Air Conditioner Can’t Keep Up On Hot Days

Is your AC not cooling the house when it’s hot? Summer is the favorite season of many people. Warmer weather means we can participate in activities like swimming, spending time outside, and enjoying the weather. However, in those later summer months when we feel the extreme heat, most wish for cooler weather. Thankfully we have air conditioners to keep our homes cool and comfortable through the extreme heat. Occasionally, a heatwave can rear its ugly head that’s so hot your air conditioning unit won’t be able to keep up. 

ac can't keep up on hot days

Common Reasons Why Air Conditioners Can’t Keep Up: Homeowner Causes

Normally your air conditioner can function without your help; however, you can take certain measures to improve your AC’s functionality when the outside temperature is higher than normal. Give your air conditioner a break when there are really hot days with these simple suggestions.

Thermostat Settings

Turning the thermostat down isn’t going to help your air conditioner cool your home faster. It will actually increase your central air conditioner’s workload. This can result in your air conditioner consuming more energy and costing more to operate and reach the temperature you set on the thermostat. So, an unworking AC doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time for a new central air installation.

According to, the best thermostat setting during the summer months is 78 degrees while you’re at home. A programmable thermostat can help make monitoring your home’s temperature simple while you’re away. You can set your smart thermostat to begin cooling before you arrive home. This ensures that you’ll arrive at a more comfortable temperature.

Lack of Window Coverings

While most people like the idea of natural lighting, leaving your blinds or window coverings open during the day results in unnecessary hot air entering your home.

On hotter days, in the morning, keep your blinds closed on the east-facing windows. And in the afternoon, keep your blinds closed on the west-facing windows. 

Common Reasons Why Air Conditioners Can’t Keep Up: Air Conditioner Problems

why air conditioner can't keep up on hot days

Spending a hot summer in Louisiana with an AC unit that is not functioning properly is an experience you most definitely don’t want to repeat.

Don’t leave your comfort to chance during the summer heat. Learn more about the most common AC unit problems that could be causing your AC unit to malfunction. 

Refrigerant Leak

The refrigerant level in your air conditioner must remain constant. If your AC unit develops leaks along the refrigerant lines, the air will escape, and the air conditioning will not be able to deliver adequate cooling to your home.

The loss of refrigerant may eventually harm the internal components of your air conditioning system. 

Overheating Fan Motor or AC Compressor

A failing fan motor or compressor can sometimes overheat and quit working. After cooling down, it can start operating normally for a while until overheating again. This is an intermittent problem that’s difficult to catch.

The temperature in your home can start to creep up each time the motor shuts off and then cool back off when the mechanical system is up and running again. 

Dirty Air Filter

If your air conditioner isn’t keeping up with the heat, your air filter may be to blame. A dirty air filter can obstruct the airflow path through the unit. Using a dirty air filter can also cause less energy efficiency and more costly utility bills. 

Keeping a clean air filter is key to keeping your AC working efficiently.

Dirty Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils are also known as indoor coils. These coils must be clean so that air can unrestrictedly pass across the coils. When the evaporator coil is clogged with dirt, it undoubtedly freezes up, making it more difficult to cool your home and dispense air evenly.

Detecting this problem is as simple as reaching with your hand into the air vent and feeling no movement. The lack of movement is a sign there is a problem with your evaporator coils. 

Dirty Condenser Coils

Believe it or not, your air conditioner doesn’t produce cold air. It removes heat from the air resulting in keeping your indoor temperature comfortable.

The AC unit’s condenser coils are responsible for the heat removal process. If the outdoor condenser coils are leaking or clogged, your air conditioner won’t have the ability to eliminate the heat in the way that is necessary to cool your home. 

Common Reasons Why Air Conditioners Can’t Keep Up: Home Problems

ac can't keep up

Inadequate Attic Insulation

Without adequate insulation, it doesn’t matter how well your air conditioner is cooling your house because the cool air is seeping out through your walls. Poor insulation can be quite problematic to locate; however, there are a few things you can check.

Look for gaps around plumbing and/or electrical outlets. If there are any spots where air and penetrate, the best thing to use is spray foam. You’ll also need to look for gaps or cracks around your windows. If you find any, seal them up with caulk. 

Attic Fans

Attic fans can actually pull cold air out of the house through air leaks resulting in making the house warmer while you’re paying for that fan to cool your attic with the air that your AC unit just cooled. Attic fans can suck the cool air right out of your leaky ductwork.

They can be a good thing IF your ducts have been tested and sealed, your home and attic have been tested and sealed for air leaks, and a few more tests have been done. 

Air Duct Leaks

Air duct leaks can cause you to lose about a third of your HVAC system’s efficiency. Not only are you losing efficiency, but also the air in your HVAC system is cooling. Your HVAC system has to work harder to keep your house cool, and you’re receiving less cold air through your vents. 

If you have air duct leaks, they may also be getting dirty on the inside. Debris within the ducts restricts airflow and causes the air conditioning system to release dust and other debris in your home. 

Solar Heat Gain

Solar heat gain can definitely warm a room during the winter days but can result in overheating in the summer. The fastest way heat enters a home is through windows. In this case, the heat comes through the glass itself, and while better windows can slow down the heat transfer, the goal is to stop it before hitting the window.

Having solar shade screens on every window, but especially south and west-facing windows, will make a huge difference and are not the same as regular bug screens. These screens are mounted over the glass on the outside, so solar heat never gets to the glass, to begin with. 

If Your AC Can’t Keep Up or If You Need More Cold Air in Your Home, Call Pioneer Comfort Systems

ac unit can't keep up on hot days

Pioneer Comfort Systems is the best option for getting your AC unit back up and running properly before the heat begins. We have an experienced team of Shreveport air conditioner repair specialists, and we provide quality customer service and reliability. 

Contact us today by calling (318) 378-5729 or filling out our online form for further information on how we can help you.