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Why Your AC is Running, But Not Cooling Your Space

Some of the most frustrating breakdowns of home systems are the sort where the system appears at first glance to be working, but in reality is not doing its job properly. Unfortunately, there's an example of this to be found within the world of HVAC and air conditioners in particular: A unit that starts up and sounds like it's running normally, but is failing to adequately cool the actual space in question.

At My Buddy the Plumber, we're happy to offer air conditioning maintenance, repairs and even replacements for clients throughout Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah. Why might your AC unit be running, but not cooling properly? Here are a few possible reasons.

AC running not cooling

Improper Thermostat Settings

One of the first areas you should check on here, and which will actually indicate there's no major problem within your system, is the settings on your thermostat. If the thermostat is set too high, the unit will run for long periods without ever achieving the proper temperature conditions.

Go into the settings and check to see if it's on "Heat" mode instead of "Cool," as that's a mistake many people make. You'd be surprised how often this happens, and it will cause your unit to run without every cooling the space.

Low Levels of Refrigerant

If you've ever taken a look at your AC unit, you'll notice that there are a number of coils within it. These coils work together in order to help the refrigerant inside them to transform from a gas to a liquid, and this is how your unit ultimately produces cold air.

However, if there's a problem with these coils or the refrigerant itself, it can cause the unit to fail in its cooling duties. The good news is that this is something our team of AC repair experts can quickly diagnose and correct for you.

Dirty Air Filters

Another possible reason for this problem is that the air filters within your unit are dirty. Over time, these filters will collect dust, dander and other airborne particles, which can restrict airflow and make it harder for your unit to do its job.

To clean or replace your air filters, simply locate them within the AC unit (they'll usually be along the front grille) and remove them. Clean them off with soap and water, or simply replace them entirely if they're too far gone.

Not only will replacing filters help your AC to run more efficiently, but it will also improve air quality within your home.

Obstruction to Condenser

As we've gone over previously in this space, the AC condenser is an important component that helps the refrigerant within your unit to change from a gas to a liquid. This happens through a process of heat transfer, and if the condenser is obstructed in any way, it can prevent this process from taking place.

Some common examples of things that might obstruct the condenser include leaves, dirt, debris and even tall grass. Luckily, this is one area where residents can usually take care of the problem themselves. Simply clear away any obstructions and trim back any grass or vegetation that might be causing issues.

However, there may also be some significant obstruction issues that require the help of a professional. If you think this might be the case, don't hesitate to reach out to our team and we'll take a look.

Damaged Heat Pump

For homes that have heat pumps, this component actually performs many cooling-related functions within the AC unit. As a result, if the heat pump is damaged, it can cause your entire system to break down and fail to adequately cool your space.

Unfortunately, this is one area where repair might not be possible, and you may simply need to replace the heat pump entirely. If this is the case, our team will be happy to help.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

Another coil that's important to the proper function of your AC unit is the evaporator coil. This coil helps to absorb heat from the air within your home, and if it becomes frozen, it can cause a number of problems.

One common issue that results from a frozen coil is water buildup, which can lead to leaks within your unit. Additionally, a frozen coil will prevent your unit from being able to properly absorb heat, which obviously has a major impact on its cooling ability.

If you suspect that your evaporator coil might be frozen, it's important to reach out to a professional as soon as possible. This is not a problem that homeowners can typically solve on their own.

Improper Connections

In still other cases, the problem might not actually be with the AC unit itself, but rather with the connections between the unit and the various ducts and vents within your home. If these connections are loose or damaged, it can cause a significant drop in air pressure, which will make it harder for your unit to do its job.

Tightening or replacing these connections is typically a fairly simple repair, but it's one that's best left to the professionals. Our team has the tools and experience necessary to quickly and easily solve this problem.

If your AC unit is running, but not cooling your space, there could be a number of different reasons for the problem. If this is happening to you, contact our team at My Buddy the Plumber for assistance at your nearest convenience.

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