If you notice that your air conditioner has completely stopped working, you need to get the unit replaced or repaired. However, a more confusing, though quite common, issue occurs when the unit blows air, but the air feels warm. What would cause this to happen when the system is otherwise running in tip-top shape? Here are a few reasons why this can occur and some solutions for getting to the bottom of the problem:
1. The Unit is Worn Out
It goes to say that when your air conditioner is nearing its usefulness, it will not work in the capacity that it did when it was brand new. It just may be the end of your system’s lifespan, and that is okay. If it is older, then you know that it has done its time and, logically, good things come to an end. However, if the unit is younger, and it should still be running in fair condition, check your warranty to see if the company you bought it from or the manufacturer will cover the costs of repairs or replacement.
2. The Air Filter Needs Replacement
According to Glendale Air Conditioning, dirty air filters restrict the amount of air that can reasonably blow over the evaporator coils to be cooled off. That means hot air will be pulled into the system, yet expelled while still warmer than room temperature. Blocking the regular airflow to and from the unit can also cause the whole system to freeze up indefinitely.
Just remember, you should replace your filters a few times a year, and as often as every month if you live in a warmer climate where you would use your system nearly year-round. If you haven’t changed them in a while, this could certainly be the issue.
3. The Thermostat isn’t Set Right
As crazy as it may sound, check the Thermostat to make sure the unit is set to “cool” and not “heat.” While you know what you have done or have not done, you can’t account for everyone that lives in the home or apartment. Someone may have changed the setting without your knowledge. If it is actually set on cooling, be sure that you set your desired temperature at least five degrees lower than the room’s current temperature.
Another setting to look at is the thermostat fan switch. If the unit is set to “on,” it will blow air regardless of whether the Thermostat is set to “cool.” That means many vents will feel like they are blowing warm air. To fix this, switch the setting to “auto.”
4. The Condenser Unit is Blocked
Since the condenser units are positioned outdoors, shrubs, bushes, trees, and general plant life may be obstructing it considerably. Debris, dirt, and other trash could also have littered and cluttered the area near the condenser unit during the winter months when the system was no longer being used regularly.
These blockages to the condenser unit prevent it from releasing the requisite amount of heat from the condenser coils that are adequate to cool the interior air. If the heat is not removed and released from the home properly, it will remain indoors. So, clear the area around the condenser so the unit can “breathe.”
5. The Refrigerant is Leaking
To get the heat moving from inside your home to the outside condenser unit, the refrigerant is required to flow through the cooling coils. If this fluid is leaking, the whole system will be compromised. The finely-tuned unit will still work as best as it can, but the process that it undergoes to remove the heat from inside your home will be much slower and less efficient. So, while the air conditioner will technically still work, the comfort level it will provide will be less than stellar.
6. The Electricity could be Cut Off
There are two places to check for proper electricity flow in an air conditioner. These are at the air handler in the indoor air conditioning unit and by the compressor in the unit outside. Also, check your circuit breakers in your electrical panel. Switches that are now off could indicate an issue with your system, such as overheating. When these types of problems happen, the breaker will cut the unit’s supply of electric power.
7. The Cooling Coils are Dirty
As was previously stated, the indoor cooling coils inside your air conditioner draw heat from inside your home and absorb it. This heat is then transferred outside to be eliminated via another set of coils in the outdoor unit. However, if either of these sets of coils is covered with a layer of debris, their job becomes much harder to accomplish. The heat will be unable to transfer from the air blown over the coils to the actual coils themselves. When this occurs, your system’s ability to extract heat from home will be taxed severely. This means that warm air will blow from your vents.
8. There are Issues with the Compressor
The outside compressor unit is a crucial part of your overall air conditioning system. It is single-handedly in charge of sustaining the pressure of the refrigerant, so, without it, you would not be able to absorb indoor heat and release it outdoors. Once this critical portion of your air conditioner starts to malfunction, you will need to call in a professional to repair or replace it. After all, without the compressor, there is no way possible for the unit to provide a cool, comfortable climate in your home.
In conclusion, it is not difficult to find out why your air conditioner is blowing warm air, though it can be tedious and time-consuming. Sometimes, only a little minor maintenance may be needed. However, if you have thoroughly checked the inside and outside portions of your air conditioning system, and it is still not producing cool air, or you have isolated the issue, but are not qualified to tackle it on your own. You will need to call a qualified HVAC contractor.