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AC Troubleshooting: What Causes a Loss of Cooling Power?

Woman feeling hot and trying to refresh in summertime heatWith temperatures already soaring, there’s no avoiding the fact that summer is well on its way. And when it officially begins, you’ll be thankful for a completely functional and efficient Gainesville, FL air conditioning system. But what if yours isn’t up for the job?

The dead of summer is undoubtedly the worst time for your cooling system to accrue problems. However, it’s typically when problems are most likely to occur, unfortunately. And a drop in cooling power is one of the first signs that something is wrong with your cooling system. Should you notice this drop, give our team a call. In the meantime, we encourage you to read on and learn more about what causes this frustrating AC issue.

Refrigerant Leaks

Most homeowners don’t realize how important the refrigerant in their air conditioner is, even though it’s the one way their cooling systems are able to do their job. Air conditioners evaporate refrigerant in order to absorb thermal energy from the air in the ducts. The refrigerant, in gas form, then travels down the line to the condenser coil outside, where it’s condensed back into a liquid, to vent the collected thermal energy outside the home.

Refrigerant isn’t something that “runs out” on a regular basis, like gasoline does from a car. This means that if you’re losing any, it means that your cooling system has a leak that must be accurately located, and repaired.


Short-cycling is the name given to the process in which your air conditioner shuts itself on and off every few minutes. The most common reason this occurs is because the system is too big for the home in which it is installed. However, there are other reasons this might happen too (if you don’t notice it occurring right after system installation). For instance, there may be an electrical short between the thermostat and the air conditioner, causing the system to receive the wrong signals.

Short-cycling can also happen because of the problem with the compressor, which in part is responsible for the operating rhythm of your air conditioner. If short-cycling happens consistently over a prolonged period of time, then the air conditioner will wear down much faster than it otherwise would have, causing problems more frequently.

Air Handler Issues

If your air conditioner simply isn’t circulating enough air, then the problem is most likely with your air handler. This is the component of your cooling system responsible for circulating cooled air throughout your home. It consists of a large motor with a fan attached to it. The movement of that much air causes strain on the air handler, which can cause subsequent problems.

That air handler includes bearings, which help it to run more smoothly. However, even those need to be replaced on occasion. If you notice a loud grinding sound along with the lowered cooling output of your AC system, then you likely need to have your air handler checked out by a pro.

At North Central Florida Air Conditioning, we are improving lives by improving homes! Contact us today.

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  • Franklin Franklin