During the spring and hot summer months, it’s nice to get outdoors and enjoy the warm weather. However, we all know that escaping indoors is always a refreshing way to cool down…that is, unless your Air Conditioner isn’t working properly. It can be pretty disappointing to walk into a hot home, and have to deal with a broken air conditioner.
On the bright side, having your air conditioner blow hot air doesn’t necessarily mean your system is broken. Here are some easy things to try troubleshooting before calling a professional HVAC Contractor.
1) Thermostat setting
Although it may sound a little obvious, the first thing you should do it is check your thermostat settings and batteries, make sure they are not corroded or dead. If your AC system accidentally got switched to heat, it’s a simple fix. Just switch it back to “cool”, see if it starts to blow cool air again. Check your temperature setting to ensure it’s at least five degrees below what the room temperature reads on your thermostat. Make sure it’s also set on “auto” or “on” instead of “fan only” function. An AC Company may typically charge anywhere from $50 to $120 to come out to your home and asses the situation it would be an expensive service call if you called a company out just to reset your thermostat.
2) Check the outdoor unit ( Split System )
If the thermostat looks like it is on the right setting, the next thing you should do is go outside and check the outdoor (Condenser) unit. Look for blockages. Remove any debris, leaves, dirt or tall grass that may be interfering with your system’s moving parts. Also, make sure your unit is actually running. If it isn’t making any noises, check the electrical panel and look for a tripped breaker or any blown fuses. If you have a blown fuse, you will need to replace it and then flip the breaker back on. If you hear the fan on top of the unit running and you still have no cool, that is a sign that you need to contact your local HVAC Repair Company to come out to diagnose the issue. In the mean time it is best to leave it off until it is looked at.
3) Clean your air filter
One inch air Filters should be changed about every 30-90 days, or per manufacturer specifications, depending on the filter. If you have neglected changing out your air filters for a while, it can cause a build-up of dirt and dust which prevents proper airflow throughout your home, which may cause your system to freeze over and prevent air movement throughout the system. A blocked evaporator coil can freeze up and prevent the system from cooling properly. If your evaporator coil is frozen, change your air filters and turn off your system to give your evaporator coil time to thaw before turning it back on can usually take 2 to 6 hours to thaw depending on how long you have left your system on.
4) Check for refrigerant leaks – Signs of Oil
Low refrigerant is a common cause of an AC system blowing warm air. If there is not enough refrigerant in the system due to leaks, then your system is not going to be able to cool the air effectively. Unfortunately, refrigerant/freon is extremely dangerous and should not be something that you try to fix yourself. If you’ve attempted the other troubleshooting options above and your AC is still blowing warm air, or if you hear hissing/gurgling noises, and even see ice on your refrigerant line, it’s time to call a professional. The sooner you respond to refrigerant issues the better, before it causes additional problems with your system or before all of your refrigerant has depleted.
5) Leaky air ducts – Disconnected Ductwork
Another annoying scenario that could cause your system to blow warm air is that the air ducts are compromised. Your system may be pulling warm air from unconditioned spaces of the house into the air ducts and circulating that into your home. If you have leaks in your duct system or unbalanced ductwork then it’s time to call your local HVAC Contractor.
If your system is still blowing warm or hot air, you may need to call a pro. Let a technician take care of you if you’re having any issues with your air conditioning system.