Close this search box.

Air Conditioner Running But Not Lowering Temperature | Troubleshooting Tips

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

Having an air conditioner that’s running but not actually cooling can be extremely frustrating. No one wants to be boiling hot on a summer day when an air conditioner would help.

These devices are highly popular across the world, and in the US, many people rely on them every year. Depending on where you are in the States, summers can be very harsh. What helps get us through that? Air conditioners.

Air Conditioner Running But Not Lowering Temperature

As we all know, air conditioning is essential for survival during those long hot days of summer. And while it may seem like a simple solution to just turn your A/C on and wait for it to cool down, there are times when they just don’t want to work.

If you’re going through one of these times right now, bear with us. There could be a number of issues, so hopefully these troubleshooting tips will help you solve your problem.

Troubleshooting Your Air Conditioner

Technology has both made the world an easier place and a much more tricky one. When it comes to air conditioners. There are many reasons why it might not be working correctly.

These issues could include anything to do with any critical component, including the filter, thermostat, or even internet. 

Of course, you can always call a service provider to help you with your issue, but there are a couple of things you could try first. Besides, if you can avoid a phone call, wouldn’t you want to?

If you’d like to try to do some troubleshooting before calling the pros, just keep reading! We’re going to be going over everything you can try if you find yourself in this irritating situation.

Make Sure That the Device Has Power

The last tip we have for you is something that seems pretty basic. However, there are a lot of ways power can go missing from your A/C system. First off, make sure that the house does have electricity.

Then, check to see if the breaker box in the basement is turned on (if applicable). Try turning your breaker back on. If this doesn’t work, you may need to get some assistance from a professional electrician.

You’d be surprised by how many times an air conditioner doesn’t work simply because the power it isn’t on. It happens to the best of us, so always double-check this before doing anything else!

Usually, the equipment is powered, but do this before checking any other potential causes for the issue.

Is the Fan or Fan Motor Broken?

Both the can and the fan motor are crucial parts of the A/C unit (see also ‘ Should I Cover My A/C Unit In The Winter? ‘). These two pieces are responsible for directing the air into your home after drawing it off the condenser.

Your product will not work as it should if either of these two pieces are broken or malfunctioning. If you notice a strange sound coming from the house, then immediately check the fan motors.

You’ll have to remove the grill cover on top of the unit to access the fans. If you see sparks coming out of the motor, then replace it immediately. The same goes for the can. Check the connections and make sure they aren’t loose.

Next, check the rest of the components, making sure none of them look damaged. This includes the compressor, wiring, and filters. If you notice anything unusual about any of these components, then contact a service company immediately. 

Check the Air Filter 

If your central air conditioner isn’t cooling your home down, you should check the air filter. The most common reason filters need replacing is because debris gets stuck in them. A dirty air filter can cause the device to have trouble cooling properly.

So, make sure to change out your filter as soon as possible. You’ll also want to clean it thoroughly afterwards.

Dirty air filters are responsible for a lot of issues with air conditioners. Any debris that is blocking the way will prevent the A/C from doing what it is supposed to. Before you check your filter, however, ensure that the machine is off.

Once that’s done, all you need to do is take the filter off and have a look at it. If you notice that it looks dirty, clean it. If it looks clean, you can just put it back and move onto the next troubleshooting tip we have for you.

Try to check your filters frequently, because a dirty filter does no one any favors.

Try Checking Out the Thermostat

Checking the thermostat is another important one to do. An HVAC that’s working but isn’t cooling is likely to have a thermostat issue. You will need to make sure the device has been set onto cool so that you don’t burn yourself.

Once it can be handled, you should check the temperature setting and figure out if someone has adjusted it. It is very easy to mess with the thermostat settings, even when you don’t mean to, so check them regularly.

Accidental adjustments are pretty common, especially if you have recently had the machine serviced. If you find that your thermostat (see also ‘No Power To Thermostat?‘) has been turned off, you can just turn it back on. Change it to hot first, then set it to cool.

You will need to wait a couple of minutes to hear the cooling unit start. Once it does, check your registers and see if there is any cold air coming out. If there is, problem solved! If not, we’ve still got some more troubleshooting tips for you to try out.

A Frozen Evaporator Coil

A Frozen Evaporator Coil

You will find an evaporator coil on the indoor part of the air conditioning unit. Heat and humidity are removed from the air when warm air travels through this coil.

When the heat and humidity have been removed, you are left with conditioned, cooler air, which is when pumped into your home to cool you down. However, this coil can sometimes freeze, which results in no cool air being blown inside.

There are four things you can look out for if you have a frozen evaporator coil:

  • A lot of condensate drainage
  • An increase in your energy bills
  • Ineffective and bad cooling
  • Frost gathering on the refrigerant tubing

Getting a sudden increase in energy costs can be very alarming, but there’s no point in trying to fix this issue yourself. It’s a very complex and challenging issue to deal with, so call a professional.

A licensed technician will know exactly what to do and how to deal with the situation. When you do call a professional, there’s a chance that they could get the problem fixed in as little as a couple of minutes.

If you were to try to do it, you would waste a lot of time without any experience.

Check the Condenser

You will typically have a condenser unit outside when you have a central air conditioning unit. It’s the part of the system that actually cools the air inside your home. In case you didn’t know, they tend to run quietly.

So, if you find that your unit is running, but you aren’t getting much cooler air, you might want to check the condenser. 

At the outside unit, you will typically find a coil that is wrapped around the condenser itself. The coil has a number of “fins”, which are spaced close together. If you are experiencing issues with your A/C, it could be that the coils are blocked or clogged.

It is pretty common for all kinds of debris to find their way into this area. When there is a serious block, the whole system will malfunction.

When this happens, the energy efficiency will decrease, warm air will get blown instead of cool air, and the whole system could shut down.

Take a look at the condenser and see if there’s any debris there. Clean away the debris from the dirty coils carefully – you can use a vacuum or a brush to get rid of anything that’s sitting there. You could even use a hose to get rid of debris.

If you’re still experiencing your problem after this, don’t worry. There could still be a couple of other things to check.

If you’re wondering what could block your condenser, any of the following things could play a part in blocking it:

  • Grass
  • Dirt and soil
  • Contaminants

You should frequently check your condenser to ensure that nothing is blocking it. By staying on top of the debris that collects in the area, you will avoid a major build-up. It’s always better to prevent these problems from happening than deal with the consequences.

Take care to check this area every week or every other week, especially if you live in an area where there are many things to block the coils.

Look For Leaky Ducts

You could have leaky ducts in your A/C unit. The air ducts are there to guide the conditioned air around your home, and a leak makes doing that very difficult. Since a lot of ducts are in the attic, it isn’t uncommon for warm air to travel through them.

When this happens, the air that should be cool will be warmer than expected.

Repairing leaky ducts can be extremely difficult. Because of this, it’s best to just call in the help of a professional. That way, the issue will be resolved quickly and effectively.

It’s better to get the help you need rather than struggle with it by yourself. Get someone who knows what they’re doing!

Check For A Leaky Refrigerant 

Refrigerants play a crucial role in an air conditioner. This is a chemical that can be found in both the indoor and outdoor AC systems. It flows through and extracts heat and humidity from the air from indoors before it gets outdoors.

You can get refrigerant leaks, which then result in the system performing poorly. When it gets too bad, the system could even shut down completely.

This job might sound easy, but you shouldn’t try to do it yourself. Instead, call a HVAC (see also ‘Seven Common HVAC Airflow Problems‘) technician to do the  job for you. Once again, it’s better to get a professional to do something instead of you wasting time or making the issue worse.

While they’re there, the technician can also take a look at the refrigerant levels and do any adjustments they deem necessary. 

What If None Of These Troubleshooting Tips Solved The Problem?

If none of these troubleshooting tips helped solve your issue, then further checks are needed. There could be another issue that you’re experiencing, or the system is faulty. Why not give us a call if you’re experiencing this issue?

If you have done everything you can and still can’t find the problem, or if you have found the problem but are unable to fix it, we can help! 

It’s better to get someone who knows what to look out for rather than spend hours of your day trying to find a solution. We want to make sure that you don’t waste time looking for solutions that won’t work.

Our technicians know how to diagnose issues, and they’ll use their experience to find the root cause of the problem. They’ll then make any changes necessary so that your air conditioning system runs smoothly once more!

Final Thoughts

No one should have to suffer in the warm summers. Your air conditioner plays an important role in daily life, especially in the hot months, and it needs to be working correctly.

If you’re experiencing an issue with your AC blowing out warm air when it should be cold, try the above troubleshooting tips. If you find that none of them have solved your problem, give us a call, and we’ll fix the problem as soon as possible.

Air conditioning problems can be a lot more complicated than they appear, so make the right decision!

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


On Key

Related Posts

Is Drano Bad for Pipes? The Truth Revealed

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases. When it comes to dealing with clogged drains, many homeowners turn