Why Is My Air Conditioner Running But Not Cooling The House?

Moncrief Heating and Air Conditioning technician testing air conditioning unit running but not cooling

Air conditioners can have a wide array of problems. One of the most common ones is that they seem to be working, they’re running, but it’s not cooling the house! This can be frustrating, especially during the hot summer months. 

Depending on when you see the issue, and how it manifests, it could be one of several different issues. Let’s go over how you can tell what’s causing it.

What Causes Air Conditioners To Stop Cooling The House?

Air Filter Problems

If you see your AC unit is running all the time without cooling the home, the first thing you should do is look at the air filter. This is the easiest problem to solve, and doing so doesn’t require hiring an HVAC technician. 

Clogged air filters cause poor airflow. Poor airflow makes it hard, and sometimes impossible, to remove excess moisture from the air. It also causes problems with the air conditioner itself. A clogged air filter could prevent air from reaching the coils in your AC unit, making it hard to remove humidity. The end result is a less efficient air conditioner that blows warm air.

You may also be using the wrong air filter for your HVAC system. Make sure to use air filters with a MERV rating that matches the recommended rating for your system.

Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant is the stuff that makes it possible for your air conditioner to cool air. It passes through coils in your AC unit that cause it to change state from liquid to gas and back again, over and over. This process cools the air that passes through the unit, just like the air in your refrigerator, and is blown into the home via the blower fan and passed through the ducts.

Because of how refrigerant works, it’s not a resource that ever runs out. There’s never any reason to refill or replace the refrigerant in an air conditioning unit. If your system is low on refrigerant, it’s because there’s a leak.

Refrigerant leaks can be caused by all kinds of factors. It could be that something got into the system and broke the tubes that pass refrigerant through the coils. It could be that something damaged the AC unit itself.

Ultimately, a refrigerant leak requires AC repair. Call an HVAC technician if you suspect that this is the issue.