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There are many reasons why an air conditioner may not function properly, or produce acceptable results, and expensive repairs aren’t always required to get them back up and running. In fact, taking the initiative to do a little troubleshooting on your own may be enough to solve the problem.
Some of the possible causes of inadequate air conditioning performance include:
1. If your home simply isn’t getting cooler despite the best efforts of your air conditioner, here’s what you can do:
2. Check the thermostat closely, to make sure it is on the proper setting. If you can’t remember the last time you changed the thermostat batteries, it probably means a change is overdue.
3. Inspect the outdoor condenser unit (and the area around it) for signs of dirtiness, damage, or cluttering. With the power to the unit shut off, you should clean it inside and out with soap and water and remove any debris inside or on top of the unit. Also, make sure there are no objects or plants within two feet of the condenser unit on each side, since this will restrict air flow.
4. Check the HVAC air filter. If it is noticeably dirty, or hasn’t been changed since you started using the air conditioner, change it immediately, preferably with a pleated filter. Pleated filters are more expensive than fiberglass, but they will perform much better and need changing less often.
5. Check your insulation closely, or have someone who specializes in this field do it for you. If there are noticeable gaps, or holes, or open spots, you can either purchase roll and batt insulation and install it yourself, or bring in the professionals to add spray foam insulation, which will do an outstanding job of filling in around objects and existing insulation.
6. If you see any signs of frayed or damaged wiring, contact an electrician and ask them to come to your home to take a look. And even if you don’t see obvious signs of damage, an occasional inspection of your electrical system will give you peace of mind.
7. If heat gain through windows is a problem, install blinds, blackout curtains, awnings, or low-e film that blocks UV radiation.
If you can’t figure out what’s wrong with your air conditioner, or if you trace the problem to something that is beyond your ability to manage, please call us at ABE to ask for our expert assistance. Our trained and certified technicians can diagnose any problem and fix it, or suggest the best solution if the trouble doesn’t directly involve the performance of your HVAC system.