When you turn on your air conditioner, you expect cool air to come out. When that air is not cool, or when it doesn't arrive at all, you need to get that air conditioner repaired as soon as you can. Before you make a call for emergency repair, check a couple of things to ensure the problem really is with the air conditioner. If it is, then you should call a repair company immediately.
Air Flow Obstacles
If you think your air conditioner isn't cooling well, look at the air returns, the vents where the cool air blows out. If you've recently moved furniture around, changed curtains, or did anything else that changed how much room was in front of the returns, you have to make sure you haven't created obstacles that block air flow. This is especially true for smaller units like through-wall and window air conditioners. Even placing a table a couple of feet in front of a through-wall air conditioner that sits under a window, for example, can block enough air flow to make most of your home feel warmer than normal. Try moving things away first and see if that improves things.
Higher Temperatures or Humidity Than Expected
Home air conditioners all have their limits; it's generally accepted that the appliances cool the inside of a house to about 20 degrees below the temperature outside. If the temperature one day is much hotter than what was forecast, your air conditioner would struggle to cool as much as you thought it should. Check current temperatures in your area; if they're hotter than expected, but your home is cooling to at least 20 degrees below that outdoor temperature, then your AC is likely OK — just struggling that day. The same goes for higher humidity; your home may feel warmer if the weather outside is much more humid than normal because that humidity can seep into your home and mess with your perception of the temperature.
Unfortunately, it's also possible that your air conditioner is in need of repair. A refrigerant leak in the coils, something wrong with the wiring, the motor finally going — there's a lot that can go wrong, and the older your system, the more likely it is to need work. This is annoying enough on its own, but if it happens in the middle of a heat wave, you need help, and fast. This is considered an emergency repair, which means that even if it's the weekend or overnight on a hot night, you have to call an AC repair company immediately. Being in a hot environment with no way to cool down is dangerous and not something you just struggle through.
While air conditioning companies may be very busy when you call, they will be able to get to your house and fix the air conditioner. The sooner you call, the sooner they can come out and take care of the problem. When you need to stay cool, time is of the essence. For more information on emergency air conditioning repair, contact a company near you.