Air conditioning is one of the greatest inventions for the Minneapolis weather, just after indoor heating. The summer is a great time to be outside because there is so much to do, but the best part is knowing you’ll go back into a cool home to relax in. When it isn’t cooling as much as it used to, your home could become uncomfortable or even not livable. It’s important to remember that there will always be warmer days that make your home feel warmer than usual, but if your air conditioner is not consistently cooling after a few days, it will need to be checked. First, there are parts that you can check, then there are parts that will need to be checked by an HVAC professional.
When the temperature isn’t what it should be, the first thing to always check is your thermostat. If the settings were changed accidentally, that could be what made the difference in temperature in your home. The settings you’ll want to look at are that your thermostat is turned on, set to cool, and set to the temperature you prefer. It’s the easiest solution, but it is common because if you had an HVAC professional come in recently, or people that like to mess with the thermostat, the settings might have been changed. On an electrical side, you will also want to see if your circuit breaker tripped and turned off your air conditioner.
The second part of your HVAC units you should check is your air filter. Before you remove your air filter, make sure your units are turned off to avoid damage to you and your system. When you do check the filter, you are checking for dirt, dust, and other things that could block the airflow into your home. It is recommended to change your air filter every three months to avoid any damage to your air conditioner. If it has been a while, or if it is dirty, change your air filter. If it doesn’t help, then it’s time to check two more places before calling your HVAC professionals.
Most air conditioners have two units: one inside and one outside. The condenser is the unit outside that takes in the air and cools it, which could lead to a lot of debris getting pulled in as well. Inside the condenser are coils that can become easily blocked by dirt, leaves, and other debris that you’ll find outside. If it is covered, the hot air is kept inside and there isn’t any air coming in to cool. Larger debris, like bushes and branches, are easy to clean. Smaller debris inside the outdoor unit can be a little harder to clean. You can use gentle settings on a vacuum or a water hose to clean out the dirt without harming your air conditioner. If there is other debris that you can’t get out, call your HVAC professionals to safely take it apart to clean.
Your air ducts work hard to distribute the cool air in your home. If your vents are covered, that might be what is causing your home to feel warmer. Another issue with your air ducts could be that they are cracked or have holes in the ductwork. This will need a professional to come out to find and fix the broken air ducts.
At this point, you’ll want to call your HVAC professional to make sure any repairs are done safely and correctly. Refrigerant is the liquid used to cool the air going into your home. When the refrigerant levels are low, the air won’t be cooled as much as usual. However, refrigerant doesn’t get used up over time like gas. Just like any liquid, when there is a gap or hole, the refrigerant will find it. If your refrigerant is low, there is a good chance that there is a leak that will need to be fixed before refilling the refrigerant.
The evaporator coil is located in your indoor unit and can freeze to cause a lot of problems. It is located inside and usually in the fan coil cabinet. It removes the heat from the air using the refrigerant and constantly is taking in warm air to cool. If there is an issue with your air conditioning, the evaporator coil can freeze and cause many problems. If you turn off your air conditioner for a while, the ice will start to melt, but you should still contact your HVAC professionals. Ice can be very damaging to your air conditioner, so it will need to be checked for any breaks or holes.
If you need help with your air conditioner, give us a call! We are happy to help you get back the comfort in your home. Check out our comfort care program to see how we can help prevent these issues by stopping by only two times a year.