On a hot summer day, it can be incredibly frustrating to find that your air conditioning system is blowing warm air instead of cold. When this happens, your system will sound as if it’s working, but the air in your home will still be hot and humid rather than cool and refreshing. It’s difficult to know whether your air conditioner is blowing out warm air due to a simple issue or if it’s something more complex that requires the help of a professional.
Air conditioners blow out warm air because something is causing the cooling mechanisms to shut off while the fan continues to blow out air. This can occur for a number of reasons. It could be something simple, like your thermostat settings or poor airflow, or it could also be a larger problem, like an electrical issue or refrigerant leaking. It’s important to try everything you can to understand the reason your air conditioner isn’t working properly. This way, you’ll know what steps to take to solve the problem.
Problems With Your Thermostat
When you notice your air conditioning system isn’t working right, the first thing you should do is check your thermostat settings. A thermostat can easily get messed with by kids or other adults in your home. Double-check that the thermostat settings are on “cool” and your fan is on “auto.” You should also ensure that the temperature is set to something cooler than the air outside. Otherwise, the air that is blowing out will feel warm in comparison.
Your Return Vents Aren’t Open
Another reason your air conditioner may be blowing warm air is because there’s an issue with the amount of airflow. Make sure you’ve opened all your vents up if you closed them during the winter months, and double-check that there aren’t large pieces of furniture blocking any vents. Do a walk-through of your home and feel the air coming out of the vents to ensure that they are all unobstructed and working properly.
A lack of airflow is perhaps the most likely culprit when your air conditioner stops working properly. Although it may not make much sense, air conditioners actually rely on some warm air to keep their coils functioning properly.
The filter in an air conditioner is supposed to remove any dust and debris that may be blowing around in your system. Unfortunately, if your filter becomes clogged with dust and other contaminants, this can completely stop any air from getting through. If this occurs, the coils in your air conditioner won’t be able to remove any heat, instead blowing it back into your home. Be sure to maintain your air conditioning unit by replacing the filter as often as recommended.
An Issue With Air Ducts
Your air conditioner may also be blowing warm air because there’s an issue with your ducts. This is typically a problem that you won’t be able to see on the surface. If your air ducts have any cracks or aren’t connected properly, air may be leaking into your appliance. This problem can also cause the cold air that does come out to be blown around only in useless areas like walls, attics, and crawl spaces. Warm air will be blown everywhere else.
If you’re able to easily find and access your air ducts, take a look at them to see what kind of shape they are in. They can easily become damaged during construction projects or due to rodents hiding in them. Diagnosing this particular issue often requires the help of a professional.
Power Loss at Outdoor Unit
A lot of home air conditioning units have both indoor and outdoor parts. The indoor unit is referred to as an evaporator or air handler. The outdoor unit is the condensing unit. In larger cities, the “outdoor” part of your unit might be kept indoors in a mechanical room within your apartment building instead of outdoors.
If your air handler is in good shape, air will still blow through your home. But if the condenser unit is not up to par, cooling will not occur and your unit will start blowing out warm air.
An issue like this typically occurs if the unit loses power either through a tripped circuit or blown fuse. It’s important to consult a professional if you believe this may be your issue. Particularly when electrical issues are involved, it’s best to avoid trying to fix the problem yourself. One thing you can check on your own, though, is the unit’s emergency shutoff switch. This may have been turned off accidentally and could cause your condenser unit to lose power, which will lead to your air conditioner blowing out warm air.
Refrigerant flows throughout your air conditioning unit and helps create the cool air that blows out of it. This process happens in a closed section of the unit, so refrigerant should generally not need to be replaced or added unless there’s some kind of leak. Refrigerant leaks can happen in the coils or in the line of your unit. When leaks occur, your air conditioner will start to lose its ability to cool effectively. It will depend on how large your leak is, but in some cases, cooling loss can happen all at once or very slowly over time.
It’s important to remember that you should never add refrigerant to your unit if you suspect a leak. This will only lead to the same issue happening over and over again. It’s also important to learn about what type of refrigerant your unit uses. R22 refrigerant, otherwise known as Freon, has started to be phased out by the EPA, and newer air conditioners often use different types of refrigerant than older systems. Your technician will be able to help you determine what refrigerant to use and should be the one to perform any top-ups.
Your Unit’s Condenser Coils are Dirty
Your condenser unit’s most important job is to transfer all the warm air from inside your home to the outside of your home, and this is something that’s done by the condenser coils. Because this part is typically kept outdoors where it’s exposed to the elements, it can get filled with dirt, leaves, and even trash over time. This will begin to damage the coils and cause your system to start blowing warm air instead of cold.
Contact Our Professionals Today
If you have determined the root cause of your air conditioner’s problem is something that isn’t safe for you to fix yourself or you’ve checked everything you can think of and still don’t know what the issue is, it’s probably time to consult a professional.
At Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning, our dedicated staff is committed to helping San Marcos, CA residents fix issues with their air conditioning systems. Although some problems may seem like a simple fix, it’s best to consult with a professional, as some air conditioner issues can lead to larger problems later on. We also provide smart thermostat, indoor air quality, and air purification services. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a visit.