Why Does the AC Take So Long to Cool Down the House?

When it’s hot outside, you rely on your air conditioner to keep things cool inside. But is your AC taking forever to cool down the house? This is typical on sweltering days, which push your air conditioner harder than usual. However, if it’s not particularly hot outside and your AC is still having a hard time, your cooling equipment could have a problem. Follow these tips to help you troubleshoot the issue. 

Dirty Air Filter 

A clogged filter is the most common reason an air conditioner takes too long to cool down the house. The purpose of a filter is to trap airborne debris that could damage sensitive HVAC equipment. More efficient filters even trap tiny airborne allergens to improve indoor air quality

Over time, the filter becomes clogged with dust, pet hair, and textile fibers, restricting airflow. Besides making your air conditioner take longer to cool down the house, this problem can also lead to higher energy bills, increased wear and tear, and overheating. 

Solution: Check your air filter once a month and change it if it appears dirty. Don’t wait longer than three months to replace the filter or follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you’re not sure where your air filter is located, ask your HVAC technician at your next service visit. 

Improper Thermostat Settings 

Your thermostat must be compatible with your air conditioner to function properly. Then, you must set it correctly to maintain a comfortable temperature. Using a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat provides the best results. 

Solution: If you want to upgrade your thermostat, need help learning about programmable features, or don’t feel comfortable programming a thermostat yourself, contact an HVAC technician at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for assistance. 

Dirty Evaporator Coil 

Split-system air conditioners have an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The indoor unit contains the evaporator coil, which absorbs heat from the air using refrigerant. It’s hard for the refrigerant to absorb heat effectively if the evaporator coil is dirty, making it take longer to cool down the house. 

Solution: Contact our HVAC specialists to clean and tune up your air conditioner. Part of this visit includes removing dust and grime from the evaporator coil to improve cooling performance. 

Dirty or Obstructed Outdoor Unit 

The cooling cycle involves transporting hot refrigerant to the outdoor unit, where it exhausts heat to the exterior. However, if the outdoor unit is dirty or surrounded by encroaching vegetation, the cooling process may be less effective. 

Solution: Gently hose down the outdoor unit to remove dust, cobwebs, pine needles and grass clippings. Then, trim back bushes to at least 12 inches from the unit to improve airflow. 

Refrigerant Leak 

Refrigerant is the key to air conditioning. Normally, this substance flows in a closed loop between the indoor and outdoor units. If a leak develops and your AC loses refrigerant, it becomes less capable of absorbing and releasing heat from your home. 

Solution: Only a licensed technician can repair refrigerant leaks and recharge the system. If you suspect this problem, call our HVAC pros for help right away. 

Leaky Ductwork 

Air ducts are the arteries and veins of your HVAC system. A leak on either the return or supply side can make your air conditioner work harder and longer to cool your home. 

Solution: If you notice uneven temperatures and excessive dust throughout the house, contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to inspect your ductwork. Duct sealing or replacement can fix the problem. 

Dirty or Blocked Air Vents 

Cooled air can only circulate around your home if the air vents are open and unobstructed. Closing too many vents can even throw off the system’s balance, leading to more breakdowns and repair costs. 

Solution: Check the vents in each room, making sure they’re open and unblocked by furniture, rugs or curtains. 

Aging or Undersized Air Conditioner 

Did you install your air conditioner more than 10 to 15 years ago? As it ages, the unit becomes less efficient and may fail to maintain a comfortable home. Likewise, have you recently built a home addition or made other modifications? This could result in an undersized air conditioner that can’t keep up with demand. 

Solution: The only fix for an aging or undersized air conditioner is to replace it. Trust our licensed HVAC technicians to size and install your new unit for comfort and efficiency. 

Schedule AC Repair with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 

If your troubleshooting efforts prove ineffective, it’s time to call in the HVAC pros at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We provide fast, efficient services to get your AC back up and running as quickly as possible. Rest assured that our technicians follow the highest standards of care to ensure your long-term satisfaction. Contact us to schedule air conditioning repair or other HVAC services today. 

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