Why Is My Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cold Air?
Here are 6 reasons you could be feeling the heat.
Summer is an awesome time at the South Jersey shore. While a day at the beach or boating on the back bay is a great way to enjoy the summer season, we all rely on the comfort of our homes to provide much needed respite from the heat.
Summer is the busiest season for the HVAC technicians at Broadley’s. We get calls just about every day from people whose air conditioners are blowing warm air. Fortunately, some common AC malfunctions can be easily solved by you, the homeowner. If your home is feeling too warm and muggy for comfort, Broadley’s wants to help.
For your convenience, we’ll categorize possible issues into ones YOU can solve and ones only a professional air conditioning repair technician should tackle.
AC problems that you can solve
Problem 1: A dirty air filter
A dirty filter can limit the flow of cooled air into your home. Worse yet, it can damage the motor of your cooling system by making it work extra hard. Fortunately, air conditioner filters are easy to replace. Here are some average guidelines to help you know how often you should change the air filter in your home:
- A vacation home or single occupant with no pets or allergies: every 6-12 months
- An average suburban home without pets: every 90 days
- Add a dog or cat: every 60 days
- Add more than one pet or anyone who suffers from airborne allergies: 20-45 days
Problem 2: Improperly set thermostat
First and foremost, make sure your thermostat is set to ‘COOL.’ Next, if your fan offers both ‘ON’ and ‘AUTO’ modes, you want to make sure you choose ‘AUTO.’ The ‘ON’ function will simply blow air 24/7, even when air isn’t actively being cooled to control your home’s indoor temperature. Lastly, try turning the thermostat down to see if the compressor kicks in with some cool air. Some air systems can’t detect differences between set temperatures and current room temperatures if they are less than 5 degrees.
Problem 3: An outside unit clogged with dirt or debris
An outdoor air unit’s job is to release the heat removed from your home. If the coils are blocked or clogged, it can’t do its job. Be sure to keep all hedges, ornamental grasses, shrubs, trees and other plants trimmed back to at least two feet from your air conditioner to maintain proper air flow. Despite best efforts, some grit and grime are going to find their way to the outdoor air conditioner. It’s a good idea to do the occasional spot check and brush away any obvious debris that could cause a blockage with a broom or brush to prevent mold growth and a build-up of grime that can eventually damage the interior components.
AC problems best left to the pro
Problem 1: A faulty or broken condenser fan motor
Fan motors go through a lot of wear and tear, and they can burn out when they undergo too much stress. This is especially true for air conditioners that are not properly maintained. A bad fan motor is a more serious issue that will either require professional repairs or a system replacement, depending on the age and condition of your system.
Problem 2: Low refrigerant charge/refrigerant leak
Refrigerant is necessary to cool your home, but if there isn’t enough refrigerant in your air conditioning system due to a refrigerant leak, your home is going to feel warmer than usual. Here are some telltale signs that you have a leak:
- Ice buildup on the refrigerant line and the outside unit
- Bubbling or hissing noise
- AC can’t cool home on especially hot days, but cools fine on cool days and at night
If you see these signs, turn off your AC and call Broadley’s ASAP. Running the AC in this state can cause slugging in the compressor and damage it beyond repair.
Problem 3: A bad compressor
The compressor is the heart of your home’s AC system, circulating refrigerant between the inside and outside unit. Failing compressor units must be replaced but are unfortunately very expensive. Unless your unit is still under warranty, you’ll want to compare costs to replace just the compressor with costs to replace the entire system.
Live in the South Jersey shore area? Contact Broadley’s for help.