Your air conditioner should be able to deliver cold air on demand. If it cannot deliver cold air on a medium setting, then something is quite wrong. It is true that a clogged filter and condenser can affect airflow and cooling, but a more common problem is a low refrigerant level. Extreme heat is sometimes the problem, but you are better off contacting an AC repair person immediately.
Checking The Filter
Most household air conditioners have filters. This removes allergens from indoor air while also preventing the cooling system from being clogged by rushing particles. If an HVAC system is found to have no filter, then suspect dust buildup on the fins and coils of the heat exchange grill. Call a repair person because your unit might be damaged from overexertion or might need professional cleaning.
A filter might become damaged if it is heavily clogged. A filter should be changed every few months to a year depending on how fine the filter is and how many sources of pair particles are present in the house. If there are pets or a lot of foot traffic, the filter will become soiled quickly. It must be changed or cleaned as soon as it gets bad.
Regularly Inspect and Clean the Condenser
The cold side of the HVAC unit will condense water from air that is suddenly chilled below its saturation point. This condensation will collect in a receptacle and often drain to the yard. This system must be kept clean so that water can move freely. If it is not kept clear, then water vapor will build inside the HVAC unit and pump too much moisture and possible bacteria into the household air.
Check For Frost on HVAC Pipes
There should not be frost anywhere on the HVAC unit or ductwork during the summer. If there is, then the system is working too hard and those pipes are probably frozen. It might be caused by too must moisture inside the refrigerant. A dirty filter can also cause problems with air circulation.
The immediate solution is to turn the AC off and start the fan. This will circulate unaltered air that will speed the thawing of ice. The problem will likely repeat itself until the system is repaired. It is just one more reason to call an HVAC specialist who can clean refrigerant and other parts of the system.
Another idea is just not to set the thermostat below 70 degrees. There is no point in rushing cold air. Forcing a modest HVAC unit to work harder will just stress the compressor and also possibly freeze the refrigerant pipes. Any expert will tell you not to overwork your cooling system.
Proper System Settings For Longevity
Expect to achieve a 20-degree difference between indoor and outdoor air from a properly sized HVAC unit. If a heat wave hits, then trying to maintain a 72-degree temperature will cause your unit to work constantly. This will shorten the life of the unit and might even flat break it. Always attempt to reduce the workload of your system in extreme weather. If an area is routinely hot, then consider purchasing a larger unit.
Know where the emergency drain is for the HVAC unit. If water is flowing from this rather than from the regular condensation drain, then it is an important symptom for when the system has a problem. Tell this to a repair person. Anytime there is an obvious problem with the system, shut it down and have it inspected. It is better to repair a problem then force it to grow larger.
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Maintaining Proper Unit Clearance
The household HVAC unit needs to be able to take in air and push it out without any hindrance. This means that it cannot afford to suck in leaves and cannot afford to have the flow of air impeded. Fences and bushes should not be placed very close to the unit. Bushes can be planted a few feet away to keep pets and children away, but they must be trimmed so they stay at least two feet away from the intake duct.
Nothing should be placed above the outdoor AC unit. The force of the air might blow it away and any resistance might prevent the system from cooling properly. The fan does not need to be sheltered from the rain if it is installed correctly.
It is best to raise the temperature setting when away for more than a few days. Be careful with the offset setting, especially when very hot weather is expected. If the system overworks while the family is away then nobody is present to stop the system in the event of a problem.
Keeping shades closed during summer can reduce the heating bill by preventing the house from experiencing any greenhouse effect. Another way to increase efficiency is to make sure there is enough refrigerant, meaning that the pipes are properly pressurized. This only needs to be checked every few years as the sealed system leaks very slowly.