Is your central air conditioner not producing enough cold air to keep your home at a comfortable temperature? If so, before you pick up the phone to call in an HVAC contractor, you may wish to try troubleshooting this problem yourself. In many cases, the cause of this problem will be easily repaired without the need for professional intervention. The step-by-step instructions outlined below will allow you to accomplish this task.
Step 1: Check Your Air Filter
One of the most common causes of decreased air flow is a dirty air intake filter. This is because when your air filter becomes clogged with dust and other debris, your home's cooling system will not be able to pull in enough air. Since this system can only put out as much air as it takes in, you will inevitably see a drop in the air pressure coming from your vents.
In order to determine if this is the problem, simply remove your old air filter from behind the main intake vent. Allow your air conditioner to run for a few minutes with no filter in place. If the air pressure increases, you have found the source of your problems. In order to correct this problem permanently, you will simply need to replace the old filter with a new one. If this does not solve your problem, move on to step 2.
Step 2: Clean Your Outdoor Compressor
If your outdoor air compressor is clogged with dirt, weeds, or other debris, this could also be starving your cooling system of air. In order to correct this problem, begin by turning off the power to your air conditioning unit at the fuse box. Next, pull all of the weeds and overgrown grass from around your outdoor unit. Once the area is cleared, use a standard garden hose to wash away any dirt and debris inside the unit. This should always be done by allowing a solid stream of water to flow over the outside of the unit rather than using pressurized water to get the job done. This is because the use of pressurized water could damage the fragile fins that surround your compressor's motor.
Once the dirt and debris have been removed from the outside unit, restore power to your air conditioner and allow it to run for several minutes. If the air pressure coming from your vents improves, you have found the source of your problems and can resume normal use of your air conditioner. However, if you are still experiencing problems, the time has come to contact a qualified HVAC contractor, like Armstrong Services Inc, in your local area.