On a scorching summer day in Philadelphia, the last thing anyone wants is their air conditioner failing to keep up. If your AC isn't cooling your home effectively, don't sweat it just yet—there are several steps you can take to potentially resolve the issue yourself before calling in the professionals.

1. Check the Thermostat First things first, make sure your thermostat is set correctly. It might sound obvious, but sometimes the settings can be accidentally changed. Ensure it’s on “cool” mode and set to a temperature lower than the current room temperature.

2. Inspect the Air Filter A dirty air filter can restrict airflow, significantly diminishing the efficiency of your air conditioner. Check your air filter, and if it’s clogged with dust and debris, replace it. This is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to improve the efficiency of your AC unit.

3. Examine the Outdoor Unit Sometimes the issue can be with the outdoor unit. It could be obstructed by debris, dirt, or foliage. Ensure there's at least 2 feet of clearance around the unit and clean any leaves or twigs from the top and sides.

4. Look for Ice If there’s ice on the evaporator coils and refrigerant lines, it’s a sign of airflow problems or low refrigerant levels. Turn off the unit to let the ice melt, and check again. If the problem persists, the refrigerant levels might be low, which is a job for a professional.

5. Check for Airflow Issues Make sure all your home’s air vents are open and unblocked. Furniture, curtains, or even dust accumulation can block vents and restrict airflow, causing the system to cool inefficiently.

6. Review the Condensate Drain Air conditioners also dehumidify your air, which accumulates moisture that must be drained away. If the condensate drain is clogged, it could prevent your system from cooling effectively. Check if there is any blockage and clear it if possible.

When to Call a Professional

If you’ve run through these steps and your air conditioner still isn’t cooling your home effectively, it might be time to call in the professionals. Issues like refrigerant leaks, sensor problems, or electrical issues are best handled by experienced technicians. In Philadelphia, you might consider contacting a local service like McCorry Comfort, who are familiar with common issues in the area's climate.


A malfunctioning AC unit can be a significant discomfort during the hot Philadelphia summers. By following these troubleshooting tips, you can address some of the most common issues that might be affecting your system. If you find that the problem lies beyond basic maintenance and adjustments, don’t hesitate to consult a professional to ensure your home stays cool and comfortable.