What to Do When Your Air Conditioner Isn’t Performing

Home air conditioning is a lifesaver in the heat of summer. Without it, there would be days where you wouldn't be able to do much more than languishing in bed, cooling yourself with a damp towel and longing for cooler times. Thank goodness for air conditioners.

Unfortunately, however, sometimes your air conditioner might not be performing quite as well as you'd like. You can tell it's on and working – it's cooling the air a bit – but there's still too much hot stickiness, and you don't feel entirely comfortable. Before you call out a professional to take a look, here's what you can do to try and work out and fix the problem of your air conditioner not cooling sufficiently.

Check the thermostat

It sounds obvious, but it's easy to forget such a simple step when you're sweltering and concerned that your air conditioning is about to give up the ghost. Sometimes thermostat controls get knocked or kids mess with them, so make sure the temperature is set where it should be. If it is, try adjusting it a little at a time, and see if you can get a better result. You might just be facing a particularly warm day where the usual setting isn't enough.

Block out heat

Air conditioning can only do so much, and if it's not performing at its best, it might just be losing the battle against the heat outside. Close any windows that are open, and try pulling your curtains closed. Blocking out the sunlight can make quite a drastic difference in some cases.

Check the evaporator

Only carry out this step if you're sure of what you're doing to avoid causing any damage or injuring yourself.

Turn off the power to your air conditioner unit and remove the covering panel. There may be a specific panel covering the evaporator coil. The evaporator can become covered with dirt and dust, which clogs the system and reduces overall performance. Clean it carefully and put everything back together, then see if the output improves.

Check the filter

The filter is easier to locate than the evaporator, but you should still exercise caution. Isolate the power and remove the cover. You should be able to spot the filter right away, and it should slide out of its housing quite easily. If it's dusty, you can shake it clean or use a vacuum cleaner on a low setting. If it's particularly dirty, you may need to use water and a gentle detergent to get it clean. The filter should be cleaned at least once a month to keep the air conditioner running properly.

For additional information and advice, contact an air conditioning repair service in your area.