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Why Is My AC Air Not as Cold as It Used to Be?

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In Oregon, the climate is hot and humid, and a faulty air conditioner can lead to a more sweltering summer.

If your once reliable HVAC system is unexpectedly having difficulty blowing cold air than it typically does, you can blame that unpleasantly poor airflow on a dirty coil and filter.

Your AC unit isn't producing cool air as well as it used to because dirty coils may be hindering its ability to remove heat in your home's air.

It could also not work properly due to a clogged filter and refrigerant running low, which are also the most common causes why you feel warmer these days.

We can talk about how these problems come about and what you can do to solve them.

Is Your AC Not as Cold as It Used to Be?

Before we go off on the deep end, let's start by saying your thermostat may be the issue here. You should ensure its digital connection to your air conditioner is intact and can signal your AC system to cycle on. If you are sure it doesn't involve your thermostat, let's check out your air conditioner.

Thanks to all the warm air outside, your AC unit may have trouble producing cold air. No air conditioning system generates air on its own.

All older or newer HVAC systems absorb outdoor air using a condenser placed outside and transported from outdoors to indoors through indoor air handlers. An outdoor unit and an indoor unit comprise the dual component system of your AC unit.

Here are some of the most common reasons why your air conditioner isn't producing indoor air flow at your desired temperature:

  1. The condenser or evaporator coils may not be doing their job correctly. 
  2. Your AC unit may have a clogged or dirty air filter.
  3. There may be a refrigerant leak.
  4. There is a freon insufficiency.
  5. Your air conditioner's fan or motor isn't working properly.

However, a central air conditioner blowing air into your home utilizes ductwork. A centralized HVAC system is typically connected to one outdoor condenser with multiple ducts linked to various indoor units.

It is prudent to add a disjointed link to the list of probable causes in its duct work.

Air Conditioners with Ducts, Coils, and Filter Issues

If your air conditioner is dealing with issues involving ductwork, coils, and filters, you will most likely encounter one or more of these symptoms.

  • Indoor air handlers cycle on and off.
  • You can hear strange or unusual noises from your indoor and outdoor units.
  • Air handlers are not blowing cold air flow indoors.

How Does a Coil or Filter Affect My Air Conditioner Producing Cold Air?

Evaporator coils absorb heat from your indoor environment and transmit it to corresponding condenser coils for disposal outdoors.

If your AC system is not cooling properly, chances are your condenser coil or evaporator coil is malfunctioning or underperforming. Absorbing too much heat puts immense stress on either coil and affects their cooling performance.

evaporator coil

Evaporator coils can underperform by failing to absorb heat. There may be frozen moisture or dust buildup that is preventing proper heat absorption.

Condenser coil

Condenser coils expel heat that is transmitted from indoors. It also houses refrigerant in its liquid form but expands into a gaseous state by the heat removed by coils.

Of course, these coils are more prone to suffering under outdoor heat and may lead to a refrigerant leak.

air filter

Now, coils and refrigerant leaks are not everything you need to watch out for.

Regular maintenance and checkups are essential because dirty air filters carrying hazardous contaminants may overflow, hindering the cooling process, and contaminating your indoor air.

The blockages caused by the contamination can lead to more damage to your air conditioning unit and harmful side effects to those inhaling what they might think is properly conditioned air.

Dangers of a dirty air filter

While they pose cooling hindrances to your air conditioner, they can also impact your health.

The hazardous risks they pose to your health include respiratory ailments, skin rashes, and eye irritations. Users also report nausea, headaches, and even disorientation.

Think of all those viruses, bacteria, mold, and mildew blowing through your ductwork. You might be breeding mold spores in the ductwork of your AC unit, with colonies sprawling in every corner.

As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the presence of more than 200 mold spores in the air isn't significant enough to cause long-term health issues but is enough to cause shortness of breath, chronic coughing, and sneezing.

The CDC, alongside the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), warns Americans against neglecting to test Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) for levels of mold present and other harmful contaminants.

A proper ventilation system can prevent the buildup of harmful particles in your home. Remember, this isn't just for the air you breathe right now.

Preventing buildup can save your HVAC equipment from absorbing any particles and breeding them in its ductwork. Remember, excessive dust and other particles blowing around your HVAC system can damage different components and cause leaks.

How Can I Tell If My Air Conditioner Has a Refrigerant Leak?

Besides the thermostat setting not being followed, also known as the lack of cold air blowing through your home, there may be unusual noises coming from your air handlers, outdoor units, or ductwork.

If you hear a buzzing or bubbling sound coming from your air conditioner, it is most likely indicating the presence of a leak from its refrigerant lines or compromised air filter. When it comes to blowing cold air, your air conditioner doesn't just blow air in and out of your home.

My AC System: Cooling Cycle

Cool air is produced by conditioning natural air, filtering out particles, and acclimatizing it according to your thermostat preferences. The cycle repeats as many times as needed to achieve your preferred temperature.

A leak can disrupt one or more of the steps involved in the cycle, and when it does, your air conditioner will exhibit symptoms to indicate troublesome issues. Not all air conditioners are created equal. If you have a new system, ask about its thermodynamic or refrigeration cycle, so you may familiarize yourself with how your HVAC system works.

It's best if you don't forget that all AC units require routine maintenance, including checkups and tune-ups.

Most Important parts

Your air compressor houses the fan, fan motor, condensate trap, and refrigerant supply (typically Freon). Any one of these components sustaining damages may require immediate and professional service. While they are all important, damages sustained by the air compressor might incur the most expenses.

It would help if you didn't wait for clogged ductwork, dirty air filters, or low refrigerant levels to warrant repairs or replacements. It will cost you more to replace major parts and have you wishing you kept up with preventative measures instead of waiting until your air conditioner warranted a repair service.

However, do not think twice if you need to replace your AC unit's Freon and other refrigerants. It won't cost you too much to replace or replenish your refrigerant supply.

Why a Routine Maintenance Is Important

Remember to schedule an annual pre-season routine maintenance service for seamless cooling airflow. Cleaning out the fans, coils, and internal filters is a simple and efficient method to keep your air conditioner running seamlessly.

If you want to ensure your AC units continue to remove heat reliably from indoors and expel them outdoors while preventing hotter air from making its way into your home's air.

A professional air cleaner can provide routine maintenance for your air conditioner, but these technicians might not be able to repair your air conditioner.

Things You Can Do at Home to Ensure Flawless Cooling and Conditioning

Start by ensuring the installation services you hire for all your air conditioning systems are reliable. A degree off its installation, your compressor, and its components will suffer. Please don't opt for cheap services that promise professional and knowledgeable assistance because proper equipment can be costly. They probably are if your preferred technician's prices seemed too good to be true.

Call an HVAC Professional

If your fan isn't working right, leading to banging noises, it's time for a repair. Listen intently to your HVAC unit, and don't hesitate to call a professional when you hear anything out of the ordinary. For an affordable and excellent service, stick to professional HVAC technicians trusted by your community.

Who You Can Call in Portland, Oregon

Sunset Heating and Cooling Electrical offer AC refrigerant leak repair and thermostat repair on top of its many reliable and affordable services. If you don't know how to check your thermostat by yourself, you should book an inspection with the company's team to help you figure things out.

Feel free to explore our offerings on our website and book an appointment online.

Sunset Heating and Cooling Electrical

Reach out to the team through our hotline for more immediate or urgent concerns!

Call (503) 500-5866

What Our Clients Say

Sunset went out of their way to help with my project and David was amazing. Great job and look forward to future projects.

-Todd T.

Roman did an awesome job. I had the trifecta, new AC unit ,furnace and hot water heater. Courteous, and competent service. I highly recommend Sunset Heating & Cooling.

-Charles E.

Eduardo provided excellent service when he repaired our AC. I felt his effort was over and above expected. Polite and professional at all times. Good job!

-William G.

Caring, professional and helpful. Thanks for making things happen quickly and getting my Dear friend's heating back up and running in such a quick manner. You went above and beyond for a family in need and that is very much appreciated. Thanks from the whole group!

-Kristina K.

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