Don't wait for the moment of truth when it is 85 degrees and climbing to wonder why the air conditioning unit isn't working. If that sounds familiar, maybe it is time to figure out what caused the problem and how to fix it quickly. And no, the answer is not going to a nearby cool hotel.
Things to Check
If the fan to the air conditioner is blowing, without cool air, the thermostat might be the issue. Check the setting and be sure it is set to 'Auto' with the cool setting running. If you place it 'On,' the fan will continue to run and not stop.
The air filter might be dirty if the air is not very cool with a weak airflow. If you own a pet, you will probably have a great amount of hair and pet dander. A clogged filter can cause the condenser to freeze. Use caution when using 'high-efficiency' filters because their main use is to remove small particles from the air. Unfortunately, they can also restrict the airflow of your unit.
Anywhere you have insulation; it might be a good idea to see if it is still attached in all of the right places. For example, if it is loose in the attic, your air conditioner is not able to work efficiently.
Grass, weeds, dirt, or other debris might be the culprit, and the unit might just need to be cleaned.
Check the coils on the outside of the unit to be sure there is no debris on them. You can use AC coil cleaner and a wire brush to clean the aluminum fins.
The drain pan under the coils of the air conditioner should be cleaned routinely. The system cannot function efficiently if there is any blockage in that area.
The refrigerant might be low, resulting with the air conditioner stopping and starting often. If it is leaking, you will need some professional assistance. You are definitely leaking if frost is on the evaporator fans. It can ruin the unit if you run it without maintaining the correct refrigerant levels.
As with any other appliance or fixture in the home, with normal wear and tear, the air conditioning unit will need to be replaced. The newer ones are more efficient, making the cost of replacement a bit easier to handle. Some companies even offer rebates for purchasing a particular item.
For more information, contact an HVAC contractor in your area.