While many parts of the country are preparing for winter, here in Panama City we’re still dealing with the heat and running our air conditioners. ACs go through plenty of strain during our summers, and when that continues long into the fall it can mean cooling systems running into malfunctions around this time of year.
One common sign of something wrong with an AC is when it doesn’t spread cool temperatures evenly around a home. A good central air conditioner is supposed to provide cooling throughout a house. There will always be some fluctuations, but the AC should still get the job done. If you have noticed that rooms in your house are staying too hot when the air conditioning system is running, it may indicate a bigger problem than just a few hot spots.
Below we’ll look at reasons why you may have uneven cooling…
A clogged air filter
One of the first things to check when your AC isn’t working right is if the air filter is dirty and needs to be replaced. This filter generally requires replacement every 1–3 months, and if left in place it will start to block airflow. The AC will cool less air and some of the rooms along the ventilation system won’t get the normal level of cooling. Put in a clean filter to see if this solves the problem.
This is when an AC becomes trapped in its start-up cycle and turns on and off rapidly. This places immense wear on the air conditioner’s components and also leads to uneven cooling because the system will cycle off before it’s sent enough cool air into the ventilation system. There are many reasons for short-cycling, so call HVAC technicians to investigate the problem.
A malfunctioning thermostat
The thermostat may be reading incorrect indoor temperatures and shutting the air conditioning system off before it has time to distribute cooling to all the rooms. Most thermostats are located near the center of the house to get a general reading of the temperature, and if your home’s thermostat registers the house as cooler than it is, you’ll end up with temperature imbalances. Professionals can repair or replace a faulty thermostat.
Faulty zone controls
Does your home have zone controls so you can cool/heat parts of your home separately? If so, then a likely cause of uneven cooling from the AC is a malfunction in the zone controls. There may be a stuck damper, or the zone controls have lost their connection to one of the zones. You’ll need to call HVAC professionals to diagnose the issues with the zone controls and fix them.
An extremely old air conditioning system
If your AC is more than 15 years old, uneven cooling is often a major warning that the system is losing its cooling capacity and will soon fail completely. We don’t recommend trying to push an air conditioner past 15 years, so if this is the situation you’re in, we advise you to call us to look into getting you a replacement air conditioner.