In states like Utah, the climate is dryer and hotter, and faulty air conditioners can be more than a nuisance.
If your trusty air conditioner is suddenly taking longer to cool your home than usual, various reasons may be to blame for all that pesky warm air that just won’t go away.
Your AC system might not be able to fulfill your desired temperature due to two main reasons:
- Dirty air filters
- Refrigerant leaks
Here, we will talk about each of their underlying causes and how to resolve them.
What’s Wrong with My Air Conditioner?
An AC unit that can’t cool your house may be facing immense stress from higher outdoor temperatures.
Your home’s warm air may be harder to cool due to the heat absorbed by your outdoor unit.
An air quality expert will tell you that outdoor temperatures hinder any air conditioner’s ability to make or keep your house cool.
Air conditioners can only condition the air, but none can generate their own.
How Does the Air Outside Get Into My Home?
An outdoor unit, otherwise known as a condenser unit, absorbs outdoor air and conditions it by altering its temperature and filtering out any contaminants.
While air filters sort contaminants, they can gather and collect everything filtered from the outdoor air.
When filter tubes and screens fill up, it doesn’t only interfere with the ability of your indoor unit to cool your house but can also release contaminant overflow into your indoor air.
You can avoid buildup by ensuring the quality of your home’s air is kept in check.
You should deploy natural and mechanical ventilation systems regularly to avoid contaminants from collecting indoors.
An air conditioner has its own air vents built into its system.
Still, it helps to have backup systems that help clean your ambient air, which may be as simple as opening doors and windows.
If you are experiencing uneven temperatures, your AC’s built-in vents may be to blame.
Blockages can hinder ventilation from the outside, but clogged filters can cause internal blockades of their own.
If it takes your AC system too long to cool air, it may be time to clean out your filters.
How to Clean a Dirty Air Filter
If your air conditioner has an accessible air filter, you can get away with cleaning it on your own.
- Turn your air conditioner OFF.
- Unplug it from its Power Source.
- Check the air vents of your indoor air conditioner.
- Dismantle any visible air filter.
- Vacuum-up particles stuck to the filter.
- Brush off any particles left on the filter.
- Submerge your filter into a mixture of vinegar and warm water for one hour.
- Rinse the filter through cold water. (Don’t use a hose with pressurized water.)
- Dry with a blower or hang it somewhere clean.
- Reinstall the filter.
Do not forget to lock it in place properly. There are usually small “teeth” protruding from either end that is used to latch the filter in place.
However, it would be best to remember that you will only be cleaning these filters on a surface level.
The filters that may be accessible to you typically only catch larger particles like pet hair, fabric, and dust bunnies.
The more significant filters are usually found inside your indoor unit.
An AC filter that is within your air conditioner requires special skills and equipment to access, and managing its maintenance isn’t simple.
Still, all filters play a pivotal role in properly conditioned air.
Have an HVAC professional look into your indoor and outdoor units. An AC technician will be able to give internal systems a thorough cleaning.
Remember, excessive dust won’t only settle on accessible filters.
If you have cleaned out your filters by yourself and still not getting enough air at your set thermostat temperature, chances are the issues lie with internal filters.
Does a Central Air Conditioner Have Air Filters?
Every air conditioning system has an air filter. Filtration is essential in the cooling process of an AC system.
While ductless mini-split systems work on a closed loop transmission, a central air conditioner with a dirty air filter can spread contaminants to more parts of your home.
It can be even more hazardous than ductless mini-split systems operating on more minor scales.
Your indoor air can suffer from a dirty air filter and affect every room in your house. It is imperative that you have an HVAC specialist routinely check on your ductwork and indoor units.
Dangers of a dirty air filter
A dirty air filter carries contaminants like bacteria, viruses, mold spores, mildew, dander, and dust mites.
While filters are meant to keep them locked in, all these hazardous particles are spread through your home without proper maintenance, including routine cleaning.
Your home’s warm air spreads mold spores better, thriving on humidity and higher temperatures.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released statements regarding Air Quality control and its role in your health and comfort.
If you have inexplicable allergies and other respiratory ailments, you can thank dirty air filters for those.
However, a refrigerant leak may also be to blame for the deficiency of your AC’s ability to cool your home.
How Is My Air Conditioner Affected By a Refrigerant Leak?
While we are already speaking of dirty air filters contaminating your AC system, particles may spread and lead to dirty condenser coils.
In case you didn’t know, all HVAC systems have a chemical agent that helps cool your home, known as refrigerant.
The refrigerant absorbs your home’s ambient heat.
During standard refrigerant cycles, ridding your home of heat comes first. Newly conditioned air can fill up your home more efficiently by not taking as much of long time to cool your home.
Your AC’s evaporator coil found inside your indoor air conditioner holds refrigerant absorbing warm indoor air before transporting it to the corresponding condenser coils found in your outdoor unit.
Excessive dust blowing through AC takes away from more than its sanitation score.
How Can a Refrigerant Leak Lead to Emergency AC Repair?
Dust can scratch through different components in your air conditioning system, causing abrasions to refrigerant lines, coils, and wires, leading to various leaks.
Moisture can freeze during your typical cooling process and cause more damage to your evaporator coil.
Refrigerant lines can also cause ice buildup disrupting your AC’s ability to cool your home even further.
A refrigerant leak is more hazardous than a dirty air filter.
While your new air conditioner can cool your home just fine, leaks can be detrimental, preventing it from being able to cool your home ever again.
That’s right. Low refrigerant levels and leaky ducts won’t only produce as much heat as the sun’s surface.
Your AC cycling on and off can surge your energy bills and eventually lead to short-circuiting your home’s wiring.
Central ac system and leaky ducts
Central AC systems can deal with worse due to leaky ducts housing harmful contaminants.
When leaks affecting your condenser coil and evaporator coil turn into ductwork leaks, it can deteriorate its entire internal system.
Ducts housing warm air are perfect breeding grounds for mold colonies. Mildew can build up over time, and simple cleaning of indoor units won’t be enough.
Enough refrigerant freezing your coils will not only take your home a long time to cool, but it might never reach the set temperature that suits your comfort.
How Can I Tell if My AC System Has Leaky Ducts?
You already know one way to tell would be your HVAC taking longer to cool.
However, there are other things you can take as serious indications for leaky ductwork.
- AC that is set to the lowest temperature, producing warm air.
- Your AC is cycling on and off.
- An unusual bubbling sound is coming from your outdoor unit.
What Should I Do About a Refrigerant Leak
Call for air conditioning repair as soon as possible to avoid major technical or hazardous problems.
You can save both your indoor and outdoor units by calling a professional with the proper tools to give your entire system a thorough cleaning.
When It’s Time to Call a Professional HVAC Technician
Call a professional at any sign of leaky ductwork unless you want to crawl in there yourself. It would help if you also called an HVAC specialist after hearing any unusual sounds coming from your indoor or outdoor unit.
Who to Call if You Are From Sandy, Utah
If you are having AC issues and can’t wait to walk back into a cool house, you can avail of a reliable company offering the same-day service right in Sandy, Utah!
AC Maintenance: One-stop Heating and air conditioning
A thorough, reliable, affordable, fast, and friendly service is just waiting for your call.
You will feel cool in no time! Please take advantage of our same-day service offerings, including inspection, repair, and replacement.