Sacramento summers are often blazing hot, making you rely heavily on your air conditioner. When your AC isn’t working at optimal performance levels, you may be left sweating out the heat and feeling miserable. If you aren’t getting the most out of your air conditioning, here are some common reasons and what you can do about them.

Poor Airflow

Insufficient and uneven cooling can leave parts of your home warmer than others. If you have cool air coming from your vents but not enough to cool your home to a desired temperature, you may have a problem with your ducts, air filter, or blower motor.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you have cool air blowing from all but one or a few vents, you may have a clog in your air ducts. You can attempt to clean out any obvious dirt and debris you can reach and see if it helps. If not, you’ll need professional duct cleaning to remove obstructions and restore proper airflow.

A clogged air filter may also lead to insufficient cooling. Change or clean your air filter about once every three months to avoid clogging. If you have low airflow from all your vents, this could be the cause.

A bad blower motor may also lead to inadequate cooling. The blower motor is a mechanical component inside your system that forces cooled air into your ducts. If you have a malfunctioning blower motor, you’ll need a professional HVAC technician to make repairs.

Warm Air Coming From Vents

Warm air should not come from your vents while your air conditioner is running. If it does, several different issues could be preventing the system from cooling the air or circulating cooled air.

Troubleshooting Tips

Check your thermostat, and make sure that the system is set to Cool; if it’s on Heat or On, it won’t cool the air, only heat or circulate it, respectively.

If your AC is on and you still have warm air, your unit could be frozen. If you see ice buildup on your unit, shut your AC off until it thaws. If this is the problem, it should return to proper operation once the ice is gone.

If neither of these tips solves your problem, inspect for refrigerant leaks. You may see water dripping from your unit, which is normal under certain conditions. Condensation from ice buildup happens, especially when it is hot outside. However, if you see a stain, hear a hissing sound, or smell a faint chemical odor, you likely have a refrigerant leak. You’ll need a professional HVAC technician to fix this leak.

Compressor issues are another cause of warm air from the air conditioner. If your compressor is not running, the AC may still push air through your vents, but it won’t be cold. An HVAC technician can inspect your unit and repair or replace your compressor if this occurs.

AC Not Turning On

When your AC fails to run, you’ll definitely notice the heat. If your AC fails to power on, you may have a problem with your thermostat, electrical connections, or mechanical components.

Troubleshooting Tips

Again, check your thermostat. Make sure the thermostat is working. If the thermostat appears to be working, try lowering the temperature to a level lower than the room. If the thermostat is not working, check that the batteries are not dead. If you replace the batteries and your thermostat still isn’t working, call us to fix or replace the thermostat.

If the thermostat isn’t the issue, you may have an electrical problem. Check your circuit breakers or fuses to ensure you don’t have a tripped breaker or blown fuse. If all appears fine, call us to help you investigate further. You could have damaged wires or loose connections that are dangerous to mess with unless you have special training and skills.

Aside from electrical issues, you may have a bad compressor, capacitor, or other mechanical problems. Always have a professional HVAC technician diagnose and repair these types of issues. Messing around with the mechanical components of your AC without proper knowledge could lead to further damage or injury.

Strange Noises

Your air conditioner should run quietly, with only a little motorized noise during correct operation. If you hear knocking, loud banging, rattling, or squealing noises, you’ll need a professional promptly to diagnose and prevent further wear and tear.

Troubleshooting Tips

You should inspect your outside unit. Look for debris or extreme dirt buildup on the unit. Be sure to turn the unit off before removing dirt and debris.

A screw, nut, or bolt might be loose. If you see one that needs tightening, shut the unit off and tighten it. However, do not take your unit apart to find loose screws. If the problem is not where you can easily see and reach, leave it to the HVAC technicians.

Some moving parts of your AC unit may require lubrication. These parts may grind against each other, causing squealing or grinding noises if not properly lubricated. Your trained technician knows which parts need lubrication and can usually diagnose this problem by listening to the sounds your unit makes.

You may also have a mechanical issue within the unit that requires a professional to repair. Never take your machine apart to try to find the source of the noise. Leave the heavy work to the professionals to avoid making matters worse.

Constant Cycling On and Off

When your air conditioner cycles on and off frequently, it is called short cycling. Short cycling means that the unit runs for a shorter amount of time than normal but kicks in more often.

Troubleshooting Tips

Your thermostat might be the problem. Make sure there is no heat source near the thermostat, as that can throw off its readings. The thermostat may also need calibration, which your HVAC technician can do.

Check your air filter. A clogged or dirty air filter may cause short cycling. Change the air filter, and see if it helps.

You may have a clogged line or mechanical problem within the air conditioner. Your HVAC technician can inspect your unit and find the exact cause of your short cycling issue.

In rare cases, your air conditioner may be too big or too small for your house. If the unit is too big, it will cool your home quickly and shut off before the cycle completes. If the unit is too small, it may overheat and shut off early. Talk with your HVAC technician to discuss whether this may be the issue and if a replacement is needed.

At Atticman Heating and Air Conditioning, Insulation, we handle air conditioning problems quickly, efficiently, and professionally. From broken units to routine maintenance and inspection, our experts can help. Our trained technicians understand all the ins and outs of air conditioning. Our company is your top choice for furnace and AC repairs, maintenance, and replacements, as well as handling water heaters, heat pumps, insulation, and ductwork. If you need help with anything related to your HVAC system, we have the services you need. Call us today for ideal home comfort in all weather situations Sacramento brings.

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