Why Is My AC Running but Not Cooling the House?


Summers can be warm here in the U.S., but last year’s was one of the hottest on record. With temperatures creeping into the triple digits in many states, it’s no wonder so many of us retreat to the comfort of our air-conditioned homes.

Of course, summer is also a terrible time to realize your AC is running but not cooling. This frustrating issue can be hard to deal with as the heat rises, but a bit of troubleshooting can often help you get to the root of the problem. Here are a few common reasons why your AC might not be offering the breath of fresh air you need.

Thermostat Settings

If you’re lucky, your AC not cooling may be the result of a thermostat issue. If someone in your household has changed the temperature settings, your AC may not work as you expect. Make sure it’s set to “cool” rather than “fan,” and adjust the desired temperature as needed.

Dirty Air Filter

Dirty air filters do much more than let airborne contaminants spread throughout your home. They can also make it more difficult for your AC to run. The caked-on dust, pet dander, and other debris can clog your system and make your AC struggle to churn out cold air.

If your AC is not working, try changing your filter first. Make sure you’re switching to a high-quality filter with a good MERV rating for the best results.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

One possible byproduct of a clogged filter is a frozen evaporator coil. This freeze can also happen after a refrigerant leak or when one of your fans is malfunctioning. If you notice ice on your coils, turn your air conditioner off and call an AC tech from this air conditioning repair service for help.

Clogged Condenser Coils

Your outdoor condenser coils allow your AC to release heat. When they’re clogged with dirt and debris, this heat release is more difficult, and your air conditioner must work harder. However, you may not need AC repair for this issue: if you’re lucky, removing yard debris and cleaning your outdoor unit will be enough to help.

Leaking Refrigerant

If you notice fluid leaking from your outdoor unit, that may be the reason why your AC is blowing hot air. Patching the leak and topping off your refrigerant levels will help fix your system.

However, you shouldn’t try to fix this issue on your own. Refrigerant is a hazardous substance that you shouldn’t handle; leave it to the AC experts.

Leaky Ductwork

If you have older ductwork, it’s more prone to gaps and leaks. When cooled air leaks from your ducts before it has the chance to reach you, it may feel like your AC is not cooling your house. Sealing leaky ductwork is the best way to fix your issue.

Get Help When Your AC Is Running but Not Cooling

When your AC is running but not cooling, the situation in your household can get heated and frustrating fast. That’s why it’s crucial to run through a list of possible problems that could be wreaking havoc on your system. With some simple effort or expert help, you’ll be back to a cool, comfortable home in no time.

As you work to improve your comfort, don’t forget to check out our other guides for tips!

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