As long as your house is properly sealed, and you do not have the windows or doors of the house open while running your unit, your house should stay cool. Air conditioners are only as efficient as their last cleaning. Most problems with cooling stem from clogged filters and condenser units that can not effectively transfer heat outside the home. Proper cleaning, as well as troubleshooting the main cooling components, should bring cool all your problems.
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Place a thermometer in the room you are trying to cool and check the temperature. The room temperature should be 15 degrees higher than the temperature of the air coming out of the air conditioner. If not, adjust the thermostat for the room so that the temperature coming out of the AC is cooler.
Remove the cover to the condenser unit if you have just started your air conditioner for the first time this year. The cover will prevent the unit from pulling heat from inside the house.
Check the air damper on the unit. Close it completely to reduce hot air from coming in from the outside.
Unplug the condenser from its power source outside the home. Pull out the power cord.
Vacuum the condenser unit fins using a vacuum with a soft brush attachment. Run the vacuum along the fins, not against them, to prevent damage.
Unscrew the cover for the condenser unit to access the inside. Spray water at an angle into the condenser unit fins to clean dust off them.
Remove the access panel from the air conditioner unit on the inside of the home. Pull out the filter and inspect it for dirt. Replace it if necessary.