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What to do if the air conditioner does not cool?


Simple corrections can help if you're on the fritz AC.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

It's 90 degrees outside and you need a break from the heat. The thermostat is set to 65, but your home feels like 80. And then you realize that something is wrong with the air conditioning.

No need to panic. Luckily, whether you have central air conditioner or a window unit, there are a few ways you can fix cooling problems without calling the mechanic. Do not worry, these do not require that you do something dangerous or technical. These are simple fixes that anyone can try.

Change filter

Problem: Your room or house takes longer than usual to cool off.

Fix: It's probably time to clean or change the air filter on your air conditioner, depending on whether you have a reusable or disposable filter.

Remove the filter (you may need to check the AC manual to find it) and hold it to the light. If you can not see the light, it's clogged. This obstructs airflow and your device is less efficient.

If you have a disposable filter, simply turn it off with a new one. If it is a washable filter (check your manual again), fill a tub with a few inches of warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap. Let the filter soak for 1

0 minutes, then rinse well with clean water. Shake off the excess water from the filter and then allow it to air dry before reinstalling it.

Check if the unit is frozen

Problem: Your AC device is blowing air, but it's room temperature or warm room will not cool.

Fix: Sometimes, with an air-conditioning system running continuously to keep up with the heat, the evaporator coil freezes. Place your hand on the side of the device near the filter. If it feels very cold, it is probably frozen. You can even see ice hanging from the unit.

Turn off the cooling mode and turn on the fan to de-ice the evaporator coils. While you're at it, make sure that the filter and coils around the filter are dust-free. Dust can also cause an air conditioner to freeze.

Defrosting can take a few hours, so go to a movie or go to the mall while you wait.

Very important: Do not use your air conditioner in the cool environment if you suspect that it is frozen. This can ruin the compressor (an important component), which leads to expensive repairs. Either switch on the fan only or switch off the entire unit until the ice melts.

Check the vents

Problem: They have central air and one room not cool, but the others are.

Fix: That may seem obvious, but check the openings in the room, especially if they are on the floor. Debris could have fallen in and clogged the air passage, or a toddler might have clogged game block in the mouth (it happened). Either way, unscrew the breather plate and scoop out anything that could obstruct the airflow.

Clean it

Problem: You've tried all these fixes and the AC still does not cool properly

Fix: The outer vents may be clogged. Disconnect the window unit or turn off the circuit breaker for your outdoor unit. Spray the part of the unit that is outside the window or your house with a water hose to remove dirt, leaves, or bugs that could obstruct the flow of air. You can also use a large cleaning brush to remove dirt from the grilles.

Call the Professionals

If none of these solutions help, it's time to call in the professionals. You do not want to damage your air conditioner or cause serious, costly problems to stay cool.

Look at this:

Hit the summer heat with this DIY air conditioner


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