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  • Ray Austin

Why Is My Air Conditioner Not Cooling?

Hi welcome to my Katy, Texas air conditioning blog. My HVAC company services the Katy, Texas area and some surrounding areas. If you would like to schedule AC service call Ray Austin at 832-475-6895.

This air conditioning topic can be quite complex for a number of reasons and the reason why your AC is not cooling could have more than one reason as well. This topic is going to be discussed as it relates to the climate of Katy, Texas a hot humid climate 9-10 months of the year. We use our AC’s a lot here.

When your home AC is not cooling to your desired comfort level this often times points to breakage. How can that be? My ac running but not cooling.

In order for your AC unit to cool it must be operating properly. Proper operation is more than turning on and turning off. These things must be investigated in person by someone skilled enough to determine what is wrong.

AC Not Cooling House

In order for your AC unit to cool, it must run. If your AC is running but not cooling that is another problem that has to be investigated.

If your AC unit is not running it could be due to a tripped breaker. Just realize that this problem is sometimes more complicated than just resetting a breaker. If the breaker tripped, what was the reason it tripped?

If you don’t look for the reason, the breaker will likely trip again. However there are some reasons for a breaker to trip and a reset is all that is needed. If you don’t have a AC professional like myself check things a breaker tripping frequently is almost certainly to lead to bigger and costlier problems to fix.

Live in or near Katy, Texas? Call Ray Austin now @ 832-475-6895 to schedule an ac repair or ac inspection.

A breaker trip on it’s own is a symptom of what could be happening. Have the symptom investigated to see if a problem can be found. Intermittent problems can be rather difficult to find. I often call these problems “ghosts” because the home owner tells me there is a problem and after I go to look can’t find the issue.

If your AC unit runs while I am there and the AC checks I put the unit thru check out it makes for a difficult situation. I am good at what I do but there are limitations as with everything.

AC Cools Home But Not Well

Comfort for your house can be a mystical thing sometimes. I’ve seen it personally I talk to people about it on a fairly consistent basis over the course of 29 years in HVAC.

Climate where the house is located plays a role as well. I bring this topic up because many people are relocating to the Katy, Texas area from other climates. If you moved from a more moderate climate what one says is comfortable, others will disagree.

2022 was a record heat year for the Katy, Texas area. We had more days at or over 100F degrees than any recent years. Sure it’s hot here, so when we set records like this complaints will come that might just be “normal operation”.

However, you can’t get there without investigating it. There are plenty of situations where an AC has problems above and beyond climate concerns or how low a temperature you are setting the AC for.

To offer a bit more clarity on this subject, design temperature for the Katy, Texas area is 75F inside with outdoor ambient temperature of 95F. I moved here over 20 years ago. So I get it if someone were to say… “75F is still too hot”.

Those that are more acclimated to this climate may say “75F is too cold”. I attempt to spell it out this way to help you understand a possible situation that might be occurring in your home.

Some climates some people move from are even more mild. They may consider 70F too hot. It takes a special kind of person to get thru Texas summers. Realize an air conditioning unit is a heat removal application, not a provider of cooling. The removal of heat is rooted in science, has limits. This isn’t to suggest your cooling system doesn’t have a problem in regards to cooling properly.

Freon Leaks | Refrigerant Leaks

Freon is a brand of refrigerant your AC unit may use as the medium to remove heat from your house to provide you the comfort of cooling your home. Freon doesn’t explain much as there are many different types of refrigerant. I know what type your ac unit will need. How much it will need. How little it will need.

Too much refrigerant won’t work, just as much as too little. While Freon leaks or refrigerant leaks could be the cause that doesn’t mean it is. This is again why your system needs to be checked and inspected by a professional. Estimated life of an air conditioning unit is roughly 15 years nationwide. Does this mean yours will make 15 years? No. However the better you maintain it the more likely that is.

I’ve helped some of your neighbors ac units live beyond 15 years. Sometimes this will involve replacing pieces of your HVAC unit.

Want to have a look? Come along and watch me fix air conditioners for your neighbors in Katy, Texas.

Home Humidity Problems

If temperature is a problem for your home, my guess is that humidity is too. An air conditioner when it runs will provide some dehumidification. If you are targeting a lower temperature than design of Texas that would mean setting your thermostat lower than 75. Some homes might be able to achieve as low as 70F and then steadily climb thru the afternoon especially if we are regularly hitting 100F or more.

If your AC unit is running continually due to a lower than design thermostat setting you’re getting dehumidification by forcing the temperature lower. But are you really comfortable in doing that?

Elevated home humidity causes all kinds of problems too numerous to mention here. Running an AC continuously by lowering temperature is going to cause bigger electric bills. So with that in mind you are paying for the better way, without actually doing it better. Utility rates are much higher in 2022 than years past.

Manufacturers have been attempting to combat this house humidity problem an assortment of ways. Each way has it’s own set of pros and cons. It doesn’t really matter to me which way you prefer. It’s a choice at the end of the day.

One such way is a two speed AC unit. These automatically force the AC unit to run longer but only if you set the thermostat at a more reasonable level. You can circumvent this by setting the thermostat well below design and it would be no different than a single stage AC unit. These systems were all the rage in this area around 2015 / 2016 time period. They were considered the best at the time.

However, for this climate of Katy, Texas it wasn’t but a few seasons here the limitations and weaknesses of such methods became very apparent. For the most part they operated better than single speed equipment, but seasonal changes left much to be desired from the operation of these 2 speed machines.

I like to choose methods that are “more likely” to put you in a position of winning. Who here doesn’t like to win?

Inverter AC’s came to my market in 2019 in a bold way. Since that time period there’s been even more changes to this interesting technology. An inverter AC has up to over 60 speeds in which the compressor will run. Pay attention that *up to* disclaimer has meaning. Some manufacturer’s cripple their inverters to only 5 speeds.

So remember the reason I select equipment is because of what the equipment can do as opposed to the name on the side of the unit. ( It is Ray Austin writing this blog post, I am a ‘hands on kind of guy’ ). AC is what I do, I work on all brands.

Want to see an Inverter AC in action? Watch the embedded video below.

Why it’s important that the AC inverter runs at varying capacity? Typically 1% cooling gains up an down. It matches the load of the structure. It remembers and continually adjusts its speed to give you the exact amount of comfort your home needs.

Because of that kind of operation it reduces humidity, which in turn makes you feel more comfortable than just dropping temperature alone. In addition to that it can cut your electric bill by up to 50%. It’s quiet! Most of the time you won’t hear it running. (*outdoor inverter condenser)

It’s easy to operate. It doesn’t need some fancy hard to use thermostat.

R410a Phase Out

R410a brand name is called Puron. Many often call it Freon. It’s true that R410a is in the midst of a phase out and eventual ban. This will likely start as early as late 2023 for Texas maybe not until 2024.

The R410a phase out could be expedited or it may take longer than what anyone knows as of September 2022. The new refrigerants to take the place of R410a will not be compatible with R410a equipment. Equipment replacement will be mandatory to use the newer refrigerants as they are both considered mildly flammable. Currently (Sept 2022) the hold up for Texas is that building codes are being revised to include the use of mildly flammable refrigerants and code requirements that will need to be followed.

There will be two new refrigerants as equipment manufacturers are split among two different competing refrigerants. R454b will be one, the other will be R32.

This issue will really only effect you if and when your home ac unit develops a refrigerant leak. (Freon Leak(s)). Your AC system is a completely sealed system, it does not use up refrigerant.

If you would like further understanding why this R410a phase out is happening I am covering this topic since the very beginning and adding things as they develop. Things are added as they are discovered, so realize this story could change in profound ways as time goes on. The new refrigerants coming are only interium solutions. They too will be phased out in approximately 10-12 years.

The information regarding this R410a phase out in this blog post is a condensed version. For additional information on this R410a refrigerant phase out topic I recommend you visit the post dedicated to this topic.

R22 Freon Versus R410a Puron Versus R454b Puron Advance Versus R32 (coming soon book mark this page)

Thank you for visiting with me today. As always I hope your day is comfortable.

About the Author of this Katy, Texas Air Conditioning Blog:

My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a Ray Austin HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 29 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems as of September 2022. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs. I also own and operate a real estate rental business. It is not likely there is any HVAC company truly like me.

1 Guy. You won’t get a truck load of strangers roaming thru your home using my HVAC services.

I understand that comfort means different things to different people. I am not here to force something on you I often will provide more than 1 choice. Many of the opinions I provide you are rooted in experience of performing HVAC repairs &replacements for a living for over 28 years now. My opinion is not rooted in hearsay, rumors, folklore of brands of yesteryear, or intimidation of a boss sitting behind a desk because he “made some deal” with a manufacturer.

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