There are a few reasons why your air conditioner doesn't get air as cold as it once did. Some of these reasons can be detected during an annual maintenance call and fixed or even prevented. Other times, you may need to have emergency repairs if your AC stops working when it's hot and miserable outside. Here are two things the technician might look for.
1. Low Refrigerant Level
Your AC needs the right level of refrigerant to get your home cool. If there's a slow leak in the refrigerant line, then your home may get warmer gradually even though your AC runs. An HVAC technician, like those at Allied Mechanical & Electrical, Inc., can test the pressure of refrigerant. If it's low, it might be due to a leak, or it might happen if there was a mistake in filling the refrigerant to the proper level when the AC was installed. So it's important to also check for leaks rather than just top off the refrigerant, or the new refrigerant will leak off, too.
The old refrigerant has to be removed and disposed of according to local regulations since it's harmful to release it into the air. Once it's removed, repairs can be made and the refrigerant refilled. With the refrigerant at the right pressure, your AC will work more efficiently and be able to keep your home cool unless there is another problem with the HVAC.
2. Dirt Or Dust On The Coils
The coils are an important part of your air conditioning system because they remove heat from your home, which makes the air cooler. Your AC has two sets of coils. The evaporator coils are in the air handler indoors, and the condenser coils are in the outdoor unit. When air from your home is drawn into the air handler, a fan blows it over the coils. The refrigerant in the coils is cold and able to draw heat from the air. This process is hindered when there is dust or dirt coating the coils. Dust insulates the coils so the refrigerant doesn't seem as cold and it isn't able to draw as much heat from the air. This can even lead to ice or frost forming on the coils.
When you have an annual service call, the technician inspects and cleans the coils inside and outside your house so this problem can be avoided. If the coils get dirty enough, your AC can ice over and shut down. When that happens, you have to let your AC thaw out before the coils can be cleaned and your AC restored. Something as simple as changing your HVAC filter regularly will keep the coils from getting dusty and causing your AC to break down.