What Does It Mean When Your AC Runs But Doesn’t Cool in Arnold, MD?

When summer hits Arnold, Maryland, the last thing you want is for your air conditioner to run without cooling your home. This frustrating issue can make the hottest days in Anne Arundel County unbearable and leave you searching for answers.

To understand why your AC might be running but not cooling, Grove Heating & Cooling explains how the air conditioner works and common problems that can lead to a lack of cool air.

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

An air conditioner is a complex system that controls the temperature, humidity, and overall air quality in your home. Here’s a basic overview of how the entire system operates:

  1. Thermostat Sensing: The process begins when your thermostat detects that the indoor temperature has risen above your desired setting. It signals the air conditioning system to start cooling.
  2. Refrigerant Cycle: The heart of your AC system is the refrigerant, a chemical compound that absorbs heat from your home and releases it outside. The refrigerant travels through a closed loop of copper coils and components, changing states between liquid and gas to transfer heat effectively.
  3. Evaporator Coil: Inside your home, the refrigerant flows through the evaporator coils located in the indoor unit. As warm air from your home passes over these coils, the refrigerant absorbs the heat, cooling the air.
  4. Blower Fan: The cool air is circulated through your home via the blower fan, distributing the conditioned air through ductwork and vents.
  5. Compressor: The refrigerant, now in a gaseous state, travels to the compressor located in the outdoor condenser unit. The compressor increases the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant, preparing it for the next stage of heat release.
  6. Condenser Coil: The high-pressure refrigerant moves through the condenser coils in the outdoor unit. Here, it releases the absorbed heat to the outside air, aided by a condenser unit fan that blows air across the coils. The refrigerant then returns to a liquid state and cycles back to the indoor unit and evaporator coil to continue the process.

Common Reasons for an Air Conditioner Running but Not Cooling

If your air conditioner is running but not cooling your home, several issues could be at play. Here are the most common reasons and what you need to do to fix them or when to call an HVAC professional for air conditioning repair in Arnold, MD:

Dirty Air Filter

A clogged or dirty filter can restrict airflow, causing your AC to work harder without effectively cooling your home. Check your air filter and replace it if it is dirty.

Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant leaks cause the AC unit to lose refrigerant, which negatively impacts cooling efficiency. Air is not as cold as it should be, and you may have ice buildup on the refrigerant lines or evaporator coil. A professional HVAC technician will need to locate and repair the leak, and then recharge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant.

Thermostat Issues

If your thermostat is not set correctly or is not communicating properly with your AC unit, it may be the cause of your cooling issue. Ensure your thermostat is set correctly and functioning properly. Sometimes, a simple recalibration or battery replacement can solve the problem.

Dirty or Blocked Condenser Coils

The condenser coils in the outdoor unit can become dirty or blocked by debris. You may notice warm air blowing from the vents and increased energy bills. Clean the coils and remove any obstructions around the condenser unit to improve heat exchange efficiency.

Faulty Compressor

A faulty compressor can hinder the refrigerant cycle, preventing your AC system from cooling. In addition to a lack of cooling, you may also hear unusual noises from the condenser unit. This is a more serious issue that typically requires professional air conditioner repair or AC replacement.

Leaky or Disconnected Ductwork

Duct leaks cause cool air to escape into unconditioned areas, and allow warm air to enter the system. This leads to uneven cooling, higher energy bills, and some rooms that are cooler than others. Inspect your ductwork for leaks or disconnections. A qualified professional can seal these leaks to improve airflow and cooling efficiency.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

Frozen coils can result from restricted airflow or low refrigerant levels due to refrigerant leaks. If ice has formed on the coil, turn off the air conditioning system and allow the coils to thaw completely. Check your air filter and replace it if it is dirty as it could be responsible for the airflow issue.

Capacitor or Relay Problems

The capacitor and relays are electrical components that help start and run the compressor and fans. Faulty components can prevent your AC from functioning correctly and may need replacement by a professional.

Aging System

If your air conditioner is more than 10-15 years old, it may be time to consider air conditioning replacement and upgrading to a newer, more efficient model. Aging systems can struggle to keep up with cooling demands and are less energy-efficient.

Air Conditioning Repair in Arnold, Maryland

When your air conditioner runs but doesn’t cool your home in Arnold, MD, it can be due to various issues ranging from simple fixes like changing air filters to more complex problems requiring professional attention. Identifying potential problems early can save you time, money, and discomfort. For reliable air conditioning service and maintenance, trust the experts at Grove Heating & Cooling to keep your home comfortable all summer long.

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