Most of the United States is hitting record temperatures this year. People in the Midwest and South seem to be especially miserable. There is nothing worse in these temperatures than having an air conditioner that isn't cooling your home. There is no reason to be hot when you're running your central air all day and raising your electric bill. Here are some reasons why your home might not be getting cold enough.
Air Conditioner is Too Small
One issue is that the air conditioning unit is simply too small for your home. The units come in all different sizes to cool different sized homes properly. The size of the unit you need will depend on your home's square footage, the height of your ceiling, and your geographical location.
If you're cranking up your air conditioner and your house won't get any cooler, but the air coming out of your vents is cold, this is probably the issue. If you have a two-story house, consider the temperature upstairs. If your upstairs is piping hot and the downstairs is fairly cool, it's a good indication that you need a larger air conditioner. The best way to figure out the size air conditioner that you need is simply by calling an HVAC professional to come inspect your home. They can tell you what size you have and which size would be best to efficiently cool your house.
AC Unit is Dirty
Another common issue with air conditioners is dirt. Many people don't realize that the unit itself should be cleaned annually. While rain can naturally wash away some of the dirt and debris, some of it gets packed into the condenser coils and makes the unit not run efficiently. All you need to clean your air conditioner is a screwdriver and a hose.
Make sure your thermostat is switched to off so your unit doesn't turn on while you're cleaning it. Unscrew the top panel from your air conditioner and set it aside. You don't need to remove anything else. You will see all of the inner parts of your air conditioner, and they will likely be full of dirt and maybe some leaves from autumn that got through the grates. If there are leaves or twigs, carefully reach in and pull them out. Once there is just dirt left in the air conditioner, use the hose to spray everything out until the inside looks nice and clean. Screw the panel back on and then you can start your air conditioner back up right away. Even when your AC is working properly, you should spray your unit out every spring so it doesn't have to work as hard and it will last longer.
Change Your Air Filter
Changing the air filter in your home is one of the most simple things you can do. Your air filter can be located in one of many places. They're most commonly found on the ceiling or the wall near your furnace. When your central air runs through ductwork, it will blow through the air filter before entering your home to keep dust and debris out of the air. If the air filter gets clogged, air will blow through it more slowly, causing the heat or air conditioning to be inefficient. It can even become backed up and send signals to your air conditioner or furnace that cause it to malfunction. The air filter is located behind a large vent. Flip the latches to open the vent and pull out the air filter. The size of the filter is located on the end of it. Simply purchase a new air filter from the store and slide the new one in place.
Your air conditioning can be an easy fix, or you might need a whole new unit. Begin by changing the air filter and cleaning out your unit. If these things don't work, call an air conditioner and furnace repair tech to see if your unit is simply too small. If it's a good size, he or she can find the problem for you.