Most Arlington residents take their air conditioners for granted until they start blowing hot air. At that point, it becomes a top priority to find out why the AC is no longer cooling properly.
In most cases, it’s not something that requires an expensive repair or replacement, but there are a couple of issues that spell trouble.
Why is my air conditioner blowing hot air?
There are several ways to troubleshoot the problem of warm air coming from your vents while the air conditioning is running to get your AC blowing cold air again. We’ll tell you what to look for below!
If you need faster service or have an ac repair emergency, reach out to All Masters for help.
Now let’s begin with some simple DIY tips that may resolve the problem fast, and for free.
What to do if your air conditioning starts blowing hot air
If your air conditioner starts blowing hot air, it’s important to take action quickly. Here are three DIY tips that may clear this up fast.
Check Your Thermostat Settings
The first thing you should do is to check the thermostat. Sometimes a simple mistake of setting it to “heat” vs “cool” is the only issue. Heat pumps are becoming more common in DFW, and since the same unit is used year-round, it’s easy to miss this hot/cold setting.
If it’s set to “cool” and the temperature is lower than the current room temperature, then something is definitely wrong if you still feel the warm air. While you’re at it, check the batteries if your thermostat isn’t hard-wired to your electricity. This is a common problem to miss, but easy to fix.
Also, check your fan setting. Is the fan set to “on” versus “auto”? If it’s on “on”, then the fan will continue to blow even when the compressor isn’t running. This can circulate warm air if your compressor isn’t working correctly.
Since it’s hot outside, this hot outside air will displace the cooler air inside your home and it will also feel warm to the touch.
If those two basic settings are fine, then it’s time to move on to the next reason for warm air blowing from your AC unit.
Additional ways to troubleshoot an AC unit that’s blowing hot air
Check Your Circuit Breaker
Your thermostat is important for maintaining the temperature of your home, but it can’t do anything if you don’t have power to your air conditioning unit. Make sure that there isn’t too much demand on the circuit breaker and fuses by looking at the electrical panel.
Is your circuit breaker for your outside AC condenser unit flipped? Simply flip this back to the “on” position, and this should fix your problem with the warm air. If it keeps flipping to the “off” position, it might be the sign of an electrical short or a relay that is stuck.
Check Your Furnace Filters
Next, take a look at the air filter. Dirty air filters are super common. A clogged air filter can restrict air circulation and cause your AC to work harder than necessary. This can lead to a build-up of heat, which will eventually be released into your home instead of cool air.
To check the air filters, simply remove them from the furnace or wall return vents, and hold up to the light. If you can’t see through it, then it’s time to replace it.
This should be done every 1 to 3 months for system performance and indoor air quality reasons, so if you already know it’s been at least this long, you should change them out. A clean air filter will never make things worse.
Still have warm air blowing from your AC vents? Ok, let’s move on to the bigger issues.
Top reasons why an AC unit might start blowing hot air
- Low on refrigerant: One of the most common reasons why an air conditioner starts blowing hot air is because it’s low on refrigerant. When an AC system is low on refrigerant, it can’t properly cool the air, which causes warm air to blow out of the unit.
If you think your AC unit might be low on refrigerant, the first thing you should do is check the unit’s evaporator coil. Many will be visible but some may require more effort to view.
If the coil is frozen, it’s a sure sign that your AC is low or has a refrigerant leak. Many times your coil may not have any visible concerns, but a small leak in your system will be behind the problem.
Most Arlington residents won’t have the proper equipment to test for refrigerant levels or leaks within the system. They also won’t have the proper supplies to refill air conditioner refrigerant on their own. While Freon is no longer used, products like R410A are not commonly available to consumers.
We recommend you reach out to us at All Masters for one of our certified and licensed HVAC technicians to take a look for you.
- Compressor failure: The compressor is one of the most important parts of an AC unit, and it’s also one of the most likely parts to fail. A failing compressor can cause your AC unit to blow hot air.
The compressor is the heart of the air conditioning system, and it pumps refrigerant through the coils to cool the air. If the compressor fails, the entire system will stop working.
Compressor failure is most often caused by a loss of refrigerant, but it can also be caused by a faulty electrical component or an overheated compressor.
If you think your AC unit’s compressor might be failing, the best thing to do is reach out to a certified HVAC technician for help. We can not only check if your existing compressor is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, but we can help you with a fast replacement if our testing proves it to be necessary.
- Dirty evaporator coil: One of the most common reasons why your AC is blowing hot air is because the evaporator coil has gotten dirty. This coil is part of your inside unit. When this happens, it can’t absorb heat as effectively, causing your AC to blow out warm air.
This may have been caused by dirty air filters, but it could also be due to a problem with the coil itself. In any case, it’s best to have a professional take a look at it and clean it if necessary.
Solution: You’ll need to have the evaporator coil inspected. This is a common item that is checked during semi-annual air conditioning maintenance. A licensed HVAC professional can clean, thaw, and replace a bad coil if this is behind why your air conditioner is blowing hot air. Call us, we can help!
- Outside unit/condenser coils: The outside condenser coil is another reason why your AC unit might be blowing hot air. They need free airflow as well. If the outdoor unit coils are dirty, they won’t be able to absorb as much heat. This can cause the refrigerant to get too hot, and once that happens, it will start blowing hot air into your home instead of cold air.
You’ll need to clean the dirty condenser coils (you can use a garden hose or pressure washer) to get rid of the dirt and debris in the coil fins.
It’s also recommended to maintain at least a 2-foot clearance around your outdoor unit. If you have any questions about cleaning or maintaining this important HVAC component contact us today so we can help you troubleshoot. Smart precautions like these can help you avoid unnecessary ac repair down the road.
When it’s time to replace an AC unit that’s blowing hot air
We get lots of calls to help troubleshoot and fix AC units that are blowing hot air instead of cool during the Arlington, TX summers. We are often able to quickly identify and repair the issue. An AC system low on refrigerant is quick to fix and a low-cost solution.
When the issues extend to the need to replace a compressor or coil on an already old AC system, sometimes there is economic benefit in simply upgrading with a replacement.
Recommending a new air conditioning installation is never our first order of business. However, if the repair to make your air conditioner blow cold air again rivals the cost to replace it, we will always make this known to you.
You need to make sure your air conditioner is the right size unit for your home. A unit that’s too small will have to work harder and will not be able to cool your home as effectively as a properly sized unit. If this is behind your issue we will also let you know.
If you’re having trouble with an AC unit that’s blowing hot air, give us a call. We’ll help you troubleshoot the problem and find the most cost-effective solution for you.
Conclusion on how to fix an air conditioner that is blowing hot air
If your AC unit is blowing hot air, it’s important to reach out to a professional for help. All Masters can check and restore your refrigerant levels if this is the problem. We can also inspect the evaporator coil, clean it if necessary, and fix any other problems that might be causing the issue. We also offer replacement units for those who need a new AC system.
Contact us today so we can troubleshoot the root of your air conditioning problem and help restore refreshing icy air to help you survive the hot Arlington, TX summer.