AC Not Blowing Cold Air
Why is warm air coming out of my air conditioner?
It’s never great to discover your home’s heating and cooling system isn’t working properly, especially when it’s the middle of a Kansas summer and you feel warm air coming out of your air conditioner! Finding that your AC isn’t blowing out cool air is alarming, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that your system is severely broken. In fact, seeing that your ac unit is not blowing cold air but running could mean any number of relatively simple problems that require simple fixes.
What should you do when you find your AC is not blowing cold air?
Don’t call us. It might seem surprising for a professional HVAC company to tell you, but the very first thing you should do when an air conditioner is blowing warm air is to check and see if you can fix the underlying problem yourself.
Here at Hanna, we receive calls all the time from people all across Wichita, Newton, Andover and surrounding towns with people in distress over a broken air conditioner or heating system. And many times, when we go out to service their HVAC system, we find simple fixes that the homeowner was capable to do on his or her own. We are more than happy to help a homeowner detect simple DIY fixes over the phone to avoid a service call and any service cost to the homeowner. Feel free to call us for service, or even just for questions, at (316) 945-3481.
Before You Call: A Homeowner’s Checklist
What should you do when your AC is not blowing cold air? There are some basic steps homeowners can address themselves. Most are tasks that just about any homeowner could be able to do on their own with little or no money.
STEP 1: THE THERMOSTAT
We start with the easiest problem to fix. Sometimes getting your AC to work correctly takes as little effort as a push of a button. It’s possible that you, or someone in your home, may have changed something on your thermostat that is what’s causing the problem.
Is it set to COOL? Make sure your thermostat is set on COOL, and that it’s not only on FAN or HEAT.
Is it set to a number LOWER than current temperature? If your thermostat hasn’t been adjusted since the winter, you may find your thermostat is set to a higher number than the ambient temperature. Making sure it’s now on COOL, lower the desired temperature to a number below the current air temperature in your house. You should quickly hear your air conditioner fan from your indoor HVAC system kick on, then feel cool air coming from your vents.
Is the battery dead? Sometimes the reason why your air conditioner is blowing hot air or just isn’t working properly is simply because the batteries in your thermostat have died. Simply replacing your thermostat’s batteries may be all the fix you need to get your air conditioner back to blowing out cool air.
STEP 2: REGISTER VENTS
Check all your vents to see if they are open. It’s a common thought that you should close vents to a room you don’t need to stay cool in the summer (or hot in the winter) in order to save on your energy bill. But is this correct? Should you close your vents? The answer is simple: No. A couple closed may be fine, but no more than that could negatively affect proper air flow. Make sure you can actually feel air coming out of your registers. If you don’t feel air blowing from your register, that could mean the fan motor in your HVAC system isn’t working.
STEP 3: INDOOR HVAC SYSTEM
Your home’s HVAC system, often found in the basement, includes a portion of the air conditioning system called an evaporator. This unit absorbs heat from the air and transfers that hot air to your outdoor AC unit (which is called the condenser). Go to your furnace and see if you hear the blower motor running. While you are listening for the motor, you should check to see if ice has accumulated on the evaporator coil which may be an indicator there is a refrigerant leak or something simple to fix such as a dirty air filter. A variety of issues can cause the evaporator mower to stop working, from lack of lubrication to electrical issues, both should be handled by a skilled air conditioning technician – call us at (316) 945-3481.
Dirty air filter: If your air filter looks more like the one on the left than the right, then it’s way past time to change it. Once you do, that may be the only fix your AC needed to begin blowing out cold air again. Some AC units have a built-in mechanism that will shut the system down if the filter is clogged.
While the indoor component of your HVAC system stores the fan that blows the air through your home, it will do this whether or not your outside unit is working. And its your outside unit that creates the cool air that indoor fan needs to circulate in your home. For more information on how to properly maintain a very important component of your HVAC system and to know how often you need to change your filter, check out Air Filters 101: What HVAC Techs Want You To Know.
STEP 4: OUTSIDE AC UNIT (CONDENSER)
Go outside and make a visual check of the unit. Is there any frost or ice on it? If so, go back inside and change the setting on your thermostat so go from cool to only having the fan on. Letting that run for as much as 12 hours may help your unit thaw out. And if you hadn’t already handled the previous step, check your filter as a frozen outdoor AC unit is usually an indicator that your air filter needs to be changed. If this remedies the problem, but only temporarily and you see frost or ice develop again later, it’s likely you may be dealing with a freon leak. Contact us to effectively and safely handle any potential freon leak and to refill your system with the proper refrigerant.
Another problem that results in a frozen air conditioner is that the coils on your outdoor condenser unit are dirty. Is it covered with cottonwood, leaves, dirt or other debris? If you can see it is dirty, you can clean it.
Perform simple maintenance on the outside unit. To clean, turn off your condenser unit, remove the top section and any outer caging. Take a hose inside the condenser and spray the coils. Make sure you are spraying from the inside out, never from the outside spraying in. Be careful not to bend the fins. If you want a professional to handle the cleaning and maintenance of your AC unit, feel free to give us a call at (316) 945-3481.
Other AC Issues:
If your AC is not blowing out ANY air at all, then one additional thing to check is your home’s power. Make sure you didn’t blow a fuse or have some other house-wide issue happening. In addition, be sure that the furnace power switch is in the ON position. It often looks like a regular light switch and may have been switched off by accident.
Check out our Homeowner’s Checklist: Why Won’t My AC Turn On to learn even more DIY steps you can take before calling a professional heating and cooling company like us at Hanna here in Wichita. And when in doubt, give us a call at (316) 945-3481 so we can possibly advise over the phone the steps you can take if there is an easy fix. And if not, then we will be happy to come out and service your HVAC unit to get that cold air blowing again as soon as possible in your home.
You can learn more about how air conditioners work and energy saving tips from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Still confused why your air conditioner is blowing warm air? Just ask Wichita’s Air Conditioning Experts
Hanna Heating and Air has worked on thousands of HVAC systems over the decades across the Wichita area. Most of our technicians have more than 10 years’ experience fixing furnaces and broken ac units and have seen all types of HVAC problems, big and small. We can always be called upon to come check why your AC won’t turn, why it’s blowing warm air, or other problem keeping your home from being comfortable. We have also seen when the problem is something so simple, the homeowner can fix it themselves. Instead of charging for one of our trained HVAC technicians to come out to your home for something that may be an easy repair, we are happy to talk you through a problem over the phone for you to address it yourself. And when your home is ready for a new unit, we can work with you to make sure we install exactly the right cooling system for your needs. With our large team of technicians in our Wichita, Andover, and Newton locations, we can often deliver same day service.