Of all the issues homeowners complain about regarding their cooling systems, it’s that they just don’t cool properly. You feel like you’re forever complaining: “my AC is blowing warm air.”
Perhaps you’ve put it down to the summer just being too hot. Maybe you think the air is too humid. In actual fact, it’s likely your air conditioner is faulty.
The good news is that in most cases, the problem is a cheap fix. Read on to find out why your AC isn’t giving you the chills.
Leaking or Low Refrigerant
If your AC is blowing warm air instead of cool, you might be running low on refrigerant.
Refrigerant is a fluid used in cooling systems like AC units, HVACs, and refrigerators. The fluid undergoes a process that turns it from liquid to gas and back again, which cools the air pumped into a home or fridge interior.
There won’t be enough available to complete the cooling cycles if the refrigerant leaks from an air conditioner.
Aside from warm air, other warning signs of a leak include:
- High utility bills
- Icy evaporator coils
- Hissing sounds
If the refrigerant is vented into the air, it contributes to global warming and ozone depletion. So it’s vital you get a certified professional to look at your system if you suspect a leak.
There are all kinds of pipes and ducts running from the different parts of your HVAC or AC system into your home. They bring the cold air into your home and expel the hot air out.
If there’s been some damage to any part of this ductwork, it may cause your air conditioning system to run warm. This is because hot air creeps into the broken AC piping as the cool air escapes. To repair this problem, someone needs to hunt down the leak and seal it up or replace the damaged section.
The ductwork is typically hard to access because it’s hidden in walls, flooring, or ceiling. This is another case where it’s best to pay for a professional AC repair.
Incorrect Thermostat Set Up
One accessible area to check if your AC isn’t working correctly is the thermostat settings.
If this is the problem, you’re in luck because you can simply play around with the settings until you get your desired temperature. Dropping the temperature anywhere between 1 and 5 degrees, checking it’s set to “cool” and not “hot,” and making sure the fan is set to “auto” will usually leave you feeling more comfortable. If you’re not sure how to manipulate your system, check your AC’s user manual.
Give it a few hours to a few days to see what difference the new settings make.
Dirt and Debris in the System
There are numerous areas where dirt, dust, and debris can clog your air conditioning systems, but the condenser, air filter, and evaporator coil are particularly vulnerable. If these parts are not cleaned regularly, they can cause AC issues like warm air instead of cool air.
Visually inspect the outside section of your AC system to check for leaves, grasses, or trash. This debris can work its way inside your machine, clogging up and even ceasing the moving parts.
If you can, carefully remove the material–after turning your AC off, of course. If the dirt is trapped in there, it’s time to call a repair company. That’s because it’s dangerous to reach inside the condenser unit without professional training.
If you’re worried about this happening in the future, there are two things you can do. Keep the area around the condenser clean and tidy, and schedule regular maintenance.
Are you concerned that your air conditioner isn’t blowing cold air? It could be that your air filter needs a good scrub.
A clogged air filter stops air from circulating through your system, making your AC machine work a lot harder than necessary.
Thankfully, this is an easy DIY job. If you have a reusable filter, simply remove it and wash it. You can also replace it with a new one.
It’s good practice to wash or replace the air filter every three months. Just be sure to dispose of an old filter carefully: put it in a sealed trash bag immediately after removing it, and don’t shake it.
If your air filter is dirty, you’ll need to check your evaporator coil, too, as it can also get clogged with dust. And a dirty evaporator can’t do its job correctly.
Cleaning or replacing the evaporator coil is a job for professionals. To avoid costly call-outs, check and clean or replace your air filters regularly.
Aside from being dirty, your evaporator coils may have frozen. If moisture isn’t moving out of the system properly, the damp collects on the coils and freezes. Frozen coils inhibit heat transfer, which means your AC will start to blow warm air.
To thaw coils, simply turn your AC off for up to 24 hours. Make sure the drip pan is correctly aligned, too.
Of course, a straightforward explanation for why your AC is blowing warm air is an electricity disruption. In other words, your air conditioning unit simply isn’t turned on.
There might be a fault with the capacitor. Perhaps someone switched the machine off and forgot to turn it back on again. Or maybe the circuit was tripped, or you had a blackout.
Always check to make sure the unit is turned on before running through these other troubleshooting steps.
Why My AC Is Blowing Warm Air Explained
There’s absolutely no need to put up with a warm home on a hot summer’s day. If your family, friends, and neighbors are sick of hearing you say, “my AC is blowing warm air,” then it’s time to do some troubleshooting.
If you don’t think you can diagnose the problem yourself, don’t hesitate to call the professionals. They’ll get to the root of the problem quickly and have the right tools and parts on hand to have you comfortable again in no time.
For more top tips on home living, check out the other articles on our blog.