The last thing you want is your air conditioner blowing hot air. If this is happening in your home, there are a few common causes to rule out before calling an AC professional.
Troubleshooting Hot Air from Your Air Conditioner
Here are some troubleshooting tips that could save you some money and time.
Incorrect Thermostat Setting
It’s not uncommon that an improperly set thermostat is to blame for your air conditioner blowing hot air. This is the first thing to check since it’s easier to fix. Ensure that you or someone else in your home hasn’t accidentally moved the thermostat to “heat” or turned the fan mode to “on.” If the fan is continuously running, it will blow even when the AC isn’t cooling.
Dirty Outdoor Unit
Check your outside unit for anything that could be restricting airflow. This includes leaves, dirt, and tall grass next to the unit that could interfere with moving parts. Remove any blockages, and remember that your unit’s condenser coils need to be regularly maintained to keep them clean.
Dirty Air Filter
The air filter protects the inside of your AC unit from dirt, dust, and debris that can inhibit airflow. In hotter climates, you should check your air filter at least once a month. If the filter becomes quite dirty after less than a month of use, you may have a dirty evaporator coil and need to call a professional.
More Serious Causes for Hot Air from Your Air Conditioner
If you’ve tried troubleshooting the problem, but your AC system is still blowing warm air, here are some more serious culprits that will definitely warrant the inspection of an HVAC professional.
Leaky Air Ducts
A leak in your air ducts can also cause your AC to blow hot air. Because air ducts are typically hidden in your attic, basement, or walls, you will need to contact an AC professional to determine if there is a leak.
This is probably the most common cause of an air conditioner blowing hot air. However, this is another issue that will require someone with pro-level skills. It’s important to note that refrigerant isn’t used up like gasoline, which means that if it’s low, you have a leak that a professional needs to repair before adding more refrigerant.
Dirty Evaporator Coils
When you have restricted air that results in not enough air from the vents to cool your home, this can damage your AC system’s components, causing your outdoor unit to freeze up. This can be caused by dirty evaporator coils or damage to the air conditioner compressor located in your outside unit.
When your AC system is blowing hot air, the problem may not be with the system itself. The indoor AC unit houses a fan that blows air into your home, but it can only blow cooler air if your outside unit is working. Therefore, another reason for your AC not blowing cool air could be that the circuit breaker for the outdoor unit has tripped. Check your fuse panel to determine if this is the case. If it is, this can mean you have a serious problem that needs a professional’s attention.
There are many reasons for your AC system to be blowing hot air. Some of these, you may be able to troubleshoot yourself without having to call in a professional. However, this issue is often due to a problem like low refrigerant, a leak in your ductwork, or damage to an essential component like the compressor. In these cases, you’ll want to seek the help of a reputable HVAC service provider to prevent an expensive breakdown of the system.
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