You can hear that your air conditioning is turning on and running for an extended period of time, but it doesn’t seem to be cooling the house. This is a common issue that many home owners run into and suffer from for some time before committing to hire a professional to fix the problem. If you’d like to exhaust your options before calling in a professional, try this process to see if there is a temporary solution.

  1. First check to make sure your filter is clean. A dirty filter can prevent air from flowing through the system, causing your bill to rise as it works harder to pump air and also for your home to be inadequately cooled.
  2. Turn off the power to the air conditioning unit and if the filter is clear of debris and dust, check to make sure there is no ice around the coils. If you see ice, close the unit, reboot the power and turn on the fan so the ice will melt.
  3. If the problem persists, you may find you have a dirty condensation drain. In air conditioning systems, your condensation drain removes all the water that your air conditioner creates by draining the water as the system runs. Sometimes this pipe can be blocked as algae begin to form, preventing your air conditioning from draining and resulting in the system not working. In most cases, you’ll be able to tell this is a problem if small pools of water start to form under the unit. The best way to fix this is to call a professional. They’ll need to thoroughly clean the pipe, removing any blockage for you.
  4. Finally, if you’re still not getting any cool air, you’ll want to make sure your compressor is working on the air conditioning unit. Whenever your air conditioning turns on, you’ll likely be able to hear the compressor pumping outside. On top of the compressor is a fan, which should be turning if it’s properly working. If you do not see the fan turning, try resetting the system. Using a screwdriver (note: never use your fingers), try to force the fan blades to spin clockwise by sticking the screwdriver through the top. The blades should move fairly easily and give your fan a boost that gets it operating properly again.

If none of these methods returns cool air back through your system and into your house, your safest bet would be to call a professional as you may need to repair or replace the system. For more information on replacement air conditioning options, talk with an HVAC contractor in your area.