Nobody wants that hot summer day when they notice their house is still uncomfortably warm yet the air conditioner has been running non stop.
They check the vents and discover the disappointing temperature of the air.
There are a lot of reasons for your ac to blow out warm air. The fan is doing it’s job but the cooling system is not. It might be something quick and simple to fix or a big repair like a refrigerant leak or electrical issue. This week we take a look at some of the most common reasons to help
Check that thermostat
This is usually the first thing to make sure is working correctly. Obviously you want to make sure it’s set right to cool and fan set to auto so that it’s not just running the fan non-stop. Maybe the thermostat has been damaged, needs replaced or just has a low battery.
Clear the vents!
Are all the vents open to allow free air movement? This is important as closing vents is rarely recommended. Doing so usually means restricted air flow which means more wear and tear on your forced air system. If vents are blocked or closed open them.
Does the filter need replaced?
Air flow is very important for your cooling system. If the filter isn’t allowing air to pass through then it can’t do it’s job properly. A clogged filter can prevent the warm air needed to pass through the coils of the air conditioner to remove the heat to be sent back through the vents. Air filters should be changed regularly to prevent these issues and keep your air cleaner while allowing good air flow through the home or office.
Duct work problems
There may be a leak in the duct work that is allowing hot air in and cold air out. Duct work may have even become disconnected. Problems with the air flow can also cause issues on the return air.
If return air isn’t making its way to the cooling system then it cannot work properly.
Sometimes duct work can get damaged from rodents or home renovation projects, deterioration over time or if they were installed improperly in the first place. It’s usually best to have an hvac expert check your duct work but if it is easily accessible you can also look for obvious issues as well.
Is the outdoor unit running?
If the outdoor air conditioner / condensing unit isn’t running but the indoor fan is then it could be a power issue.
Unless you are an electrician or hvac expert you should not try to fix or diagnose electrical issues as they can be very dangerous.
Sometimes it can be something as simple as a blown fuse that causes the loss of power to the outdoor unit.
Have you been getting maintenance for your air conditioner?
Regular maintenance is important for keeping your AC running well. If it’s been neglected then it’s possible that the condenser coils have become too dirty.
Since the condenser unit is outside it can pick up a lot of build up from loose dirt, leaves, and trash.
We offer easy and affordable hvac maintenance plans to help prevent these issues and keep your system running reliably: Learn more
If it’s none of the above then there is a good chance there could be a leak in the refrigerant. This is definitely an issue you want an hvac expert to handle.
Adding more refrigerant is not a solution as the leak needs to be fixed!
Because these are closed loop systems, any leaks need to be repaired for the system to work as intended otherwise the problem will just continue to happen while possibly causing more unnecessary wear and tear on the unit.
Small leaks may slowly cause the air conditioner to stop producing cold air over time until you notice that you’ve been running the air conditioner non stop without the house becoming appropriately cool, which of course is a lot of wasted energy by the time it’s noticed. Whereas big leaks can just suddenly cause it to stop working.
If a leak is the problem and the air conditioner is older then there is a good chance that the system uses R22 (commonly known as Freon). R22 is being phased out and will become unavailable. If that is the case it is wise to go ahead and discuss your options with your hvac tech and consider retrofitting or buying a new unit because the Freon systems will just become more and more expensive to refill, changing over sooner might save you money and possibly getting stuck waiting on an emergency repair down the road as the demand for switching over increases.
Extra tip: Insulation and efficiency
Cold air could be getting wasted if your home isn’t properly insulated and sealed. A lot of air can go into the walls and attic. If areas are not sealed properly around pipes, for example, you could be allowing hot air in from your crawlspace or sending cool air down to your crawlspace.
Taking the time to seal and insulate well can save a lot of money on your monthly energy bills and keep your home cooler.