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Summertime’s here in South Jersey. That means sun, sand, and a cool house to come home to when you’re done at the beach. But, things get uncomfortable fast. if your air conditioner is not doing the job when you turn it on,

When this happens, there’s a good chance you can fix the problem yourself. So, before you spend a sleepless night in the heat, go through our top four reasons your AC isn’t working. You can fix the first two yourself.

Meanwhile, if you need a professional in Marmora, Upper Township, Avalon, and Cape May, or anywhere in South Jersey, call or email us at Broadley’s.

As a family-owned business for nearly a century, we’ve literally been working on air conditioners since they were invented! And we offer in-person and virtual consultations to get you up and running as fast as possible.

Four Reasons Your Air Conditioner Isn’t Cooling the House

Here are the four first things to check for when your air conditioner isn’t cooling the house:

  1. Thermostat Settings
  2. Clogged Air Filter
  3. Damaged Lines
  4. Coolant Leak

We’ll start with what you can check and fix from inside the house. Then, we’ll look at troubleshooting the condenser and when you’ll need a professional.

Thermostat Settings

This is a much more common problem than you may realize: When your thermostat is set to “Heat” or “Fan Only,” it won’t cool your home when you turn it on.

The heating setting is the more obvious of the two. But, more subtle is “Fan Only,” which offers air circulation but nothing else.

This setting is useful when you don’t need heating or cooling, but you want some fresh air in the house. Your system’s fan circulates air through the vents but doesn’t turn on any of the heating or cooling equipment.

So, check your thermostat first, especially if you’re getting air through the vents but it’s not cold.

The Air Filter is Clogged

Maybe you hear the system turn on. But, you’re getting a tiny amount of cool air through the vents. And, the pressure is very, very weak.

That means it’s time to check your air filter — that inexpensive screen you’re supposed to swap out every few months.

The air filter traps all sorts of junk, from dust and dirt and pollen to mold spores and bacteria, from passing through your system.

Those contaminants hit the screen and get stuck there instead of coming through your vents. Eventually, the filter gets dirty, which is why you should change every one to three months.

And, when it’s clogged, not even air can pass through the screen anymore. That’s why your system’s working but you’re not getting any circulation/

Switch the filter out right away if it’s dark grey when you pull it out, and start changing it more often. Once a month is a good idea.

When you’re preventing the air from coming through, you can cause a lot of damage to your system. Leave it go for too long, and you’ll end up paying thousands for a new AC or furnace years before you should.

Damaged Lines

Now, we’re getting into things you can’t fix yourself, but you can at least identify. If you’re turning on your AC, but absolutely nothing happens, the problem may be with the outdoor condenser.

Having that unit outside makes it susceptible to all sorts of problems, from severe weather to damage from small animals.

You don’t want to start tinkering around here. These units use a lot of electricity, and there’s a fan in there that can hurt you if it starts up while you’re working on it.

But, you can do a visual inspection by checking all the wiring coming out of the condenser. If anything’s frayed or broken, you’ve likely found the problem. While you’re out there, look down into the unit at the fan. If you hear the condenser power up, but the fan doesn’t move, it may be jammed or otherwise damaged

Call in a professional, and you’ll be up and running again soon.

Coolant Leak

Use your eyes, ears, and nose to check for a coolant, or refrigerant, leak. Your AC uses coolant running in a closed loop for the cooling process. When everything’s working correctly, you should never need to recharge it.

But if it leaks, you’ll get air circulating through the house that’s not cool. The air works its way through the system, but there’s no refrigerant for the cooling process.

Listen outside for hissing, and check again for any visible frays or breaks in wires or hoses. Finally, if you catch a whiff of anything that smells sweet, but also a little like chloroform or chemicals, that’s refrigerant leaking out.

The good news is that it’s a relatively straightforward fix. Your HVAC tech fixes the leak and recharges the system.

But, if your unit is over a decade old, you will probably need to replace it.

Starting in 2010, all manufacturers switched from R22 coolant to R410A. It works the same but is a different chemical, and they’re not interchangeable.

R22 Freon Phaseout: Do I Need a New Air Conditioner

And, starting in 2020, no one is allowed to produce new R22. So, supplies are dwindling and rising in price.

If there’s a very small leak, we may be able to recharge it with available or recycle R22 if you catch it early. But, most times it’s not worth the cost of the coolant to recharge an old unit.

Air Conditioner Repairs in South Jersey

If you’ve tried some troubleshooting and still aren’t getting any cooling, call Broadley’s today. We’ll get your AC working as soon as possible. If you need a replacement, we’ll work closely with you to find a new system that’s perfect for your home and budget.