When summer finally arrives, a sudden heatwave can often raise the temperatures in your home to uncomfortable levels.
Most people would normally combat this blast of heat by simply switching on the central air conditioning unit, but what happens when you make the unwelcome discovery that your central AC doesn’t blow cold air and cooling like it’s supposed to?
The first thing to do is to remember not to panic.
Most air conditioner problems have a relatively straightforward solution that you can enact to get your cooling system up and running again in no time.
For more serious problems, you will have to call on the services of a trained HVAC contractor, who will likely be able to provide you with a solution that suits your needs and bank balance.
In this article, we provide you with a few troubleshooting tips that you can try before you call in the professionals to help cool your home and get your air conditioner blowing cold air in no time!
🧰 Dirty Air Filter
All HVAC systems come equipped with air filters that removes particles from the air before the conditioned air is circulated around your living space.
The air filter is designed to be porous enough to let through sufficient airflow.
Over time, the clogged filter will pick up enough dust and other particles to become blocked or clogged and completely block airflow.
This is a problem because a clogged air filter can prevent your air conditioner system from blowing cold air since not enough warm indoor air is entering the air handler.
This is also one of the reasons for a frozen evaporator coil.
If your air conditioning is not cooling enough cold air, you should inspect your air filter to see if it needs cleaning or replacing.
Standard practice says that you should replace your dirty filter with a new one at least every 60-90 days.
You will find it within your indoor air handler unit.
Replacing your air filter regularly is also a great way to improve your indoor air quality.
🧰 Check The Thermostat Settings
Another simple fix that you can apply to all types of AC units is checking the thermostat.
We commonly hear of complaints that are caused simply by air conditioning systems that are set to the wrong setting.
Make sure that the thermostat is set to cool, not just the thermostat fan setting.
If this does not work, you can try replacing the batteries in the thermostat and giving the temperature sensor a wipe to remove any dust that may be causing inaccurate temperature readings.
Now, this sounds really simple, but it could just be a circuit breaker that has tripped.
Find the electrical panel and check it. Reset it and check the thermostat again.
🧰 Dirty or Obstructed Condenser
The Condenser is responsible for dispersing the heat that is absorbed from the indoor environment and is part of the outdoor ac unit.
Since the condenser is located outside, it commonly becomes surrounded by leaves, foliage, and other debris.
This debris can obstruct its ability to disperse the heat from inside.
In this case, you should take action to clear a space around the outdoor air conditioner unit, cutting back any overgrown plants and sweeping up leaves and dust.
When to Call a Professional
🧰 Faulty Compressor
The compressor in your condenser unit is possibly the most important part of your air conditioner.
It is responsible for pumping the refrigerant from the inside unit to the outside unit so that heat exchange can occur.
Located in the outside unit, the compressor is one of the most expensive components in an HVAC system.
It has an average lifespan of 12-15 years, although this can be lengthened or shortened depending on the amount of use it sees and the maintenance it receives.
Replacing a faulty compressor is not a job for amateur DIY-ers.
Installing a new one requires specialist skills and knowledge about refrigerant systems, so it is best to call in the help of a trained HVAC technician.
🧰 Low on Refrigerant (or Freon)
Normally, the compressor and refrigerant lines form a sealed system that will not require you to adjust the levels of refrigerant in the system.
Low and leaking refrigerant levels can also cause ice buildup.
If you have a refrigerant leak, you should call in an HVAC professional straight away to repair the refrigerant lines and top up the system with a refrigerant charge.
If you do not do this, you may cause lasting damage to the compressor.
🧰 Broken Condenser Fan
The condenser fan is responsible for blowing air across the condenser to cool the refrigerant in the condenser coil. It is located in the outside ac unit.
If this fan is not working properly, it can produce insufficient cold air.
If the air flow is reduced, you will get ice buildup on the condensing coil.
Although replacing a condenser fan is a relatively simple procedure for a trained HVAC professional, the number and complexity of the electrical components it contains means that it is inadvisable for an amateur to attempt.
If you would like to learn more about your AC fan, check out: AC Fan Not Working? The Homeowners Guide to Cool Air
🧰 Damaged and Leaking Air Ducts
A well-functioning AC system relies on an airtight seal in its duct system.
If for any reason this seal breaks, it can result in a loss of suction which prevents the fans from transporting the cold air to the air handlers around your home.
Air duct leaks also allow cool air to escape from the central air conditioning system, which can have a negative impact on its overall cooling capacity.
Seeing as most of your ductwork will be concealed between the floors of your building and in the walls themselves, locating any suspected leaks can be a tricky procedure.
It is almost impossible to detect a leak by the naked eye unless the crack or hole is of significant size. Instead, something called a duct test needs to be performed.
A duct test requires a specialist duct testing device to measure how much air is escaping the ductwork.
This procedure is usually performed by professionals who are trained in the practice of duct testing and repairing damaged ductwork.
There are a wide variety of reasons why to your question” Why is my AC not blowing cold air?” Some potential causes can be addressed on your own without needing to call in professionals.
If your AC is undersized and not cooling your home correctly, you will definitely need the help of an HVAC pro.
However, if you have any of the more serious issues listed above, you will need to call in the help of an experienced HVAC technician to resolve them for you.
Contact Phyxter Home Services when you need an HVAC professional to check out your home’s AC.
Check out our page on AC Services for more information or a free estimate in your local area. We have local and independent contractors that are experts at fixing air conditioners and can get it running efficiently in no time at all.
So, don’t wait until it’s too hot. Schedule an AC service with a professional technician today and fix that problem of your AC not blowing cold air.
Dealing with other common AC problems? Check out: Top 18 Common AC Problems and Solutions.