Why Is My Air Conditioner Running but Not Cooling the House?

Running an air conditioner is not as simple as flipping a switch. Some models have several options for setting the temperature, fan speed, and more. If you notice your air conditioning unit is running but not cooling, try looking at these seven common problems before calling an ac repair technician.

Problem #1: The Air Conditioner Needs to be Reset
This may sound odd, but sometimes an air conditioner that appears to be broken can be fixed simply by resetting it. To do this manually on some models, press the circuit breaker button repeatedly until the power comes back on or flip the switch off then back on. This reset will go back to regular operation, and you can begin cooling your home again. You might also consider unplugging it and plugging it back in just in there was a power outage.

Problem #2: The Thermostat is Not Advancing to Cooling Mode
If the outside temperature is cool enough, the thermostat may not advance into a cooling mode when it turns on. Try setting a higher temperature or flipping the switch from auto to fan, only then back again to cool your home a bit more quickly.

Problem #3: The Air Conditioner Needs Refrigerant
If an air conditioner needs refrigerant, it usually emits a loud noise when running because there’s too much pressure inside of it. If you notice this happening during use, turn off the unit and let it sit for several minutes, turning it back on after it has had time to cool. If you can, look at the outdoor unit and see if there’s a leak or call an ac repair technician for further assessment.

Problem #4: It Needs Cleaning
Over time, dust and debris accumulate on the fins of your air conditioner, which reduces its efficiency. This buildup is more familiar with units installed in dry climates since tight spaces are harder for air to circulate. Use a leaf blower or vacuum cleaner with a long tube attached to clean off excess dirt, then wipe down the fins with paper towels (or window cleaner) after you finish.

Problem #5: Room Doesn’t Need Cooling
If your home doesn’t seem very hot during use, turn off your system. You can always try one of the other solutions first before determining whether or not your home needs cooling.

Problem #6: The Circuit Breaker is Tripped
If you have a tripped circuit breaker, check for blown fuses in the panel box and reset any found. If this doesn’t fix the problem, contact an electrician to see what’s wrong with the system.

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