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Peaden Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical Blog

What It Means If Your AC Can’t Keep Up With the Heat


The job of a central AC is to provide a comfortable temperature throughout the living spaces of your home during hot weather. Yet a surprising number of homeowners will tolerate an air conditioner that simply doesn’t get the job done. It provides some cool air—people can feel it coming from the vents—and some central rooms are comfortable, but much of the house feels too warm and stuffy.

This shouldn’t be happening with an air conditioner that was properly installed and in good working order. If you discover that your AC is struggling to handle the summer heat, you need to find out what’s wrong and what can be done to correct it. We’re pros at air conditioning repair in Baldwin County, AL, and we’re familiar with the reasons for an AC behaving this way. Below are the most common causes of an AC that isn’t handling the full weight of its job.

Clogged Air Filter

This is one of the most common—maybe the most common—causes of an underperforming AC. Thankfully, it’s also easy to correct. Over time, dirt, dust, and debris accumulate in the air filter, restricting airflow and making it difficult for the system to effectively deliver cool air around the house. We recommend changing the filter every 1–3 months and start by checking on it every month.

Lack of Maintenance

More than half of the regular problems an AC runs into can be traced to a lack of routine maintenance. Air conditioners accumulate plenty of wear and tear each summer. Components like coils, motors, the compressor, and drains need to be cleaned and inspected regularly to prevent low airflow, refrigerant leaks, and drainage issues. We recommend scheduling maintenance annually with our technicians (spring is the best time for it). Our SmartCare Maintenance Plan makes it easy and more rewarding to have regular maintenance.

Loss of Refrigerant

Refrigerant is essential for the AC’s cooling process. If there’s a leak in the refrigerant lines, your AC will struggle to pull enough heat from the indoor air. Signs of a refrigerant leak include reduced cooling capacity, hissing noises, or ice buildup on the refrigerant coil. Leaks must have professional repairs.

Short Cycling

Short-cycling occurs when your AC turns on and off frequently, rather than completing full cooling cycles. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including an oversized unit, a malfunctioning thermostat, or dirty evaporator coils. Short cycling not only reduces energy efficiency but also puts unnecessary strain on your AC system, leading to increased wear and tear over time.

Undersized or Oversized AC

The size of your AC unit should be matched to the size and specific cooling requirements of your home. An undersized unit will struggle to cool your home adequately, while an oversized unit will cycle on and off frequently, never staying on long enough to cool the whole house. The only way to solve this problem is to have the AC replaced with a unit that a professional has accurately sized.

AC Is Too Old

As air conditioners age, they become less efficient and more prone to breakdowns. If your AC unit is more than 15 years old and struggling to keep up with the heat, it’s time to schedule a replacement. Investing in a new, energy-efficient AC unit will not only improve comfort but also save you money on energy bills.

Call today to discover The Peaden Way: Service Is Our Passion, Safety Is Our Priority, Satisfaction Is Our Promise.

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