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Serving the South Puget Sound and Western Washington Areas Since 1976

Serving the South Puget Sound and Southwest Washington Areas Since 1976

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Sunset Air Blog

What Causes Low Air Conditioner Output

air-conditioner-repairIt’s never a good thing to have your air conditioner suddenly start to lose output capacity, especially in the middle of the hottest season of the year. Don’t worry, though. Depending on how quickly and completely the output has dropped, your system may not be in as much trouble as it seems. You’re going to need to have a professional technician check the system out, just to make sure. Still, while you’re waiting for your technician to arrive you should have a look at why your system output is low.

Clogged Air Filter

The simplest, and most common, reason for an air conditioner having low output is a clogged air filter. The air filter is a simple fiber mesh that sits in the air return duct of the system. All air that flows into the air conditioner flows through the air filter first. While the filter is quite good at protecting the air conditioner from any dust or debris, it cannot get rid of the debris that it collects. Most people don’t change their air conditioner’s air filter often enough, causing it to become clogged over time. A clogged air filter blocks a lot of the air flow from entering the air conditioner, lowering its output as a result.

Malfunctioning Air Handler

The air handler is the part of the air conditioner responsible for circulating air throughout the home during operation. It is comprised of a large motor, which rotates a fan to blow air through the ducts. The air handler wears down over years of use, just like every other part of the air conditioner. As the air handler loses efficiency, it will not be able to circulate as much air as it used to. This can cause the air conditioner’s output capacity to drop.

Refrigerant Leaks

Your air conditioner relies on refrigerant to cool the home. It evaporates and condenses the charge of refrigerant it receives upon installation to collect heat and vent it out of the building. A leak in the refrigerant line will cause the refrigerant level in the system to drop, causing the output level to drop as well. Eventually, the refrigerant level in the air conditioner will drop so low that the system will not be able to keep functioning. Call for repairs if you notice fluid dripping from your air conditioner.

Short Cycling

If your air conditioner is turning itself on and off every couple of minutes, that might be the cause of your low output. Short cycling prevents the system from completing a full cooling cycle, which is a key part of effectively air conditioning your home. It also dramatically accelerates the rate at which various parts of the system wear down. This makes breakdowns more common and can shorten the lifespan of the air conditioner by several years.

If you need air conditioner repairs of any kind, we are here to help. We’ll make sure that you get the perfect air conditioning solution for your needs.

Sunset Air offers a full range of air conditioner repair services in Olympia, WA.  Contact us today to speak to one of our experts. 

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