Home Improvements

Here Is Why Your AC Is Not Cooling Enough

When it is hot outside, an air conditioner is a lifesaver. Modern air conditioners are not only efficient but also smart to help save electricity. However, just like other electronic appliances, air conditioners sometimes tend to run into problems as well. One common problem tends to be that the unit is not cooling enough. Below are the possible reasons along with some troubleshooting tips. Some fixes require a consultation of HVAC repair services.

Clogged Air Filter

Air filters are an important component of air conditioners. Their job is to keep dirt, dust, and contaminants away while providing good-quality air to the house. With time, the air filters tend to accumulate with layers of dirt and dust.

This does not only pose a threat to the people consuming air but also puts additional stress on the unit itself. A clogged air filter could not keep the excess toxicants and dirt away. As a result, these external factors will make their way inside the house and can lead to chronic respiratory and health problems especially if you have kids or elderly with allergies.

Furthermore, a clogged air filter will also make it difficult for the unit to breathe. This means the unit will have to work harder than usual, which will not only lead to an increase in the electricity bills but also a decrease in efficiency.

However, no matter how much it is stressed, the majority of homeowners still ignore this basic factor. To prevent air filter clogging, they must be inspected weekly and cleaned. Most air conditioners come with one or two air filters but the number may vary depending on the make, model, and variant of the unit.

Dirty Coils

Another reason your air conditioner might not be cooling enough is if the coils tend to be dirty. The condenser inside the air conditioner serves as the radiator helping to dispense heat. With time, the condenser also accumulates dirt and dust, which makes it difficult to dissipate heat.

In such a case, both the condenser and the unit will undergo extreme stress. Plus, in the worst-case scenario, the condenser might fail or the unit might experience expensive damage. Therefore, just as it is important to clean the air filters, you should make sure to the clean the condenser unit including the coils as well.

Insufficient Refrigerant

Air conditioners require a sufficient refrigerant level to produce cool air. If the refrigerant level happens to be low, the air conditioner will struggle to perform. Not only that, the compressor will experience stress as well, which could lead to its failure. The most common cause of insufficient refrigerant levels is leakage.

Although this is not common in new units, it is not impossible. In the case of new units, a refrigerant leak could take place due to improper installation. It might be that the technician did not install the pipes or other components properly after maintenance or during installation.

However, in the case of old units, it might simply be that rust, corrosion, or wear and tear has caused refrigerant leakage. In this case, you will need to get the issue fixed immediately and refill the refrigerant. However, if you observe that the compressor is not turning on either, it most likely means it needs a replacement as well. Contact air conditioning repair services Chantilly so they inspect your unit because if the unit is old and the compressor is bad, the expert may recommend replacing the HVAC system.

Faulty Thermostat

Before you get down to troubleshooting such issues and pointing fingers at complicated components, it is always wise to check the basics first. For instance, many people are still unaware of the fact that a faulty thermostat can also cause cooling issues especially if you have an aftermarket thermostat installed.

If you have kids or the elderly living in the house, it might be that they are temperature-sensitive and adjust the settings according to their comfort. In such cases, the unit will respond to frequent adjustments to the thermostat after some time. In this cases, your thermostat is fine.

However, doing so will put the unit under stress. Furthermore, the thermostat might be in need of calibration. This mostly happens when the unit has been recently maintained. Plus, if you have an aftermarket thermostat installed, it might also need new batteries. Try calibrating and replacing the batteries. If not, you will need an expert’s help.

Undersized AC

A common misconception surrounding air conditioners is that an undersized AC unit will help save electricity, which is not true. An undersized unit will only utilize more electricity and cause more stress. The reason is that if the area happens to be bigger than the unit itself, the air conditioner will struggle to achieve and maintain the desired temperature.

As a result, the compressor will remain turned on for hours instead of tripping and saving electricity. This is why it is important to perform calculation before buying an air conditioner. The manufacturer of the HVAC system you’re buying might provide you with experts who can determine the right AC unit size for your house. If not, you can hire an independent expert for that so you will get a better idea of the tonnage of the unit to opt for.

The Unit Needs Maintenance

Modern air conditioners are smart and intelligent but rely on maintenance to perform smooth and carry on efficient operations. As mentioned earlier, air conditioners like other appliances need cleaning and maintenance to prolong their lifespan.

Unfortunately, homeowners ignore this factor, which causes the unit to undergo extreme stress. Professional maintenance doesn’t only mean the cleaning of the unit. It also encompasses inspections so repairs can be done promptly. This way, you can save the unit from expensive and complicated problems by fixing the issues before they turn serious.

If you cannot afford professional maintenance, make sure you perform weekly or monthly inspections and maintenance on your own. All you need to do is invest in some cleaning tools and you should be fine.

The Unit Is Old

In the end, if nothing else works out, it means your air conditioner is simply old and needs replacement. Even if your unit happens to be well-maintained, it will need replacement after a decade or so. This is because the components go through wear and tear and become weaker with time.

In such situations, you cannot do much but simply replace the unit. Some people go ahead with expensive repairs. The repairs are without any guarantees they will last. This is why it is better to save that money and invest it into a new unit.

And, when it comes to buying a new unit, make sure you define your needs and preferences. Consult the experts. You can also ask your friends or family members for recommendations.


Troubleshooting an air conditioner that is not cooling enough can be a frustrating issue. However, you need to be aware of the potential reasons to kickstart the diagnostic process. However, the best way to deal with AC problems is to hire HVAC contractors McLean for repairs. Moreover, you should ensure the air conditioner receives professional care to keep future problems at bay.

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