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Why Is My Air Conditioner Blowing Hot Air?

A woman sitting on a couch with a laptop on her lap. She's holding a fan.

Your home’s air conditioner has an important job during the sweltering summer months. When outdoor temperatures soar into the high nineties — or worse, triple digits — our cooling systems work overtime to ensure that we are comfortable and cool. However, you may have recently started to notice your AC blowing warm air when it should be cold. This problem can be frustrating, inconvenient, and downright unsafe.

Why is your air conditioner blowing hot air? There are various answers to this question, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Below, we’ll discuss the top reasons this problem occurs and what you can do to fix it.

Wrong Thermostat Setting

First things first: run to the thermostat when you realize your AC is blowing warm air. You’ll want to check that the thermostat setting is on “cool” instead of “heat.” Once you’ve done this, make sure the fan is set to “auto” instead of “on.”

Why is the fan setting important? Truthfully, there’s no reason for the fan to be running at all times. When the fan is set to “on,” it will continue to blow air throughout your home even outside of a cooling cycle. This means it’s circulating the warm air that’s already in your home. It can seem like your AC system is malfunctioning — although it isn’t. 

Dirty Air Filter

Once you’ve checked your thermostat’s setting, it’s time to ensure the HVAC system’s air filter is clean. Dirty or clogged filters can cause many problems for your home, so it’s important to replace them about every one to three months.

Why is your air conditioner blowing hot air because of a dirty air filter? It all comes down to airflow. When air filters become blocked with dirt and debris, the air can no longer pass through them. This restricts airflow to your AC and makes it difficult for cooled air to get pushed out into your home.

Many ductwork companies stress the importance of regular AC maintenance. Even the smallest tasks, such as changing an air filter, can have benefits for your home’s energy efficiency and comfort.

Grimy Evaporator Coils

The evaporator coils in your AC system are located near the air handler. These specific parts are incredibly important to the cooling process. If you want to know why your air conditioner is blowing hot air, you’ll want to ensure that these coils are clean and in mint condition.

Dirty evaporator coils can get in the way of the cooling process. When dirt, grime, or ice covers these coils, it becomes impossible for air to pass over them. The heat from the air cannot be absorbed. As a result, you can end up with warmer air circulating throughout your home instead of the cool air you’d expect.

Clogged Condenser Coils

Although it’s tucked away outside your home, you shouldn’t neglect your outdoor AC unit. It’s crucial to keep this condenser unit free of debris — whether that’s dirt, leaves, or small twigs. This debris can block up the condenser coils and may be why your AC is blowing warm air.

Keep your outdoor unit clean with regular maintenance. You can use a coil brush to swipe off any debris that you see and straighten the coil fins with a fin comb.

Low Refrigerant Levels

If your AC is blowing warm air, you could be dealing with a refrigerant leak. This issue is typically most common with older air conditioners since these systems are more prone to wear and tear. It’s best to contact an HVAC professional as soon as possible to fix the problem. The technician will either recommend a repair or full replacement depending on the age of your system, how frequently you schedule repairs, and several other factors.

Common Signs of a Refrigerant Leak

When you have an air conditioner blowing warm air, it’s vital to consider every possibility. However, it can be challenging to know if you have a leak in the refrigerant line. Along with poor cooling, be on the lookout for longer cooling cycles and higher energy bills.

Low refrigerant levels make it difficult for the air conditioner to effectively cool your home in a normal period of time. Usually, the cooling process will take much longer. High energy bills can also be concerning, especially if your thermostat constantly remains on the same setting and you haven’t adjusted your cooling needs.

Beat the Heat With Our Professional AC Services

Why is your air conditioner blowing hot air? Although this question can have many different answers, you should have a better understanding of what could be causing the problem. If you’ve checked the circuit breaker, replaced the air filter, and gone through every other possibility to no avail, don’t hesitate to call Dilling.

Our Montgomery County, PA, HVAC technicians are here to help. We specialize in all services and can help determine why your AC is blowing warm air. Contact us to schedule an AC repair!

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