Skip to main content

Answering the Big Questions: Why is My AC Running But Not Cooling?

woman turning thermostat to cold air

There’s nothing more frustrating (at least in Florida) than an AC malfunction. This is especially true in months like these, with temperatures starting to soar into the 80s and low 90s. With summer on the way, every household is cranking up the AC and turning on the fans in preparation.

But what do we do when the cold air refuses to blow? This month, we’re going to be covering the top common reasons why your system isn’t blowing cold air when it’s on.

Why is My AC Running But Not Cooling?

When the outside is heating up, you expect your house to stay cool and comfortable. After all, that’s your AC’s whole job, right? But sometimes disaster strikes and your system continues to just pump out lukewarm, mediocre air. What’s next?

When you’re asking, “Why is my AC running but not cooling?” there are more than a few answers. However, there are three common reasons that HVAC professionals see: a clogged air filter in your unit, dirt and debris blocking the condenser, or low refrigerant from a leak. These problems range from easy-fix to serious, but it’s important to troubleshoot your AC system when this happens or call an AC repair expert for a check-up on your system.

Clogged Filter

man changing his air filter

Pet hair, dirt, dust, mold, and other particles are all stopped dead in their tracks by a good air filter in your indoor air handler unit. But over time, your air filter will become dirty and clogged, and it will need to be changed. Often, people don’t know that they need to change their filter or they wait too long to change it. In these cases, a clogged filter will reduce air flow and keep your home from cooling properly. When your home isn’t cooling, the first step is to inspect your air filter and change it out if it looks grimy. If a new air filter doesn’t solve your problem, then you may have something else going on.

Dirty Condenser

clayton ray cleaning outside condenser unit

If your indoor air handler isn’t the problem, it might be your outside condenser unit. Over time, especially in Florida, the fins on your condenser coil can become gummed up with dirt, leaves, mold, and moisture build-up. When the fins are clogged, it prevents the condenser fan from pulling air through. This doesn’t just lead to poor efficiency, higher energy bills, and more work for your system. Sometimes a dirty condenser can prevent your home from cooling at all, cause damage to your system, or result in a total system shutdown. If you think your condenser coil may be clogged, it’s important to call for routine air conditioning maintenance. A professional HVAC technician can easily clean your condenser and inspect for damage. In between regular visits, you can also help your system run smoothly by rinsing it off with a garden hose and removing debris from the area.

Low Refrigerant

As the chemical that does all the hard work to pull heat from your home, refrigerant is the key to the cooling process. Normally, refrigerant stays in the indoor and outdoor coil, never depleting. However, in the case of a leak, your refrigerant levels will slowly lower over time and cause your system to be unable to cool your home. A refrigerant leak can be a big concern for homeowners; if you think you may have a damaged coil or need to check the lines for a leak, call an expert. Not only can your local AC repair company do a complete check-up on your system, they can also top off your refrigerant levels to get your home cooling again!

Cool Rays Logo long

Leave a Reply