Home Full of Hot Air? 8 Common Causes of A/C Inefficiency

Modern air conditioning allows homeowners to control the climate inside their homes, even when temperatures climb outdoors. But what about when your unit starts struggling?

Most A/C problems have a common cause. In this blog, we list eight of those causes.

1. Blocked Filter

Your filter or filters keep debris from entering your home through HVAC ducts. However, when your filter becomes blocked, it begins to limit air flow. Check your filter and clear away any visible debris.

If you want the most effective cooling, you should clean or replace your filter as needed every three months.

2. Blown Fuse

If you don’t hear the usual noises of your air conditioner coming on, even if you feel some air flow, you may have a condenser issue. We’ll discuss several condenser-related issues in this list, but one of the most common is a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.

If this power change is keeping your condenser from running, simply restoring the power should get your A/C back on. While you’re checking the power, also make sure that the unit is plugged in securely.

3. Dirty Condenser Coil

Like your filters, your condenser coil works less effectively when it gets blocked or dirty. Find and inspect your condenser unit. Look for any dust, dirt, or grime that could impact the coil.

Then, evaluate the landscaping around the unit. Keep any weeds and grasses out of the way so they don’t clog the condenser.

4. Excess Home Heat Transfer

Your air conditioning unit can do a lot to change the temperature in your home. However, your A/C can’t do it all alone. Your home’s climate control also depends how well you control heat transfer.

Check your windows, attic, and weatherstripping for hot patches. These warm areas may indicate a heat transfer problem.

5. Inadequate Refrigerant

Just like your car needs regular oil changes and top-off services, so does the refrigerant in your air conditioning unit. If your air goes from cold to warm, you may have low refrigerant levels or even a refrigerant leak.

If you inspect your unit and notice any leaking fluids, contact your HVAC technician. Do not try to repair a leak on your own.

6. Incorrect Thermostat Settings

Silly as it may sound, one of the most common causes of climate control difficulties is an improperly set thermostat. Before you start looking for mechanical failures, check your thermostat.

Check that your thermostat is using the cooling function. Then, look at your set temperature. A temperature above 78 degrees may not keep you comfortable, but a temperature below 68 degrees could strain your unit, especially if it’s particularly hot outside.

If you change your thermostat settings and notice no change at all, consider having an HVAC professional check for faults in the thermostat itself.

7. Mismatched Filter

A dirty filter can cause lots of problems, but so can the wrong filter. Double check that your current filter fits your manufacturer’s specifications.

A filter that’s too restrictive can cause the same effect as a blocked air filter. If you have the wrong filter, replace it with a correct model as soon as possible.

8. Too-Small Unit

As important as unit type can be, your air conditioner’s design is also a big factor. If you notice that your current unit does not adequately cool your entire home, your unit may be too small or your ductwork may not suit the space.

Have a professional evaluate your current setup and identify any issues.

Whether you think you know what’s wrong or you don’t know how to start addressing your A/C inefficiency, work with HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric. Our technicians can help you restore your home to safe and comfortable temperatures for the remainder of the summer.

If you notice your unit blowing warm air, running continuously, or changing air pressure, eliminate these common causes first.