A malfunctioning AC can be nearly as frustrating as one that breaks down completely. If your AC unit doesn't seem to be cooling your home evenly, then the problem could be either with the AC unit itself or one of the peripherals. The following are three things to check if you are having cooling issues.
1. Blocked Ducts
Problems with your ducts can lead to cooling issues in the house. The most common problem is blocked vents or registers. Solve this by walking through your home and moving any furniture or drapes that could be blocking a vent. The other issue is problems in the ducts themselves, such as blockages that reduce airflow or disconnected ducts. An AC or duct service can inspect your ductwork and identify any blockages or leaks so that they can then go in and repair the problem. If your ducts are exposed, such as in the basement, you can check them yourself to make sure they are all connected with no large gaps.
2. Undersized Unit
The wrong size of AC also affects cooling. An overly small unit will turn on often or run for a long time, but it may never be able to bring the entire home to the desired temperature. AC power is measured in BTUs. You can determine how many BTUs you need by plugging your home's square footage and a few other details into a BTU calculator. Upgrading to the right size unit will ensure your home is evenly cooled, but it will also mean that the AC can run more efficiently -- which may save you money. Further, too-small units must work harder, making them more prone to a breakdown during a heat wave.
3. Thermostat Issues
Your thermostat could actually be the problem with your cooling. A failing thermostat may not be interfacing with the AC properly, which can mean poor cooling. Further, the placement of the thermostat could be the problem. If the thermostat is placed on one of the cooler walls in one of the coldest rooms in the house, the AC may shut off before the rest of the much warmer home gets warm. One way to counteract that is to upgrade your AC and thermostat to a zoned system that allows you to cool hot rooms, such as those with more sun exposure, to a cooler temperature than those rooms that naturally stay cooler.
Contact a residential AC service for more help.