a technician take a look at it and determine the root cause of the issue. That way, you can be sure that the problem is properly fixed and doesn’t come back again shortly after.

  1. The AC Unit Is Old

Age can catch up to even the best AC units. Their average lifespan is between 10 and 15 years, but some units can last longer with proper maintenance. But after years of use, it is not uncommon for various parts to start breaking down and eventually fail. When this happens, AC repair Sparks NV becomes a common occurrence.

Replacing an old air conditioner is often more cost-effective than constantly repairing it. New models are more energy-efficient to save money on your energy bills. If your unit is nearing the end of its lifespan, it might be time to start shopping for a replacement.

Get High-Quality AC Repair Services from Our AC Contractors 

It is frustrating when you cannot enjoy the cool air inside your home due to a broken air conditioning unit – worse in the middle of the Nevada summer! But, you do not have to suffer the heat for long because AC repair Sparks NV is just a phone call away.

Lincoln Heating and Air is composed of HVAC contractors who are certified, licensed, and insured. We have been servicing air conditioning units in the area for 30 years, so you can be sure that we know what we are doing. We offer repair, installation, replacement, and maintenance services for all makes and models of air conditioners. Our 24/7 AC repair services are available all year round. We know AC problems can happen anytime, so we ensure that our contractors are always on standby. For more information about our AC repair services, please drop us a call at (775) 984-8010!