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My AC Is Blowing Hot Air: Common Causes

Once the hot part of the year starts in earnest, almost every home in the USA cranks the AC and enjoys the cool and the comfort it provides. However, there are some instances when that is not possible.

For example, when you turn on your AC and it starts blasting even warmer air into the room. If that happened to you, naturally, you want to know why and what you can do about it. You could consult an AC technician to take a look at it, but before you do, make sure that you check some obvious causes.

Your Thermostat Settings

It may sound a bit too simple to be the cause of the problem, but it is possible, and the simplest solution to the problem. Somebody may have accidentally set the thermostat on HEAT instead COOL. What’s more, even if it’s set on cool, there are finer settings which may be the cause of warm air blowing.

If you set your thermostat in the ON position, it will turn on the fans regardless of the condition of the air it starts moving, so even when your compressor hasn’t cooled the air sufficiently. Make sure that you switch it to AUTO. The AC will decide when the air is cooled down sufficiently to start blowing.

The Filters Are Dirty

You have most likely heard that you need to clean or replace your air filter once a month or so. If you haven’t been so diligent with it, you may have been putting your AC through unnecessary stress. Namely, the air filter captures various particles from the air, both for the protection of the system and cleaning the air that you breathe.

However, after a while, the air filter becomes full and cannot capture any more dirt. What’s more, the dirt which is already accumulated on the filter starts creating a blockade, so that the air cannot circulate normally.

The Outdoors Unit Isn’t On

The residential AC units have two parts, the indoor unit, and the outdoor unit. If your indoor unit is working and blowing hot air, it may indicate that the outdoor unit is not getting any power and cannot perform its tasks.

The simplest way to check it is to go outside and listen to the outdoor unit. If you can’t hear it or see any parts inside moving, it is probably the case. You can also check your circuit breakers to determine whether something happened there. If the breaker is tripped, it could indicate that there is some bigger issue that you should ask a professional electrician about.

The Outdoor Unit Is Obstructed

Your outdoor unit is a very important part of your AC system and it requires specific conditions in order to function properly. One of the most common mistakes that people make with the outdoor unit is not giving it enough space. It needs air from every side in order to be able to cool it down efficiently and quickly.

You need to give it at least 2 feet of space in all directions. That means that you cannot lean anything against it or put things on top of it. Another thing that people often disregard is the vegetation; all trees and bushes need to be planted the obligatory 2 feet away from it.

The Refrigerant Is Low or Out

Your AC needs a chemical refrigerant in order to cool your home. This chemical is contained in a closed system and uses the temperature difference to cool the air down without a direct contact. However, over time, small amounts of it may escape the system, or if there is a leak in the system you may lose the refrigerant. That means that your AC won’t be very effective, or not at all.

In most situations, you will need a cooling professional to come and check if there is a leak in your AC system, but if you spot that the pipes inside your AC are frozen, this is the most likely culprit. You will need to have your AC repaired before you can resume using it.

We are largely dependent on our ACs, so make sure that yours functions properly this summer by performing the obligatory yearly maintenance and avoid potentially expensive repairs and the inability to use your AC until it is done.


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