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How Come the Air is Too Hot in My House?

Oof! You walk into your home after a long day in the sun only to sit down on your sticky couch in the sweltering heat. The air is just too hot. You’ve cranked up the AC, but your home still feels like a sauna, because your system can’t keep up the way it normally does in less extreme weather conditions.

Who (or What) Turned up the Heat?

The problem with your cooling system can come down to system wear and tear or even leaks in your air ducts. Rest assured, there are some troubleshooting tips and tricks to help you get through the scorching heat while you wait for a specialist.

Potential Issues

  • air is humid
  • moisture on cold surfaces
  • air is too hot
  • furniture is warped

The fan in the condenser unit pulls air through the coil to cool off the compressor. This in turn helps condense the refrigerant. But, wherever there's moving air, there's dirt and dust sneaking in. Over time, dirt will build up around the coil if it's not cleaned frequently. This layer of dirt will block the cool air and your unit will run for extended periods of time without cooling your home. If your indoor evaporator coil is also clogged with dirt, it won't be able to absorb the humidity out of the air and your system will struggle to reach the temperature setpoint, leaving you with a hot, sticky home.

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  • indoor allergens
  • indoor air is polluted
  • air is too hot
  • air smells strange

Sometimes, all your system needs is a good cleaning. Dust and other particles that float in the air get trapped in your filter whenever your air conditioner is running. Over time, this dirt and debris will build up and create a thick layer on the filter. The thicker the buildup, the harder it is for your system to push air through, which puts stress on the unit and makes your system less efficient. You should inspect the filter once a month. A good "rule of thumb" is if you hold the filter up to a light source and cannot see the light through it, you should replace the filter.

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  • puddle around the indoor air conditioning unit
  • air is humid
  • moisture on cold surfaces
  • not reaching temperature set on thermostat
  • blower sounds strange
  • AC keeps turning on and off
  • air smells strange
  • air is too hot
  • furniture is warped

Your AC unit works to cool the air in your home by way of its evaporator coils. The coils allow the cooling chemicals (needed to cool your air) to evaporate from liquid to gas and absorb the heat in your air, which is how your air gets cooled. Because this part is exposed to such cold temperatures, it is vulnerable to freezing. The coil will freeze if the system is low on refrigerant or has an airflow issue, as a result of a dirty coil, filter, fan wheel, or heat exchanger. If this occurs, and is not caught in time, the issue can escalate further and the larger refrigerant line may freeze. If this is the case, you will see ice on the suction line leading from the inside unit to the outdoor unit.

  • air is too hot

The condenser fan motor helps cool the compressor. There are a few things that can cause your condenser fan motor to stop working. In many cases, they can just wear down over time. However, a weak compressor or a power surge can also cause the fan motor to break. If it does break and stops cooling the compressor, the outdoor unit can overheat and shut down, which means you may overheat next. You'll need to get a new motor before you can get back to relaxing in that crisp AC air.

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  • air is too hot
  • air is too cold

In extreme temperatures, you may find that your system does not keep up the way it normally does in less extreme weather conditions. HVAC equipment is designed and manufactured to work in certain climates. There are systems designed to work in extreme heat and humidity and extreme cold and dryness. It is important to not set your thermostat to temperature settings that exceed the limit that the system is designed for. Setting it outside the specifications can cause frozen coils (in the summer) and will drive up your energy bills. Equipment for the north east climate are designed to maintain a 75 degree indoor temperature with 50% humidity in up to 95 degree weather. This is just a baseline, not an exact number.

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