With more hot days ahead, the last thing you want is warm air blowing out of your air conditioner. When this happens, there are a few things in your home that you can check on yourself before calling in a professional.
Reason #1: The thermostat is incorrectly set
This may seem so obvious but it’s for that very reason that it is first on the list because it is often overlooked. It’s an easy mistake to switch the thermostat from the cool to heat setting or to forget to make the switch altogether. Double-check that the system is set to “cool” not “heat” and that the fan is set to “auto” and not “on”. If the fan is set to “on,” this means that the fan will blow even when the air conditioner is not actually cooling and can lead to your AC blowing out air that feels warmer.
Reason #2: Airflow is restricted
A restriction in the airflow to and from the air conditioner can often mean that not enough air is coming out of the vents to cool your home. Restricted airflow can also lead to the compressor – the outdoor unit of your air conditioner that moves the refrigerant – to freeze up. This commonly happens as a result of one or both of the following:
- You have yet to schedule your maintenance appointment on your AC within the year and therefore the coils are dirty.
- It’s been too long since the air filter was replaced.
Reason #3: Ductwork issues
Damaged or compromised ductwork can force your HVAC to run when it’s not at peak performance which can also mean an increase in your energy bill. You may otherwise have the problem of a broken or disconnected return duct which can cause air that has not been cooled to be pulled from outside or in the attic and passed through the HVAC system.
Reason #4: Electricity isn’t getting to the system
Your air conditioner is broken down into two main parts: the indoor unit and the outdoor unit. The indoor unit is within the home and houses the fan that blows their air throughout your home but it can only blow cool air if both components have power and are working.
If nothing is coming on at all, the circuit breaker may have tripped that controls the system. Check the circuit breaker or fuse panel to make sure that is not the case. If the breaker did not trip, contact a professional and do not try to fix it yourself; this could mean there is a much bigger problem at play. Also, if you also have a gas furnace in the home, there is usually an emergency cut off switch somewhere nearby. If that switch has accidently been turned off – it will cause the air to stop circulating through the house.
Reason #5: The system is low on refrigerant
The final reason we present as to why your AC may be blowing hot air is that your system is low on refrigerant. The refrigerant moves through the air conditioning system and facilitates cooling. This is a closed and contained system, so if the necessity arises to add refrigerant, there’s likely a leak in the line or coils. Depending on the size and speed of the leak, you may notice that the unit starts blowing warm air. A refrigerant leak is both a concern for the health of your heating and cooling system and potentially the environment. Your HVAC professional will determine the best course of action in the event of a refrigerant leak.