These are the Top Reasons Your A/C May Not Be Meeting Your Cooling Needs

Close Up of Technician working on an air conditioner - Thomas & Galbraith Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing

There’s no better feeling than escaping the summer heat inside your nice, cool home! If your Cincinnati air conditioner can’t keep up, you’re left sweating both indoors and out! When an air conditioner can’t keep up, your home isn’t comfortable and your system is likely using an excessive amount of energy, too.

If your Cincinnati air conditioner can’t keep up with the indoor temperatures you demand this summer, a few reasons are potential sources of this problem. Often, an air conditioning repair or replacement is needed, but sometimes the cause of an air conditioner that doesn’t keep you properly cooled is unavoidable. If a system issue exists, Thomas & Galbraith is here to deliver the solutions you need for summertime indoor comfort.

No one should have to sweat it out when an air conditioner can’t keep up due to malfunctions. Contact the Cincinnati air conditioning professionals at Thomas & Galbraith for better indoor comfort! Our NATE-certified technicians perform a comprehensive system inspection to identify the malfunctions standing in the way of your comfort. We deliver reliable equipment and service solutions to fix the problem and keep your Cincinnati home cool.

Is the Heat to Blame When an Air Conditioner Can’t Keep Up?

Sometimes when it feels like an air conditioner can’t keep up, it’s simply not your cooling system’s fault. Abnormally high temperatures in the summer are a culprit of an air conditioner that can’t keep your home at your desired temperature.

Average summer temperatures in the Cincinnati area are in the mid-80s. Heat waves that come through during the summer months bring much higher temperatures than normal, pushing outdoor temperatures up into the 90s and beyond.

Why is a heat wave to blame when a Cincinnati air conditioner can’t keep up? Cooling systems for residential homes are built to lower temperatures a maximum difference of 20 degrees between indoor and outdoor temperatures. If you want your home to be at a cool 70 degrees but the outdoor thermometer says 95, it’s reasonable that your air conditioner can’t keep up because the temperature difference you ask of it is beyond its capabilities.

If Your Air Conditioner Can’t Keep Up, Try These Tips

Now, a heat wave doesn’t mean you just have to sit indoors and swelter. While your air conditioner can’t keep up with high cooling demands, you can take steps to reduce the amount of heat gain indoors, which works to keep indoor temperatures lower and lessen the burden placed on your cooling equipment.

If a heat wave makes it so your air conditioner can’t keep up, take these actions to limit indoor heat gain and improve comfort inside your Cincinnati home:

  • Change your air filter to ensure airflow through the cooling system is not restricted.
  • Cut back branches and pull up vegetation growing on or immediately near your outdoor air conditioner unit to allow heat to release into the outdoor air from the system
  • Walk around your home and check that all registers are open – closing them cuts airflow to your living areas and is an energy savings myth
  • Block the Sun’s heat from your living areas with the use of curtains, blinds, and shades pulled over your windows during the daytime
  • Dry your clothing outdoors instead of using your dryer
  • Cook using an outdoor kitchen or grill to eliminate heat from your stove and oven
  • Use heat-producing appliances in the early morning, late evening, or overnight when temperatures are lowest
  • Use ceiling fans in occupied rooms to create a windchill effect that helps your body feel cooler
  • Seal gaps that allow hot outdoor air to infiltrate the interior of your home

System Malfunctions to Blame When an Air Conditioner Can’t Keep Up

If temperatures are in the normal range and your air conditioner can’t keep up, a system malfunction of some sort is a likely cause. Contact our NATE-certified technicians to come take a look at your air conditioner and identify malfunctions that prevent your air conditioner from properly cooling your home.

There are a few common system issues that make it so an air conditioner can’t keep up, which include:

Thermostat Problems

The thermostat controls air conditioning system operation. It reads the temperature inside your home and tells the system when to turn on and off to keep indoor temperatures at your desired setpoint. When a thermostat doesn’t read the correct indoor temperature, it doesn’t give your AC system the right instructions. Therefore, it feels like your air conditioner can’t keep up but in reality, your air conditioner doesn’t receive the proper operating instructions to meet your cooling needs.

Dirty temperature sensors have the ability to skew temperature readings, as well as faulty sensors. External factors also cause a thermostat to misread indoor temperatures. If the thermostat is positioned in a location where it is exposed to direct sunlight, open doors, or heat-producing appliances, the temperature in the area immediately surrounding the thermostat is what it senses, which is not reflective of temperatures across the home.

Ductwork Problems

Problems with a Cincinnati home’s duct system make it feel as if the air conditioner can’t keep up – the real problem is the duct system is not delivering all the cool air created by the cooling system. Ductwork disconnections and duct leaks allow conditioned air to escape the system, which means your living areas receive less cool air. Instead, unconditioned areas such as basements, crawl spaces, attics, and wall cavities receive cooling, which doesn’t benefit you.

Duct problems are sometimes hard for Cincinnati homeowners to spot. A home’s ducts are typically run in hard-to-access spots, which makes them harder to visually inspect. Also, small gaps in duct sections aren’t as apparent, though they have the ability to let up to 30 percent of your home’s cooling energy escape the duct system. Bad duct system design with improperly sized ducts or ineffective duct runs also contribute to discomfort in living areas in which it feels like the air conditioner can’t keep up.

Neglected Coils

Air conditioners have two sets of coils that they use in the cooling process. Condenser coils release heat outside and sit in your exterior air conditioning unit, while evaporator coils pull heat out of the indoor air and are located inside interior air HVAC system components.

How do they do this? They utilize their surface space. Unfortunately, dirt, dust, and other airborne debris gather on the coils over the course of normal system use, and at a higher rate depending on indoor and outdoor air quality. Buildup on the coils limits the surface space available for heat transfer and it seems as though your air conditioner can’t keep up with the cooling your home needs.

Coil cleaning is needed to maintain your AC system’s coils and improve their performance. When dirty coils are neglected, system performance and efficiency tank, and other problems such as frozen coils or other damage form.

Refrigerant Leaks

An air conditioning system uses refrigerant to absorb, transfer, and release heat to cool the air inside your Cincinnati home. Refrigerant doesn’t just evaporate or get used up, so there’s no need to “recharge your system” unless a leak is present.

Refrigerant leaks allow refrigerant to escape the cooling system, depleting the refrigerant volume and pressure needed to do its job, so the air conditioner can’t keep up. Refrigerant leaks lead to serious system damage and are a danger to the environment if your air conditioner still uses Freon.

An Air Conditioner Can’t Keep Up with Improper Cooling Equipment

Sometimes, the reason an air conditioner can’t keep up isn’t just a bad component, it’s a bad system. With both new and old units, an air conditioner can’t keep up if it’s not equipped to function the way your home needs.

Old Air Conditioner Problems

The more years your air conditioner is in use, the more its efficiency and performance drop. While maintenance is important, it is only able to do so much toward restoring these functions. An air conditioner upgrade gives your Cincinnati home a new, more efficient cooling unit than what was previously in use. With better performance, your home feels more comfortable and has consistent temperature control. With better efficiency, your cooling bills are less.

Undersized Air Conditioner Problems

Air conditioners come in multiple sizes – they aren’t a one-size-fits-all deal. Several factors are taken into consideration to properly size an air conditioning unit for a Cincinnati home, including square footage, windows and doors, multiple levels, construction materials, household size, and more. Undersized air conditioning systems put you at a disadvantage as soon as they are installed, because they do not have the power to effectively or efficiently cool your home.

With an undersized unit, you think the air conditioner can’t keep up, but the problem is it was never capable of keeping up in the first place. Undersized air conditioners run more often in attempt to meet your cooling demand but fail. They consume more energy and parts wear out sooner than they should due to this frequent use.

A knowledgeable, NATE-certified air conditioning technician considers all factors do properly size a new air conditioning unit for your home. When the right sized unit is installed, the system uses less energy and delivers the cool temperatures you need.

Call Thomas & Galbraith for Solutions When Your Air Conditioner Can’t Keep Up

Get to the bottom of why your air conditioner can’t keep up with the help of Thomas & Galbraith’s NATE-certified air conditioning technicians. Comprehensive system diagnostics uncover the source of the issue, and this diagnosis allows us to propose and implement effective solutions to boost your indoor comfort.

Call Thomas & Galbraith today to solve your comfort issues if your Cincinnati air conditioner can’t keep up.

Subscribe for Savings and Tips in Your Email!