Why Isn’t My Air Conditioning System Cooling My House?

As summer temperatures start to roll in, you’ll want to make sure your home comfort system is prepared to take the heat. But what should you do if your system can’t quite get your home to the temperature you set on your thermostat?

If your home isn’t cooling down as much as you’d like, the best way to diagnose the problem is to contact a professional, but there are a few steps you can take in the meantime to help your house cool down and your system operate more effectively.

Avoid setting your thermostat too low

Most home comfort systems aren’t equipped to decrease your home’s temperature by more than 20 degrees lower than the temperature outside your home. Setting your thermostat to a temperature below that differential could mean your system is running for longer periods of time without being able to cool your house to your desired temperature. So, if the temperature outside is 98 degrees, your home isn’t likely to get any cooler than 78 degrees, even if you have your thermostat set to 70 degrees.

Do some post-spring cleaning

One easy fix to improve the flow of cool air in your home is to replace your filters. Most filters need to be replaced every few months, so if you haven’t changed them recently, you might be overdue. A filter clogged with dust and debris adds resistance and inhibits air from passing through, preventing cool air from circulating properly in your home.

Your filter isn’t the only part of your home comfort system that collects dust and debris; you’ll also need to check your condenser, the part of your system found outside your home. Inspect the condenser for obstructions, including accumulated debris, lawn trimmings, overgrown shrubs, grass and other plants that have encroached on the unit. If your condenser and its coils are blocked or dirty, the refrigerant in the coils can’t cool down, which is going to limit its ability to cool the air in your home. If your condenser is looking pretty grimy, having it cleaned might resolve your cooling problem and restore your home comfort system’s efficiency. Be sure to have your condenser cleaned at least once a year as part of your regular maintenance visit, and check regularly for obstructions.

Improve your home’s insulation

If your home comfort system is operating at its peak, but you’re still not feeling the effects, the issue could be with your home. Check your home for air leaks, which could be letting cool air escape before you can feel it.

Your windows could also be the cause of warmer temperatures inside your home. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that windows can account for as much as 25 to 40 percent of a home’s heating and cooling costs. In addition to allowing cooled air to escape, sunlight that enters your home through your windows is converted to heat, raising your home’s indoor temperature. There are a few things you can do to improve your windows’ energy efficiency, including keeping blinds, shades and curtains closed during certain times of the day. You might also consider lining your windows with UV-blocking film or installing double-paned glass for better insulation.

Though these recommendations are all positive steps homeowners can take to ensure their home stays cool in the summer, if you’re experiencing issues, the quickest way to get to the root of your cooling problem is to contact a professional.

If you suspect your home comfort system may not be working properly, or if you have questions about your home comfort system’s efficiency, contact Barineau Heating & Air Conditioning for an inspection or give us a call at (850) 580-4029.

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