Welp, you’re in big trouble.
It’s hot enough to fry an egg on the concrete outside and your air conditioner isn’t cooling your home very well. In Arizona, this is almost like a death sentence (a very slow and painful one).
So, what’s the deal?
Most people will jump to conclusions and say, “Well, obviously you need more Freon!” But honestly, there are several reasons why this happens.
To make things simple, we’ll give you a few things you can do right now that may fix this problem. If none of them work, you'll need to schedule an air conditioning technician to diagnose your problem.
First things first: Check the thermostat one more time to make sure it’s on the right settings.
Obviously, if it’s accidentally set to “heat” your AC is never going to come on. But also check the fan settings. If you have it set to “on” then the indoor blower will keep blowing air into your home even when it’s not being cooled.
This gives the illusion that your air conditioner is low on refrigerant because it’s blowing cold air sometimes and warm air other times.
Set the thermostat to “auto” so your AC only blows cold air. If that didn’t work, then...
Go to your return vent and check the air filter. Does it look like the one on the right in this picture?
If so, change it (it should be changed once a month). A dirty air filter blocks return airflow to your air conditioner. This makes it harder for your air conditioner to circulate the amount of cooled air needed back into your home.
If changing the air filter didn’t work, then...
When’s the last time you had the outdoor air conditioning unit cleaned? If the answer is “never”, well you may have found your problem. We’ve already talked in detail about why you need to clean your outdoor unit at least once a year.
To summarize, the outdoor unit needs to be clean and clear of obstructions (grass, bushes, tree branches, fences) so it can cool down the refrigerant, which is then used to cool your home’s air.
You can clean the outdoor unit yourself using a water sprayer and a special AC coil cleaner. But doing it properly requires a professional touch. And most professionals will clean it as part of an AC maintenance visit.
If you’ve cleaned the outside unit, and your AC STILL isn’t cooling your home well, then you’ll need a professional’s help. They can check for things like low refrigerant, malfunctioning condenser fan, malfunctioning compressor, and so forth.
If your air conditioner needs repairing, we have a coupon for $50 off AC repairs.
George Brazil has been keeping Phoenix-area homes safe, comfortable and energy efficient since 1955.