AC Compressor Working but Not Cooling [Solved]

Is your AC compressor working but Not Cooling your home? Don’t worry because this is not an uncommon issue with air conditioning systems. There can be several reasons for your ac not cooling when your compressor working quite fine. But in this article, we’ll be looking at the most common reasons for this issue and these include:

  • Dirty air filters
  • Dirty condenser unit
  • Leaking refrigerant
  • Thermostat

Read also: Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cold Air But Is Running

Why Is My AC Compressor Working but Not Cooling?

When you are dealing with an AC that is not cooling when your compressor is running, these are the common causes for these issues:

1) Your Air Filter Is Dirty and Clogged

Clogged air filters will restrict air that gets into your HVAC system, and this will prevent your ac from cooling enough air. If you don’t remember the last time, you changed your air filters, then this is the right time to change them.

Air filters in your HVAC system play an important role in the cooling and heating of your home. This is because they screen out unwanted substances from air before it gets into your cooling system. An air filter ensures that:

  • Evaporator coil remains clean
  • Air that comes into your home has fewer harmful substances.

If you don’t change your air filters on time, your filter will clog and this will limit airflow into your ac cooling system. When this happens, your ac won’t cool your home enough or not even at all, but your compressor outside will run.

Not only will your compressor continue running, but the condenser fan can also run.

The problem of restricted airflow

Restricted airflow to the evaporator coil will often cause the coils to freeze and leak water. To prevent this problem from happening, you need to ensure you change or clean your air filters on time.

Cleaning your air filters once in a month or two is ok. But you can do what your manufacturer recommends

Replacing air filters is one of the easiest fixes you can carry out yourself on your ac system. Besides, I have also got some advice for you before you change your air filters:

  • Check the size of your filter before buying a new one to prevent buying the wrong size.
  • When inserting back your air filter be sure to follow the direction of the arrow.
  • You must close the door securely after inserting back the air filter, for some HVAC systems models.

2) Dirty Condenser Unit

A dirty and blocked condenser unit could be the reason your ac compressor is working but not cooling your home.  The condenser coil transfers heat from your home to the outdoor air.

As your air conditioner is running, the condenser fan draws air into the condenser coil. And as the air is ejected, it takes away the heat with it.

However, when the condenser unit is covered by debris, bushes or other objects found outside. Not much heat will be disposed to the outside air and so this could be the reason your ac is not cooling enough.

Keep in mind too that your AC fan together with the compressor could be running quite perfectly but without cooling your home. When you notice that your condenser unit is dirty or has objects blocking air from getting into it, move these objects away.

Other times, when your condenser unit is just too dirty, you can simply give it a thorough cleaning and it can solve the problem.

How do I clean a dirty condenser unit?

Cleaning your ac condenser unit should not be a hard task to carry out. You can open the top grill and carefully remove the fan and the motor. Then you can get a hose with water and just rinse it from inside out. If you can clean your unit from outside inside, that’s fine too.

3) Leaking Refrigerant

An ac system that has little, or no refrigerant will not cool your home even if your compressor is running properly and there is no problem.  You don’t need to refill your refrigerant every couple of years.

The refrigerant runs in a sealed system, so it never gets used up. This chemical is responsible for taking away the heat from your home to the outside and the other way around if you are heating your home.

If you have a leaked-out refrigerant, your compressor and your fan can run but you won’t have any cooling in your home. Its worth noting that if your system keeps running without the refrigerant, this can damage the compressor and other components.

If you believe you have a leaking refrigerant, you need to turn off your ac system and try to find a leak in your system.

If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, its best to call your local HVAC professionals. An HVAC technician should be able to find the source of the leaks and seal it off before recharging your system.

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4) Thermostat Issues

Another reason your ac compressor is not cooling running could be issues to do with your thermostat.

Make sure your thermostat has the correct settings and it’s put on cooling. If you recently installed, your ac thermostat, it’s also possible that the wires were not correctly done. Check that wires are connecting firmly without any loose wires.

If you are not too sure about the wiring designation, open the cover for the control board of your indoor unit, and behind it, you can find all information concerning the thermostat wiring.

Also read: Air Conditioner Outside Unit Not Running [Solved]


How do I check my air conditioner filter?

Your central air conditioner filter can be found in your indoor air handler. You can also find your air filters at the return vents usually near the center of your home. When you remove the air filter, you’ll need to hold it up to the light. And if you are having trouble seeing the light, then your filter is dirty and needs replacement.

Note PS: Don’t forget to put back the air filter before turning on your ac. If an air conditioner starts running without an air filter, dirt and other unwanted substances can build up on the evaporator coil within a short period of time. This will prevent your ac from cooling efficiently.

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Final Thought

The four issues looked at in this article are the common reasons for an ac compressor working but not cooling your home. I hope these tips have helped you fix your problem. In case you still cannot figure out what’s wrong with your ac system. Perhaps call in HVAC guys to come and assess the situation.

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