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Is Your AC Low on Coolant?

Lex Air Conditioning and Heating

Not Keeping up with Dallas’ Heat?

Nothing is more frustrating than coming home from work to a house that’s 80 °F after setting the thermostat to 72 °F. Or on a weekend when helplessly, degree by degree the temperature creeps higher and higher, past a lower thermostat setting.

There could be many reasons affecting your home’s ability to cool to a comfortable temperature. Your AC may be on its last legs and is no longer able to keep up, requiring AC replacement, or your home could need a coolant recharge.

One common issue as the summer heat is coming to an end and our mild autumn begins, is low coolant. Even high-efficiency central air systems are not designed to withstand multiple seasons of use without additional coolant. Many homeowners and small businesses in Dallas and the surrounding areas start to experience low coolant symptoms at the end of summer and in autumn. Why? Months of use have left AC units thirsty and empty.

But before we diagnose a low coolant issue, implement these actions and see if the problem persists before calling the pros.

  1. Keep in-home vents open that need to be open. Closing too many vents restricts airflow to various rooms in your home, which may make your home hotter and cause you’re AC to work harder. Keeping important vents open can prevent pressure in the system from interfering with the AC’s ability to dispense air. It’s fine to close off a spare bedroom that’s never used, but don’t close more than five vents at a time.
  2. Turn the thermostat to a higher temperature. Sometimes, it’s necessary to give the AC a break. Adjusting the thermostat to a higher temperature when you’re away can give your cooling system those breaks, as well as save on monthly energy bills.
  3. Keep blinds closed during the day. Know why a greenhouse effectively keeps plants alive during the coldest of winter months? Because of all those windows. Blinds can reflect those rays during the day when the sun is at its hottest and prevent your home from soaking up additional heat.
  4. Grill dinner outside. Avoid adding to that “baked” feeling on a hot day by not using the oven. Hot air from the oven can unquestionably contribute to the heat in a home.
  5. Do laundry and run the dishwasher at night. Just as with using the oven, doing laundry and running the dishwasher during the day when it’s hottest outside can contribute to uncomfortable heat in a home. Wait until there’s a drop in temperatures at night to use appliances that produce warm air.
  6. Turning off power attic ventilators. Power attic ventilators are meant to cool down attics but can pull conditioned air from inside the house to do so, leading to less of that cool air where it’s needed.
  7. Trim any bushes around the AC condenser (outdoor unit). Overgrown bushes may block necessary airflow to the AC unit, causing them to work harder to keep the home cool, and possibly reducing the lifetime of that unit.
  8. Changing the AC filter. The AC filter is meant to keep contaminants from building up on the AC’s internal components. Allowing this buildup causes problems with the airflow by causing resistance. A reduction in the AC’s ability to push air into a home may also lead to cooling issues. Especially in Dallas, where a lot of dust can accumulate, air filters should be changed every month and properly sized to your specific unit.

Still Unbearably Hot?

It may not just be the heat of a long summer season. In this case, call Lex Air Conditioning and Heating. An experienced Dallas HVAC technician will start by checking AC refrigerant levels. If they are low, we may conduct a Nitrogen Leak Check by pressurizing your system with nitrogen. If no leaks were present, then the technician will top off refrigerant levels in the system.

It is also possible that the evaporator coil or condenser coils are dirty. When dirt comes into contact with these coils, it combines with moisture, turning to sludge that affects the AC’s ability to function effectively.

Many reasons may contribute to cooling issues within the home, which is why it is important for semi-annual maintenance by way of annual AC tune-ups and heating tune-ups. Lex Air Conditioning and Heating’s certified air conditioning service technicians will thoroughly test your system’s performance, which can prevent more expensive AC repairs or prevent the AC system from failing in the future.

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