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Which Components Should You Check When Your AC Isn't Cooling Properly?

Is your residential air conditioning system giving you trouble? Is your AC not cooling as it usually does? If so, there are a few components you can check before calling a contractor for help. Some problems are easy to diagnose and fix, while others may require further troubleshooting by a professional. Below are four components you can check when your AC isn't working as expected.

Electrical Switchboard

The first thing to check when your air conditioner isn't working should be the switchboard. The switchboard houses the circuit breakers for all electrical circuits, including the one powering your air conditioner. If your AC has electrical problems such as overheating, the breaker may trip to prevent an electrical hazard. If the breaker for your AC's circuit has tripped, you can reset it to power the air conditioner. However, it's advisable to locate and fix the problem that caused the breaker to trip before switching your AC back on.

Individual Thermostats

Most modern air conditioning units come with zoning features. Zoning allows you to control temperatures in different rooms using individual thermostats. If one of your rooms isn't cooling, check to see if the other rooms are getting conditioned air. If they are, you probably have a faulty thermostat in the affected space. Problems such as faulty sensors and low battery charge can cause thermostats to record false readings. As a result, they may fail to signal the AC to cool the space. If the thermostat display has gone blank, you may need to replace the batteries or invest in a new device.

AC Refrigerant

If you're experiencing inadequate or no cooling throughout the house, the problem probably lies with the outdoor unit. One major issue could be the refrigerant level. The refrigerant is the fluid that absorbs heat from the air in your home. Leaks in the compressor or refrigerant line can cause the fluid to evaporate and escape. Low refrigerant lowers the AC's cooling capabilities. The unit may also cycle on and off more frequently or overheat and trip the breaker. Recharge your refrigerant and repair the line to protect your AC from malfunction.

Ductwork System

Homes with a ducted air conditioning system may experience inadequate cooling due to ductwork problems. If your ducts and vents are clogged with dirt, they may impede airflow to the rooms. Similarly, if your ducts have leaks or are poorly insulated, they may lose conditioned air to the surroundings. Therefore, you may notice weak airflow in your supply vents. This problem is common in older homes with ducted central air systems. Clean and repair the ductwork system to restore the AC's cooling capabilities.

If your air conditioner isn't cooling or is providing inadequate cool air, look out for the above faults. Contact an air conditioning repair contractor for professional troubleshooting and repair services.