Now that the weather is starting to heat up, it will be time to start turning on your air conditioner. After having been left unused for several months, it’s not uncommon for problems to develop. For instance, you may find that the unit will blow out warm air instead of cool air. This one problem may be caused by any number of mechanical problems, but the most likely reasons are listed below.
Double Check Your Thermostat
Sometimes, the most common solution is the simplest. When it comes to figuring out why your air conditioning unit is blowing hot air, this means checking to be sure your thermostat is on the right setting. Many people fail to check that the thermostat is set on cool and, as a result, the system will continue blowing out heated air. In these cases, there’s nothing wrong with the HVAC system that a flip of the switch won’t cure.
Check Your Air Filter Next
At the start of each season, it’s a good idea to check your air filters. Some filters can simply be cleaned, while others may need to be replaced. Either way, you should avoid operating the system with a dirty filter in place. The dirt trapped in the filter will contaminate the evaporator coil. As dirt collects on the coil, it will keep the unit from properly cooling the air. A simple check of the filters can help you avoid a more costly service call.
- You May Also Like: Top 6 Air Conditioner Brands of 2019
Check Your Condenser Unit
What’s a condenser unit? That’s the big machine outside your home, which you may have been ignoring up until now. While these units are built to be durable and long-lasting, they’re not indestructible. Inspect the unit for debris that may be blocking the unit’s vents.
Common debris that could be inhibiting the unit’s functioning may include:
- Tree branches and sticks
- Paper and other types of litter
- Dirt and mud
When the vents are obstructed, the air flow will be inhibited. Take the time to clear the vents of debris and check the the condenser regularly throughout the summer. A clean condenser unit will help your air conditioner operate more efficiently, providing you with cooler air output.
Low Freon Levels
Your air conditioning unit relies on a refrigerant, which is a chemical compound necessary to the cooling process. This is typically Freon, but your unit may run on another refrigerant. If there’s not enough in the system, or if there’s a leak, the unit won’t efficiently cool the air. You can usually tell that this is the problem by looking for ice formations in or around the unit. Typically, refilling the refrigerant and looking for leaks should be done by an experienced HVAC technician.
Check Your Air Ducts
In some cases, the problem may not be with the unit at all. Over time, the ducts in your home may become blocked by debris, or they may erode. If you can’t find anything obstructing the flow of air, try to find holes, cracks, or other types of leaks in your duct system, which would interfere with air flow. Again, this may be a project that will require the expertise of a professional, especially in evaluating the conditions of ducts deeper in the home’s walls. While he’s there, the technician can take the time to clean all of the ducts to ensure maximum air flow.
Check Your Breakers
One more common problem may have to do with the home’s electrical system. A blown breaker switch can inhibit your air conditioner’s ability to function properly. If you have checked the other common causes of insufficiently cooled air, this is the likely culprit. If something has tripped the breaker, reset it and try to operate the HVAC system again. If the breaker trips a second time, it’s best to contact an electrician. A recurring tripped breaker may indicate a more serious electrical problem, which may also constitute a fire hazard.
In some cases, correcting the problem of warm air can be easily fixed without professional help. However, even if you don’t need expert repair services, it may be wise to have an experienced HVAC technician look things over. This will help you identify other issues that may be compromising the efficiency of your air conditioner before they develop into bigger and more costly problems.