If your air conditioner is not getting your home as cool as you would like, there are a couple of reasons. First, you may need to change your filter. Second, you may need to clean out the outdoor condenser. If these two things don’t work, you may need to call a professional for service. If it is extremely hot outside, you may not need service. It might just be too hot outside for your AC to keep up with the heat.
#1 The AC Filter
All air conditioners have a filter. It is located inside the home, often behind a grill in the hallway. The filter is responsible for the air to filter correctly and to keep the coils from getting dirty. How often you need to change your filter would depend on the size. A 1-inch filter should be changed every month. A 2-inch filter should be changed every two months. If you have a 4-inch or 5-inch filter, it should be changed every 6 to 12 months. You may need to change your filter more often if you have pets in the home, if your house gets dusty quickly, if you don’t vacuum regularly, or if you have a dirt driveway or live on a dirt road. It is best to buy a year’s worth of filters so that you always have one on hand.
#2 Cleaning the Outdoor Condenser
It is essential that you clean your outdoor condenser often. If it is dirty, grass clippings, or leaves on the side of the condenser, turn off the power and spray the condenser with a hose. You should also make sure that no bushes or weeds are growing too close to the condenser. If you are planning to plant bushes, they need to be between 24 and 36-inches away from the outdoor unit. If you have existing bushes, they should be trimmed 12 to 18 inches back. If the unit cannot breathe properly, it will result in air conditioner problems. When trimming the weeds and bushes, be careful with the weed eater. You could end up cutting a wire or pipe which can cause serious issues.
#3 Frost During the Summer
If there is frost on the indoor or outdoor pipes, it means that your system is frozen, and it won’t cool your home correctly. To solve the problem, the AC system needs to be thawed. The best way to do this is to turn off the air conditioner and switch the setting to the fan mode. This will force warm air through the pipes to allow them to thaw, and it can take up to two hours.
If you turn the AC back on and it freezes again in a day or two, you should call a professional. It will keep happening until the issue causing the freezing is resolved. You can try changing the filter, but if this doesn’t work, you need to call a professional.
#4 Don’t Set the Thermostat Below 70 Degrees
It is a bad idea to set your thermostat below 70 degrees, says our contractor James Smith from Las Vegas AC Repair. It won’t cool the house down any faster, and it can cause the system to freeze up, which will cause problems.
It is important that you understand that there is a 20-degree difference between the temperature indoors and outdoors. For example, when it is 92 degrees outside, you can set the thermostat to 72 degrees. If it is 102 degrees outside, you may need to set your system lower than 70 to get your home cool.
#5 Leaking Water
If there is water leaking from an outdoor pipe or over the bathtub, it is a sign that the condensate drain is not working effectively, and the water is draining through the emergency drain system. This type of repair is not a DIY project. You will need to call a professional to fix the problem and get the drains working properly.
#6 The Thermostat
If you have a programmable thermostat, you should not set it to turn down more than five degrees when you aren’t home. When you get home and need the house to be cool, it will use too much energy to get the house to the desired temperature. This defeats the purpose of turning it down to save energy.
Your air conditioning system doesn’t need to be filled with Freon regularly the way that your car needs gas and oil. The only time you would need Freon is if there is a leak. Some leaks are small and hard to see, and some are easy to detect. A Freon leak is something that should only be repaired by a professional. The leak could be in the indoor unit, the outdoor unit, or in the copper lines that connect the two. A tech may tell you that the leak can be repaired; however, some leaks cannot be repaired.
#8 Home Repair
If you are having repairs done on your homes, such as a roof repair or installation, let the contractor know that you have an air conditioning system. You should also tell them that if they puncture a refrigerant line, they would be responsible for the repairs.