End of Summer Heat—Why Can’t Your AC Keep Up?

It’s hot this August in Austin. This can mean bad news for air conditioning systems, since they’ve already done a hefty load of work during the summer, and this end-of-season heat puts them in bigger jeopardy of a breakdown. Our NATE-certified, dependable HVAC technicians are busy with air conditioning repairs in Austin, TX at this time of year to help when ACs suddenly breakdown. We have a 24/7 emergency service for exactly this reason.

But in this post, we’re looking at a problem that may not send you scrambling to make an emergency call to fix the air conditioner but is still a huge issue. We’re looking at the AC system that’s still running, but isn’t maintaining the cool temperature in the house it once did.

Please don’t turn the thermostat lower and lower!

If you currently have an air conditioner failing to live up to its old cooling standards, don’t attempt to compensate by lowering the thermostat setting to stay cool. This only places extra strain on a system that may already have a malfunction. If you normally have your AC set in the mid-70s, you shouldn’t need to lower the setting by 10°F just to enjoy regular comfort. There’s something wrong with the AC that needs to be remedied.

The old air conditioner ready for the scrapyard

One factor to consider when your air conditioner can’t do the job it once did is its age. Loss of cooling power is a major warning sign of an AC that ought to be replaced. Check on the manufacturer’s date on the AC (located on a metal plate on the back of the outdoor cabinet). If the AC is more than 15 years old, we recommend having a new system installed—a far more cost-effective outcome that repairing it over and over again.

The clogged air filter

Turning from the big change to the simple fix… An air conditioner’s air filter needs to be changed for a clean one every one to three months. If the filter is left in place for too long, it will choke off the flow of air into the system, and this means less air receives cooling. Check if the AC has a clogged filter and change it if it does. This may solve the performance trouble.

Leaking refrigerant

This is a problem that can affect air conditioners that have been in service for five years or more. When refrigerant escapes, it reduces how much heat the AC can draw from the air. It will also cause catastrophic damage to the compressor eventually. HVAC professionals can find the leaks, seal them, and then restore the refrigerant charge to the system.

Dirty refrigerant coils

This is one of the more common reasons for an AC to become less effective. Dirt and grime (such as grass clippings and mulch) can easily get into the condenser cabinet and block the coils. This restricts the AC’s ability to exhaust heat from inside. Dust along the indoor coil or the development of mold or mildew will make it harder for the AC to absorb heat indoors. Please leave the job of cleaning the coils to professionals.

Intelligent Air Services—Serving the Greater Austin Area. Making the Intelligent choice today makes cents tomorrow!