A sluggish air conditioner can be a nightmare to live with. Summer temperatures have been soaring in recent years and the need for cooling in the United States is higher than ever. To stay comfortable in the heat, you'll need an AC that is up to the task.

However, at some point, you may realize that your AC is taking a very long time to cool your house or even not managing to bring down the temperature by more than a few degrees. How can you handle such a problem?

Check for a Dirty Filter

The air filter is responsible for filtering all kinds of things in the air that's being sucked in from outside. Unfortunately, this also means that the filter can become dirty and clogged after some time. If the AC filter is too dirty, it won't be able to suck in as much air and this can result in sluggish cooling. Luckily, air filters can be quickly replaced or cleaned depending on the type your AC uses.

Check the Outside Unit

The outside unit of the AC is exposed to many things. Dirt, debris and even small animals can get stuck within these units, interfering with their operation. Check if anything is obstructing the operation of the outside unit or if anything is limiting the airflow into the unit.

Check for Leaks

There are two main leaks that you should be concerned with as far as air conditioners are involved. These are:

  1. Refrigerant Leaks

  2. Duct leaks

Checking for refrigerant leaks may require some expertise. However, you can quickly find out if there are leaks in the duct. Leaks in the duct will mean some of the cool air will be escaping into other areas of the house. This is particularly difficult if you're only trying to cool one room. Leaky ducts can be taped up or replaced.

Replace the AC Unit

Sometimes, the reason why the AC is sluggish is that it's well past its best. Like any other machine, AC units have a lifespan. Sooner or later, the level of wear and tear will mean the machine will be unable to keep up with the cooling needs of your home. If you've had your AC for a while, it may be time to contact a cooling installations service to replace your system with a new one. An air conditioning contractor can advise you on whether it's time to get a new AC or if repairs will be effective, so you're covered either way.