It’s the last thing you want to deal with when it’s the first hot day of the year – turning on your air conditioning, and quickly realizing it’s not cooling your home. You’re likely wondering what’s wrong with your AC system and in what instance it would be appropriate to call in a professional. If your system is blowing hot air, here are a few common reasons why.
Culprit: Dirty Air Filter
One of the most common reasons your AC system may not be pumping out cool air are your air filters. By freshening your air filters on a regular basis you can work to reduce many headaches caused down the road such as reduced air flow, debris building up on your air filters causing your HVAC system to work harder to cool your home, increased energy costs, and overall system failure.
Not sure when you need to change out your filter? Here are some helpful tips:
Someone has Allergies in the Household: Monthly Pet in Home: Every 2 Months
Home with No Pets: Every 3 Months
Vacation Rental Home: Every 6 – 12 Months
Culprit: Your Unit’s Frozen
It’s odd to think that your AC unit can freeze impacting the performance of critical system components during the hot summer months. If you notice your unit has frosted over, it could be due to two factors: low levels of refrigerant or improper fan circulation.
Low refrigerant can lead to cold coils causing your unit to freeze. Likewise, a dirty evaporator coil causes a lack in airflow creating cooler temperatures within your unit resulting in a frozen system.
In the event your unit has frozen over, there’s a simple fix. Turn your thermostat to the OFF setting and your fan to the ON setting. This combo will work to defrost your system and frozen coils within a few hours.
Culprit: Check the Thermostat
Looking at your thermostat may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes the simplest of answers fixes a problem. Double-check your thermostat setting is set to “COOL” and is in the “AUTO” setting versus the “ON” setting. The “ON” setting can easily rack up energy bills by running air throughout your home continuously. While you may lower the temperature on the thermostat by a few degrees, keep in mind some systems cannot detect a change as subtle as this.
When it’s Time to Call a Professional
- Fan Motor Not Running: To move cool air throughout your home, your unit’s AC fan needs to be able to blow cool air throughout your home’s ductwork while simultaneously moving hot air out. It’s imperative that your fan motor is working at top-notch to effectively and efficiently complete this task. If your fan motor is not working at an optimal level to sustain high system performance, this can lead to your system’s compressor breaking as well as resulting in a much larger repair expense. If your system’s fan motor is not running like it should, it is highly advised to work with a local professional due to the high-voltage environment service technicians encounter while making repairs such as wire corrosion and various electrical connections.
- Your Unit’s Refrigerant is Leaking or Low: Each HVAC system normally includes a specified amount of refrigerant needed from the system manufacturer to run efficiently when installed. If your unit is low on refrigerant, it’s normally because either the system was undercharged or there is a leak. If the system’s charging was not completed properly, this impacts the system’s overall performance and efficiency. However, if a leak is detected, a trained technician should be able to address the leak, fix it, test the system, and charge the correct amount of refrigerant to ensure the system is not undercharged or overcharged. An unqualified service technician can sometimes fail to find the root of a refrigerant charging problem or make a problem worse by adding refrigerant to an already full system.