Summer 2021’s oppressive heat broke records in the American Pacific Northwest and other regions not known for high temperatures. At times, the heat in Portland, Oregon, rivaled and even matched states like Texas and Arizona! With the heatwave making its way throughout the country, working air conditioning is a must.
The AC blowing warm air in your face is the last thing you need when the thermometer pushes 100° F. To make matters worse, an air conditioner blowing hot air is rarely useful as an air filter—its second-biggest purpose.
The good news is that an AC adding to the heat may not be so broken that you need to replace it. Pause before panicking and running down the street screaming, “My air conditioning is blowing warm air!” or dumping your unit in the trash.
Take a look at these common reasons that an air conditioner might blow hot air.
1. Ignoring AC Maintenance Breaks Systems
If you don’t maintain your air conditioner, it’s only a matter of time until you run into preventable problems. Doing maintenance helps you notice them before they make your AC break down entirely.
Never assume that you know how to take care of your air conditioner because you’ve maintained another unit before. When all you’ve ever done is relaxed on your couch while the cool air blows over you, it’s easy to think “AC is AC.” There’s some truth to that, but oversimplifying to that degree is dangerous.
Common varieties such as window units, ductless AC, HVAC systems, and floor units all serve the same basic purpose and many have some of the same parts, but they each have unique needs. If you upgraded from a portable unit to an HVAC system or downgraded from HVAC to something smaller, don’t jump into maintenance without doing some research first.
Those with any extra room in their budget would do well to get regular, professional maintenance for the best chances of success. Whether that’s possible or not, do your best to get some help in your first season with a new AC unit.
It’s worth taking a moment to check out this site or to talk to a heating and cooling professional in your area. Bringing a pro out to look at your AC and chatting with them gives you some solid background on your air conditioner, how it works, and how to keep it running.
2. A Dirty Filter Leads to the AC Blowing Warm Air
Not all types of AC are good for allergies, but there are several that work best as air filters. Central air is the best option, but you can put filters in ductless units. Even some window units filter well if you manage to cut off the outside air.
The combination of cool air and filtration makes those kinds of AC units a dream for allergy sufferers. Don’t get too complacent as you chill out, though, and forget to change the filters.
When the filter becomes so clogged that air struggles to pass through, the system has to work harder. If your air conditioner tries to force air through caked-on dust for too long, it’ll overload and break down entirely. Then, you’ll be facing an air conditioner blowing hot air.
If pollen is your archenemy, waiting until that happens leaves you missing both cooling and filtered air. You’ll face a miserable struggle as you try to remedy the issue while dripping sweat with a head full of snot and a foggy mind.
So, how do you keep it from happening? Easy! All you have to do is keep an eye on the filter and replace it on a regular schedule.
If you find your AC is struggling a little and the air isn’t flowing like it used to, don’t ignore the issue. Turn the AC off, pull the filter out, and see if it needs replacement before taking any other steps.
You may be tempted to hold off buying new filters to save a few bucks, but it’s not worth it. Paying $20 every couple of months is nothing compared to hundreds or thousands of dollars in major repairs or unit replacement.
3. Broken Thermostats Seize Climate Control
One of the first logical steps to take when you find warm air coming from your air conditioner is to check the thermostat. Sometimes there’s nothing broken, but you goofed when setting the temperature. If you have an HVAC and the thermostat is stuck on 75°, there’s your answer!
You can’t rule the thermostat out, though, even if the numbers are where you want them. Sometimes, the thermostat reading is off, and there’s a big difference between the number displayed and the real temperature.
The easiest fixes for thermostat issues are getting troubleshooting advice from the manual and, if it’s programmable, replacing the batteries. If those tricks don’t work, get in touch with a professional to avoid ruining the equipment for good.
4. Too Little Refrigerant Can’t Beat the Heat
Sometimes, an air conditioner blowing hot air could be lacking refrigerant fluid. The refrigerant flows through the system and absorbs heat from the air.
Low refrigerant levels are often due to leaks. These chemicals are hazardous to people and pets, so if you notice a leak, call a professional right away.
5. Grimy AC Units Struggle to Cool the Air
Your air conditioner’s filter isn’t the only part you need to keep clean. The condenser and evaporator coils are the main cooling components.
If they get too dirty, they don’t expel heat from your house as well. When you ignore the job for a long time, the AC unit will start blowing warm air.
Make sure to cut the electricity off before cleaning your air conditioner, or you might break it. Worse, it could also electrocute or burn you.
Central air conditioning has two coils to clean. You can hose off the outdoor condenser coil and wipe the indoor coil down after removing an access panel.
Be sure to clean other kinds of AC units too, to keep them from breaking down. You’ll find the coils behind the access panel and can then wipe them down. Calling a professional when the coils are extremely dirty ensures you don’t have to worry about breaking the unit during a deep clean.
Read and Relax With Cool Articles
These explanations for an AC blowing warm air offer some starting points for solving the problem.
Once you have your AC repaired and can escape the heat from your house, relax and enjoy yourself right here. Click on another article for more great information and entertainment.