If the temperature outside is hot and humid and it feels just as hot inside your house, you may have a problem with your air conditioner. It's understandable that your air conditioner may be struggling to keep up to cool your house if it's that hot and humid out, but it should still be keeping a consistent temperature. If the thermostat is going up rather than staying consistent, it's a problem. Read on for help troubleshooting the problem so you can cool down.
Check The Thermostat
Start by checking the thermostat. Make sure that it isn't set to a higher temperature than you thought or that someone didn't accidentally switch it to the "off" setting; it should be set to "cool". Adjust the temperature to check if you hear your air conditioner kick on. Listen to your system to see what may be going on. If it was a temperature setting issue, set it to a comfortable temperature and leave it alone for a few hours to see if the temperature begins to go down in your home. If you don't hear the unit turn on or the temperature still is not going down, move on to the next paragraph.
Inspect The Air Filter
Take a look at the air filter. If it's clogged then it may not be allowing enough air to properly flow through your system. This may cause the system not to turn on at all, or to run inefficiently. If the air filter is clogged you won't be able to see any light through it. Change the filter to a new one and see if this helps. If not, move on to the next section.
Check The Exterior Unit
It's time to take a look at your condensing unit outside. Check the fins on the unit to see if they're clogged with debris. If they are clogged, turn off the system and give your unit a thorough cleaning. A clogged unit will not allow enough air to get into the unit and will not cool your home down efficiently. It can also cause a premature breakdown of your system. Spray down the entire unit with the garden hose to remove as much debris as possible. Don't use any high pressure on your hose, as you can bend the fins.
Inspect the pipe insulation on the unit to be sure it is covered and still in good condition. This copper pipe that the insulation is covering has refrigerant running through it and the insulation prevents sweating as well as any temperature change of the refrigerant. A temperature change or fluctuation may cause your system to stop running efficiently.
If none of these things were the problem with your air conditioner, you may have a refrigerant leak or other issue that should be left to a professional HVAC technician for help diagnosing and repairing. Call a professional HVAC contractor today for help.