Summer hasn’t officially started, but for those of us in Florida, does it ever really end?
It’s no secret that residents around here use their air conditioners a good majority of the year. So, if you discover that yours isn’t reliably blowing cold air like it used to, you undoubtedly have a problem on your hands.
Read on as we uncover what could be going on with your system. The good news is, it may be something relatively minor that you can resolve on your own. But you should never assume this!
First, Check Your Thermostat Settings
If you’re fortunate, your air conditioning issues may be due to nothing more than a miscalibrated or even improperly set thermostat.
First, check to ensure that your thermostat is not on the “on” setting. This indicates that the blower fan will spin, even if your air isn’t being cooled. So your air conditioner will sound like its consistently running, even though it’s not cooling your living space.
You instead want your thermostat to be set to “auto,” which ensures that the fan only comes on when the cooling function is on, too.
Next, Check Your Air Filter
It might be possible that your air conditioner needs a new filter. This air filter is not there to protect your indoor air quality, as many homeowners believe, but rather to protect the interior components of the AC system itself from dust, dirt, and other debris. There eventually comes a time where the filter gets clogged up with that debris, and must be replaced.
If you leave a clogged air filter in your HVAC system for too long, it can lead to a whole host of problems. Not only will you notice a loss of airflow but you can also experience frozen refrigerant coils, short-cycling, and increased utility bills.
Do You Have a Refrigerant Leak?
So let’s say you’ve checked the thermostat as well as your air filter. Your system still isn’t cooling!
It’s possible that you have a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant is the fluid that makes the whole cooling process possible. Amateur or dishonest HVAC “professionals” will try to tell you that refrigerant runs out regularly and it needs to be refilled—what those of us in the industry refer to as recharged—during each maintenance visit. This isn’t true!
Your AC system is supplied with enough refrigerant to ideally last its entire lifespan. If you are losing refrigerant, it means that there is a leak that must be patched up, and the refrigerant must be recharged at that point.
A refrigerant leak will, in fact, lead to a loss of cooling, as well as frozen coils and eventually compressor failure. Once the compressor fails, you’ll likely have to replace your air conditioner altogether. Since you likely want to avoid that, we recommend giving our team a call if you notice a loss of cooling that’s not otherwise resolved by changing your thermostat settings or your air filter.