7 Reasons Why Your AC isn’t Blowing Cold Air
September 22, 2020
If your air conditioner is plugged in, powers on, and runs, it’s all the more frustrating if it’s not blowing cold air. Before you panic that you need a new AC unit though, you might need an AC check. There are several reasons why an AC might stop blowing cold air, and it’s important to know why. A lot of times, the answer is less troublesome than you think and you can save yourself a service call if it’s an easy fix. The expert staff at newACunit.com wants you to know more about the usual suspects and how they’re likely to manifest.
1.The Evaporator Coils Are Covered In Grime
The more dirt accumulates on your evaporator coil, the harder it will be to convert hot air to cold. These coils rely on a water reservoir and a fan to work. The latter will take air from the outdoors before running it past the cooler pads. The coils lower the temperature room with a simple but powerful force that is evaporation.
As a liquid dries, it’s the hottest particles that make their exit first. So the hot air will evaporate the liquid, causing the air to drop by as much as 20 degrees. But if the coils are clogged, the machine can’t actually treat the water effectively, causing the air to lower only a few (imperceptible) degrees. The longer this problem goes unresolved, the more likely it is for AC to overheat and shut down.
2. The Air Filter Is Old
Air filters are constantly subjected to everything from hair to dust. The more debris, the harder it will be to achieve proper airflow. How often you change out your air filter will depend on where you’re located, how many pets you have, and how often you clean.
Some people like to change it out as frequently as once a month (at least during the hottest months of the year), while others will wait until there’s a noticeable problem. Part of air conditioner maintenance is just staying alert to changes in your home. If you notice that your air conditioner has to stay on longer or your home feels warmer than it used to, it’s probably a sign that something needs to be either cleaned or replaced.
3.The Settings Are Off
There are several modes on an air conditioner, so it’s possible that you just need to switch your air conditioner setting. These settings are usually relatively simple: Off, Auto, and On. Some people will choose the On setting, meaning their appliance is running regardless of whether it’s actually working to cool the air. The benefit of this option is ensuring the air is filtered at all times.
But even with the filtering perk, it’s usually better to conserve power by setting the AC to Auto. (Consider a separate air filter appliance for those with extreme allergies.) Setting your AC to Auto means there’s no chance that your machine will blow warm (or even room-temperature) air that way.
4.The Refrigerant Is Leaking
When you think of refrigerant, the first thing that might spring to mind is Freon. If your air conditioner was made after 2009 though, your refrigerant is likely either Puron or R410A. (Freon is a trademarked name and a brand that hasn’t exactly been good for the environment.)
Refrigerant works by moving heat around, often from a gas at room temperature. This substance is necessary to keep your home’s air cool, but if you have a leak, there won’t be enough for the AC to function properly.
If you’re doing your own AC check, you’ll need to be extremely careful. Even with the new EPA-approved versions for a new AC unit, you’re discouraged from working with the substance in any capacity. It’s best to call someone who’s a professional if you think it’s a refrigerant leak.
5.The Air Duct Isn’t Properly Sealed
Air ducts lose their insulation over time, causing treated air to seep from the ducts and into the interior of the home. When the leaks are bad enough, the vents will eventually blow lukewarm air simply because the airflow has been contaminated with too many outside forces. A broken or disconnected duct might also pull unconditioned air from either outdoors, your crawlspace, or attic.
When your utility bills are so high, it’s often because these important passageways have been compromised. That’s why when you want to get your home evaluated for energy efficiency, you can either do a full audit or you can opt to just check your ducts for a smaller fee. In most cases, it’s likely your outdoor unit or lack of refrigerant that’s the problem when you do an AC check, but you shouldn’t discount your ducts — especially if they’re on the older side.
6.The Circuit Breaker Needs to Be Reset
There are two circuit breakers needed for your air conditioner to work. The breaker that powers the indoor component of the machine relies on the breaker that powers the exterior component. If the interior breaker is working but the exterior breaker isn’t, the outsider breaker needs to be reset.
If you’re having continual problems with your circuit breaker, you may need to speak with an electrician or HVAC professional to figure out the true problem. Constantly resetting a tripped or blown breaker is not recommended and could cause damage to your AC (especially if you believe that the tripped circuit was caused by the AC).
An evaporator coil is difficult to see and maybe even identify. Some units make them more accessible than others, leaving many homeowners to puzzle over how to even check if their coils are dirty! But an outdoor unit that’s covered in leaves and crust is hard to miss.
If the grates of your unit look like they’ve seen better days, you can use a garden hose to wash down the exterior of the unit. You should be doing this at least once a year. Just make sure to use a gentle setting. A full blast will cause the coil fins to get bent out of shape and further restrict airflow.
As you can see, in many cases, there’s no need to purchase a new AC unit. However, if you’re having problems with overheating or constant refrigerant leaks, it might be time to swap out your old air conditioning. At NewACunit.com, we don’t need to tell you how important having cold air is to the people of Phoenix. Give us a call today if you have questions or you’re looking at the best brands and units for your home.