What to Do When the HVAC is Running but Not Cooling the House

Technician replacing an air filter in a ceiling hvac unit.

Your air conditioning system may cease cooling your home for various reasons, which may be technical and others that aren’t. To better understand its malfunction, these are the most typical factors why your AC is not cooling properly.


  • Why is my HVAC Not Cooling the House?
  • Basic HVAC Troubleshooting
  • The Best Solutions for an AC that is Running but not Cooling the House
  • Quick Fixes
  • AC Maintenance
  • Cleaning the Filter
  • Cleaning HVAC Exterior
  • Wire Check
  • Check for Leaks
  • Check the Ducts
  • Key Takeaway


Why is my HVAC Not Cooling the House?

Some HVAC owners are dealing with AC repairs and system troubles, while others are focused on buying new AC units, tuning up their systems, and partaking in air conditioning maintenance.

There are many different air conditioning issues, but one of the most common is an HVAC system that does not cool.
There are a variety of reasons why your air conditioner may be running but not cooling your home, ranging from simple issues like an incorrectly set thermostat or a filthy filter to more complicated scenarios requiring part replacement.

Basic HVAC Troubleshooting

A full HVAC system includes your air conditioner, heating system, and/or furnaces.

While many HVAC issues require professional assistance, some may be diagnosed quickly and inexpensively. Here are some good troubleshooting basics to begin:

Inspect circuit breakers

When other appliances are being installed, it is not uncommon for power switches and breakers to be mistakenly switched off. Check your circuit breaker to be sure the problem isn’t anything as simple as needing to turn a switch back on.

Try to reset your HVAC

One of the first things to do if it’s not working is to reboot the system. A reset technique varies per furnace, cooling system, or heating system. To discover how to reset the system, consult your owner’s handbook.

Check for Problems with the Thermostat

Check to see if your temperature settings have been adjusted and if the thermostat is getting power. Mistakenly hitting buttons can result in incorrect temperature settings. Before moving forward from your thermostat, double-check all of your settings.

The Best Solutions for an AC that is Running but not Cooling the House


Quick Fixes

The vast majority of homeowners are capable of performing basic troubleshooting and will be able to resolve the issue. The following are some of the things you could do if your HVAC system is running but not cooling the house.

  1. One of the most common reasons why the HVAC is not cooling the house is that the windows or doors are open. It’s important to make sure that all of the possible air outlets are closed.
  2. Most HVAC systems that are not cooling the house have obstructed vents. So it’s a must to check if all of the vents are clear and unobstructed.
  3. Make sure your thermostat is set to cool and that it is set to a setting below room temperature.
  4. If you have humidifiers at home, make sure all of them are switched off.
  5. Some outdoor systems may even include a red reset button near the refrigerant line. Try pushing it if you can find it. A quick system reset will sometimes solve the issue.

If the issue is still unresolved from these quick fixes, there will be instances when you will need to contact the nearest dependable air conditioner service.

AC Maintenance

Most homeowners can perform some basic troubleshooting and resolve the problem. There are instances, though, when you’ll need to call for professional air conditioner servicing.

However, you should not call your trusted AC service when there are only problems with your unit. There should be a regular check-up on your HVAC system, just in case it needs repair or if there is maintenance that you cannot do on your own.


Cleaning the Filter

A clogged air filter can restrict airflow and cause your home to overheat. It can even force the system to shut down completely in extreme situations.
If your thermostat is working properly but you still don’t have cool air, look for your system’s air filter, switch it off, remove it, and inspect it.
If your central air conditioner does not chill your home despite having a clean air filter, you’ll need to dig a little deeper to find the source of the problem.

Cleaning HVAC Exterior

It is normal for an exterior unit to be ignored during HVAC system inspections. The outside unit, on the other hand, is the primary source of airflow inside a home or business.

As leaves and branches are sucked onto the surface, they might smother the entire unit. After the electricity has been turned off, property owners can use a hose with a spray nozzle to rinse the unit from top to bottom to remove any remaining particles.

Wire Check

If you notice strange odors emanating from your furnace or air conditioner, respond quickly since it could be mold or burned wiring, both of which are equally harmful.


Make sure you check all of the wirings in your unit, especially any that is linked to an outlet. It’s time to call an electrician if you have a tripped breaker or a blown fuse.


Check for Leaks

A refrigerant leak can cause your AC system to stop blowing cold air, run for prolonged periods of time without sufficiently cooling your home, or cause a damaged or failing compressor and complete system shutdown, depending on its severity.

Your experienced professional AC service provider can also check and resolve concerns with refrigerant levels in your system.


Check the Ducts

It’s necessary to inspect your ducts if some areas of your home aren’t getting enough heat or cooling. A vent might be closed or covered without your knowledge.

Make sure there is no dirt, dust, or foreign items in the vents that could restrict the flow of air.

Key Takeaway

While diagnosing problems with your HVAC system can be simple in some cases, it is frequently best to leave it to the pros.

If the cause of an issue is unknown or the solution is difficult, it’s time to call in the professionals. Many issues with furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps take substantial skill to resolve, and attempting to do it yourself may result in damage and potentially void warranties.


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