15 Reasons For Air Conditioner Failure

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Mark Jardine
May 16, 2024
Heating & Cooling
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"Why is my AC not cooling?" "What are the reasons why my AC is not cooling?"
Are these questions bothering or annoying you?
Air conditioners are a marvelous invention that helps us cope with the searing heat of summer. Especially here in Los Angeles, where summers are brutal or extreme, cooling systems have become an essential piece of home appliance technology. Also, central AC becomes essential when it’s hot outside and you need a cool environment indoors.
However, they are not trouble-free, just like any other appliance. Malfunctioning AC systems are a common problem during summer seasons. One of the most common problems with having an air conditioner is not cooling. Constant use weakens the central air, leading to one or more problems that prevent them from functioning properly.

Why is AC not cooling?

There are many reasons for air conditioners not cooling. This article will discuss 15 reasons why the air conditioner is not cooling and has other issues. Also, we provide maintenance tips to ensure you will have a fully functioning central air season after season.
1. Poor Maintenance
One common reason for AC failure is poor maintenance. If an AC unit is not regularly serviced and cleaned, it will eventually break down. Dust and dirt build up on the coils and other components, causing them to work less efficiently. Additionally, refrigerant levels may drop over time, leading to decreased cooling power.
2. Leaking Refrigerant
Another common reason for an AC failure is leaking refrigerants. Refrigerant is a substance that helps to cool air as it circulates through an AC unit. If there is a leak in your central air, refrigerant levels will drop, causing it to work less efficiently. Also, leaking refrigerants damage compressors, a vital component of an AC.
3. Frozen Evaporator Coils
If evaporator coils freeze, they will no longer be able to circulate cool air. And this happens for a variety of reasons, such as low refrigerant levels or dirty coils. Once coils have frozen, they will need to be thawed before you can use the unit again.
4. Clogged Air Filters
Clogged filters are a common cause of AC failure, as they can trap dust and dirt particles, reducing the efficiency of your central air. Reduced airflow from clogged filters may lead to freezing evaporator coils or compressors overheating. Ensuring your filter remains clean is essential for keeping your AC running smoothly.
5. Thermostat Issues
If the thermostat of an AC unit is not working properly, it causes it to fail. The thermostat is responsible for regulating the temperature of an AC unit. If it is set too low, it will freeze the AC; if set too high, the unit will overheat. Additionally, if the thermostat is not calibrated properly, it will not be able to accurately regulate the temperature of the cooling system.
6. Dirty Condenser Coils
The condenser coils of an AC are responsible for dissipating heat as they circulate through it. If these coils become dirty or debris-filled, they will not be able to dissipate heat effectively and could cause units to overheat and fail. Additionally, dirty condenser coils will lead to decreased cooling power and reduced efficiency.
7. Electrical Issues
Electrical issues are another common cause of AC failure. These issues include loose wires, tripped circuits, or blown fuses. An electrical issue prevents the central air from starting or running properly, eventually leading to failure. Electrical issues also pose a fire hazard if not addressed promptly and correctly.
8. Inadequate Ventilation
If the central air lacks adequate ventilation, it causes several issues. Improper ventilation leads to decreased efficiency, frozen evaporator coils, and overheating. Additionally, inadequate ventilation creates a breeding ground for mold growth inside it.
9. No Response
If the AC fails to respond or shows no signs of life, it could indicate an issue with the motor or other components. If you cannot get a response from your central air, it is best to call a professional to assess the situation and recommend the next steps.
10. Incorrect Sizing
One of the most common reasons for AC failure is incorrect sizing. When the system is too small for the space, it is trying to cool, and it will have to work much harder than necessary to do its job. And this will lead to several problems, including shortened lifespan, increased energy consumption, and reduced efficiency.
11. Compressor Failure
An AC system cannot function properly without its compressor, yet this component is, unfortunately, the most prone to malfunctioning. Poor maintenance, incorrect sizing, and refrigerant leaks can all result in a compressor breakdown; once it fails, the Refrigerant will no longer be able to traverse through the air conditioning unit – rendering it useless.
12. Ice Buildup
Ice buildup is another common cause of AC failure. When ice builds up on the coils, it restricts airflow and prevents the system from being able to effectively cool your home. Several things, including dirty coils, fan failure, and low refrigerant levels, can cause ice buildup. If you notice ice buildup on your unit, it is important to have it checked out by a qualified technician as soon as possible.
13. Fan Failure
The fan is another important component of an AC, and it, too, can fail prematurely if not properly maintained. When a fan fails, it will no longer be able to circulate air effectively, which will cause the unit to overheat and eventually fail. Additionally, a failed fan causes ice buildup, further damaging the central air.
14. Ductwork Leaks
Ductwork leaks are another common issue that leads to AC failure. Leaks in the ductwork cause cool air to escape, making the unit work harder and eventually fail.
15. Other Issues
Several other factors contribute to AC failures, especially if the air conditioner is running but not cooling. These issues can include system age, improper installation, or user error. If you have an older unit that is not working properly or installed incorrectly, these issues could be at the root of your problems. Additionally, if you are not properly maintaining the system or using it in a way that is not recommended, this also leads to AC not cooling.
Above are some of the most common reasons why air conditioning is not cooling. It is important to have regular maintenance performed by a qualified technician to prevent these issues and other causes of the air conditioner not cooling from reoccurring and ensure that your system runs smoothly. But there are some maintenance issues that you might handle on your own. Continue reading for tips on how to maintain your air conditioner.

6 Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Air Conditioner in Good Working Order

1. Check for any signs of damage, such as leaks or broken components. If you notice any damage, it is best to have a professional assess the situation and recommend repairs or replacements.
2. Clean or replace your air filter regularly. A dirty filter causes issues like reduced efficiency and increased energy consumption, leading to AC failure.
3. Lubricate moving parts. AC has many moving parts; over time, these parts can become dry and sticky, causing them to work less efficiently and eventually fail altogether. To prevent this from happening, you should regularly lubricate all the moving parts on your AC.
4. Keep it clean. In addition to regularly cleaning the coils and filters on your AC unit, you should keep the rest of the system clean. Keeping your AC clean will help it run more efficiently and prevent problems from developing. And this can include regularly vacuuming the vents and wiping down other parts of the system, depending on your particular model.
5. Check the refrigerant level. If your AC is not cooling properly, it may be due to a low refrigerant level. You should have a professional check the refrigerant level and recharge it if necessary.
6. Schedule regular maintenance checks with a qualified HVAC technician. Regular maintenance can help you catch small issues early on and address them before they become bigger problems.
Follow these simple maintenance tips to help keep your AC running smoothly and prevent costly failures. However, if your system does experience a failure, it is important to immediately call in an experienced technician for professional repairs. Working with a qualified HVAC technician can help ensure that your AC runs smoothly and reliably all season.

Who should I call for central air conditioner services?

Do you live in Los Angeles and still need help? Then trust no one other than the experienced and professional team at Home Alliance! We offer comprehensive HVAC services for homes and businesses across LA. Our professional team is committed to delivering exceptional HVAC service, especially if the AC is not cooling enough, and helping you get the best performance out of your cooling system.
Also, we have a blog about an air duct replacement cost guide to give you an idea of what to expect in terms of cost so that you can budget accordingly. Book our services now! Regardless of the level of repair or maintenance you need, we can help. So why wait? Contact us today to ensure you will have a comfortable and energy-efficient home all summer long.