My Apartment Air Conditioning is Not Cooling, Now What?

Only a few degrees separate sunny and happy from hot and miserable. Apartment air conditioning problems can close that gap quickly! If you’re dealing with an apartment air conditioner that’s not cooling, don’t sweat it! Follow these simple steps to cooler air.

Step 1: Confirm the Problem

To stay ahead of the heat at certain times of the year or in certain parts of the country, you may have to start your air conditioner before the outside temperature jumps. That’s because not every A/C unit is capable of rapidly cooling a space. If giving your air conditioning a head start doesn’t help cool it to an acceptable degree, move on to the next step.

Step 2: Contact the Landlord

You likely received an email address or phone number when moving into your place that tenants can use to make maintenance requests. Now’s the time to use them! Email the responsible party and follow up with a phone call.

  • The email serves as written notice for your records
  • The phone call ensures an actual person (!) fields your request

You may also consider delivering a printed letter to the office or sending it as certified mail if you expect any building management issues. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that!

Step 3: Guesstimate a Timeline

There’s no hard-and-fast nationwide rule about how long a landlord can leave you without air conditioning. Some states consider 30 days the maximum amount of time landlords have to make repairs deemed vital to a property’s habitability. However, states with warmer climates may hold property managers to a higher standard!

In other words, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with what your specific state mandates. In places like California and Georgia, landlords are required only to maintain air conditioning if it came with the apartment initially. But in Arizona, air conditioning is deemed essential and therefore is required in rental properties.

Ideally, such a matter doesn’t play a role in getting your apartment down to a comfortable temp. That means you can focus on the next step.

Step 4: Make Contingency Plans

Several factors may influence how long it takes to get your air conditioning kicking out the cool again: other tenants with similar problems ahead of you, for example, or the total number of rental units for which the landlord is responsible.

That’s why it may be useful to plan for several more hot days thanks to the broken A/C in your apartment.

Try some of these tips to make hot days more comfortable:

  • Clean the current A/C unit’s filter. A dirty filter can negatively affect its ability to operate at full capacity (even if that’s not enough to get your place to a comfortable temperature).
  • Consider a fan if you don’t already have one. And make sure your ceiling fan, if you have one, is spinning counterclockwise — that’s the correct direction for a cooling summer breeze.
  • Have shades? Keep them closed. If you still want to be able to see outside, get solar shades that reflect the sun’s heat and glare but are transparent.

The Ultimate Step: A Change of Scene

Dealing with a broken apartment A/C and an unresponsive landlord is not cool! Take your business to a new apartment complex with top-notch features — like smart thermostats, stainless steel appliances, and granite countertops — and some great, affordable furniture. Use’s advanced search features to locate the perfect apartment for your lifestyle and, in this case, summer comfort!