You may have a working central AC unit, but if your home isn’t cooling down efficiently, you won’t be able to enjoy the cool, dry air you desire. Your AC unit may be running, with no cold air blowing out of your vents. Or you may have parts of the house that are cool, with other parts that are still too warm. You could also suffer from an AC unit that runs excessively long, eventually cooling the entire house but taking forever to do so.

What’s the problem? And what steps can you take to fix it?

Why You Should Call a Professional

The best thing you can do in this situation is call a professional HVAC repair company. Professional HVAC technicians will be able to quickly diagnose the problem, saving you time and sparing you the runaround. They’ll also be able to fix most issues quickly, so you don’t have to go through the trial and error of attempting to fix the problem yourself.

If you’re dealing with excessive heat during a heatwave, this is even more important. While irregular or inconsistent cooling during reasonable temperatures is little more than an inconvenience, a total lack of air conditioning in peak summer temperatures can be deadly. Don’t underestimate the importance of your cooling system.

Potential Issues to Solve

With an inefficient cooling system in place, there could be several potential issues at play:

1. Your AC unit is too small. First, you’ll need to think about the size and capacity for your AC unit. Central AC units are rated based on how much cooling capacity they can provide. Generally, the more you pay for a unit, the more powerful you can expect the unit to be. The bigger your house, the bigger your unit will have to be to cool the house adequately. If your current AC unit simply isn’t big enough to cool the home effectively, you’re going to end up with disappointing results. Of course, you also shouldn’t buy a unit that’s too big; doing so can result in its own kind of inefficiency, since the unit will stop and start frequently.

2. Your filter needs changed. Too many homeowners neglect to realize just how important it is to change the air filter of your HVAC system. This air filter is designed to collect dust, dirt, and other particles before they reach the sensitive internal components of your equipment – and avoid restricting air flow in the process. If your filter is dirty, you won’t pull enough air to cool the home efficiently.

3. You need refrigerant. Refrigerants are materials that, as their name suggests, work to remove thermal energy from the air. They’re a key component of air conditioners, refrigerators, and other appliances that need regular cooling. If your unit is leaking refrigerant, or if your levels have gone down subtly over time, your unit won’t work the way it used to.

4. Your thermostat isn’t working properly. It’s also possible that your thermostat isn’t working properly. If it’s run out of batteries or if it has completely malfunctioned, your AC unit probably won’t work at all. But it could also be the case that your thermostat isn’t registering the internal temperature of your home accurately.

5. Your coils are dirty. Central AC units rely on an outdoor unit equipped with condenser coils to provide a mechanism for cooling. If those coils become clogged with dirt, dust, or debris, or if they become warped or damaged, they won’t be able to do their cooling job properly. Even a simple cleaning and straightening can make a big difference.

6. A central component is damaged or missing. Like many household appliances, central AC units are complex pieces of machinery that rely on a number of closely interrelated internal components. If even one of those components is damaged or missing, it could compromise the effectiveness of the entire setup.

7. Your home doesn’t have a good ventilation system. Your AC unit may be generating cold air to blow throughout the house, but if you don’t have a good ventilation system, that cold air isn’t going to reach every room. Older houses sometimes have inefficient venting systems that make it hard to cool a home effectively.

8. You aren’t circulating air. If your ventilation system is inadequate, you can mitigate the problem by circulating air with ceiling fans and other air distribution tools.

After correcting these possible issues, either by yourself or with the help of a qualified HVAC technician, you should be in a position to cool your home much more efficiently. With a working air conditioner, the summer heat is much more tolerable – and you’ll get to be comfortable in your own home again!