AC Not Cooling? Learn Why and What Repairs it Could Need | San Antonio, TX

If your AC is blowing hot air or not cooling to the set temperature, you need to call Service First Air Conditioning and Heating. Our team of San Antonio-area HVAC professionals can help troubleshoot your air conditioning system and get you and your family back to cool comfort! Call us or request an appointment online today!

Nothing is more frustrating than turning on your air conditioner during a heat wave and not getting the cold air relief that your family desperately needs. A malfunctioning AC system is certainly something that requires prompt attention to help maintain your family’s comfort but figuring out exactly why hot air is coming from your vents can be a challenge. What’s more, some problems are simple and quick to fix on your own while others require professional attention to properly repair.

Why Isn’t my AC Cooling the House?

If your AC is running, but you’re still sweating, you’re probably asking, “Why isn’t my AC cooling the house?” Well, let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons your air conditioner isn’t cooling as well as their repair solutions.

Your Air Filter is Dirty

Your HVAC system’s air filters are designed to prevent dirt and other pollutants from circulating throughout your house. They’re designed to be cleaned and changed at regular intervals. If you fail to take this step, your air filters can become clogged and reduce airflow to and from the AC unit. This can cause your AC unit to struggle to circulate adequate cool air throughout your home. The AC unit will be working, but not cooling properly. Additionally, your evaporator coil–a key part of your AC unit that helps regulate temperature–can freeze and stop working due to poor airflow. That’s why it is imperative to clean and maintain evaporator coils. Luckily, the fix here is simple (as long as more serious issues haven’t arisen): just change your air filters.

The Exterior AC Unit is Blocked or Dirty

Like your air filters, the condenser unit–otherwise known as your AC system’s exterior unit–needs to be clear of debris in order to work properly. This important piece of the overall AC system is responsible for releasing the hot air brought from inside your home. In order to function properly, your exterior AC unit needs breathing space–or else the hot air will just get directed back inside your home, causing your AC to blow hot air from the vents. As with your air filters, this is a fairly quick fix: remove any structures or debris that could be preventing proper air circulation for your condenser.

Your Thermostat is set to “ON” Rather Than “AUTO”

It seems straightforward: a thermostat set to “ON” should mean that your AC system will cool your home, right? In fact, this setting may be referring to the fan rather than the AC, meaning that your system is just circulating uncooled air. Changing your thermostat’s setting to “AUTO” can quickly fix this problem.

Your Thermostat is Broken

Like any other part in your HVAC system, your thermostat can malfunction and prevent you from properly communicating with your AC unit. Common issues include dead batteries and malfunctioning circuitry; in both cases, your thermostat won’t be able to tell your AC unit to circulate cool air throughout your home. A telltale sign of a broken (or unpowered) thermostat is a blank display. Try replacing the batteries; if that doesn’t work, you need a professional to check the electrical wiring.

Your Condenser Fan Motor is Broken or Defective

The condenser fan in your AC system’s outdoor unit helps to dispel the excess heat sent from the evaporator coil inside your home to the condenser coil in the outside unit. A broken condenser fan motor means that the condenser coil can’t release this heat as it should. Repairing or replacing this motor should be done by a professional, but it can make all the difference in the world in terms of cooling capacity.

Your AC Unit is Leaking Refrigerant

Refrigerant is a key chemical contained in your AC unit’s evaporator coil that directly cools the hot air from inside your house. A leak in your evaporator coil that causes your unit to lose refrigerant dramatically reduces its cooling capacity. Signs that your AC unit is leaking refrigerant include an icy or frozen refrigerant line or evaporator coil, unusual hissing sounds coming from the interior unit or higher-than-average utility bills. A professional can help you diagnose and fix the problem, either by plugging up any holes in the evaporator coil or replacing it entirely.

The Compressor Has Gone Bad

As we mentioned above, the compressor works somewhat like the heart of your AC system, circulating refrigerant and hot air between the interior and exterior units. A broken compressor means that this key exchange of hot and cold air can’t happen. Be prepared: if a professional HVAC technician determines that this is the issue preventing your AC unit from performing properly, the entire outside compressor unit will likely need to be replaced–and replacement can be quite expensive.

Your AC Unit Isn’t the Right Size for Your Home

If your AC unit has never properly cooled your home, this may be the reason why. AC units are sized according to tonnage. Understanding the appropriate AC unit size for your home means looking at square footage, ceiling heights, insulation levels, window characteristics and more. An AC unit that is too small for your home’s size can never properly cool every room in your home. The solution for this problem is straightforward: upgrade to the right size of AC unit.

There are Leaks in Your Ductwork

Your AC system’s air ducts bring all the cool air produced by the AC unit to the various rooms of your home. Leaks along the way can let cool air escape to the basement or attic, reducing the amount of cool air that your livable space receives. A professional HVAC technician can inspect your system’s ductwork for leaks and seal off any fissures.

Your AC Unit is Simply Too Old.

Like any other appliance, AC units lose efficiency and power as they age. A unit that worked perfectly 15 years ago may struggle to bring cool air throughout your home today. Energy Star recommends looking into replacement when your unit passes the 10 year mark. As an added benefit, newer AC units tend to be more efficient and can save you as much as 20 percent on energy costs. A professional can help you find a new AC unit that fits your needs.

If you’ve tried troubleshooting your AC problems yourself but haven’t been able to get your AC unit back to working order, make an appointment with a Service First AC professional today. Our HVAC repair experts have the training and skills necessary to quickly diagnose your issue and prescribe a solution that will get you back down to a cool and comfortable temperature in no time!