Few things are worse than realizing your air conditioner is not working on a hot, muggy day, especially when you discover that your AC is blowing out warm air instead of cool air! This problem is quite common, and luckily, there are steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue on your own. In fact, some solutions for the problem don’t even require a repair from a professional.
Finding out why your AC is not cooling your home will involve some investigation on your part, as any of these factors could be the reason for the issue:
The HVAC air filter is too dirty.
The thermostat settings are incorrect.
The condenser outside is unable to release heat.
Your AC is leaking refrigerant.
Your AC’s compressor is not working.
Your AC’s condenser fan is not working.
Note: If your air conditioner is making odd noises or releasing strange odors, turn off your AC at once, and contact an HVAC technician: 830-964-2211.
1. The HVAC air filter is too dirty.
An overly dirty air filter is a common cause of several HVAC issues. If air filters are not changed frequently enough, they can become so clogged with dust, hair, and other debris that it’s impossible for them to allow an adequate amount of air to flow through your HVAC system. Without adequate airflow, your system will start getting really hot and can even overheat.
If your air filter is extremely dirty, change it right away and see if that solves the issue.
Tip: Each time you change a 90-day air filter, put a reminder on your calendar or phone to check it again in 45 days, 60 days, and 90 days.
2. The thermostat settings are incorrect.
If your AC’s fan is running, but the air is not cool, your thermostat might have been switched to “on,” rather than “auto.” People will swear they didn’t touch the thermostat, but sometimes, somehow, the thermostat gets inexplicably set to “on,” which tells your system to run the fan regardless of whether or not the air is actually being cooled. Simply switch it back to “auto.”
3. The condenser outside is unable to release heat.
To work correctly, your condenser (your AC’s outdoor unit) needs to be able to release heat into the air around it. If the condenser gets too dirty, clogged by dead leaves, or crowded by vegetation, it won’t be able to dissipate heat properly. Try (gently!) hosing and wiping down the dirty areas of your AC and clearing away weeds, bushes, and shrubs that are growing too close.
Tip: If you are trying to hide your condenser with a fence or bushes, make sure you give the unit at least 2 feet of horizontal clearance and 5 feet of vertical clearance.
4. Your AC is leaking refrigerant.
Refrigerant has the task of absorbing heat. Without enough refrigerant, your AC will not be able to create cool air. Unfortunately, this is a repair that you will not be able to tackle the DIY route, as refrigerant repairs require professional training.
Shut off your AC right away to avoid damaging the compressor, and contact an HVAC technician if you spot one of these signs of a refrigerant leak:
You hear a bubbling or hissing sound whenever you turn your AC on.
Ice has encrusted your AC.
5. Your AC’s compressor is not working.
Your AC’s compressor has the job of circulating refrigerant between your AC’s indoor unit and outdoor unit. Unfortunately, if your air compressor is broken, you will most likely need to replace it, and the replacement is costly. Talk with your HVAC technician about whether or not it would make more sense to put that money towards a new, possibly more energy-efficient air conditioner instead, depending on how old your current unit is.
6. Your AC’s condenser fan is not working.
Your condenser’s fan helps release heat into the air surrounding the unit. If the fan is broken, it’s definitely going to lead to cooling issues. This is another repair that is best handled by a professional.
Other Cooling Issues
In some cases, your HVAC system might have none of the issues above and yet still fail to make your home as cool as you would like. Here are two common factors that account for this:
Your AC is not the right size for your cooling needs. An improperly sized air conditioner can create hot and cold spots throughout your home.
It’s just really, really hot outside. Experts agree that most air conditioners can only create a 20-degree temperature difference between supply and return air. Indoor return air is usually cooler than outdoor air, which means it’s possible for your home to be more than 20 degrees cooler than it is outside. However, some ACs are not able to accomplish more than a 20-degree difference between your home’s indoor temperature and the temperature outside.
Don’t spend your summer in discomfort! Whether you are looking for a new air conditioning unit to install in your home or are in need of AC repair services, our team of San Antonio air conditioning service specialists at Air Care & Canyon Lake Air Conditioning can get you the help you need.