My AC Unit Is Blowing Warm Air What Should I Do?

As the temperature climbs, few things put a damper on your summer fun than a malfunctioning air conditioner system that isn’t cooling your home.

Homeowners often notice the first signs of air conditioning units on the hottest days of the year when their indoor temperature creeps up. Next, they will feel no cold air coming from their vents, which is not what you want during a warm Billings day.

If your air conditioner is blowing warm air, has weak airflow, or isn’t blowing at all, you will need to do some troubleshooting to figure out what is wrong with your HVAC system. You must address any problems as soon as possible, because a broken air conditioning unit can lead to several issues in your home:

  • Uncomfortable Indoor Temperatures: Without a functioning air conditioning system, your house will grow unbearably hot in the summer months.
  • Increased Humidity: High humidity can lead to property damage and make breathing uncomfortable for family members with respiratory issues.
  • Expensive Repairs: Ignoring AC unit issues will cause minor problems to turn into major repairs that could have been avoided.
  • Air Conditioner Replacement: The longer a problem is left unchecked, the most likely you will need an entirely new system installed.

The best course of action is to contact an air conditioning professional for HVAC services or air conditioning repair. If you try to DIY the issue, you may miss critical details that a trained eye will catch and resolve.

However, there is something you can do to speed up the repair process. As you wait for your HVAC technician to arrive, it’s helpful to do some troubleshooting on your own so you can help guide the technician to the right solution.

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Where Should I Look To See Why My Air Conditioner Isn’t Cooling My Home?

Not sure how to tell your HVAC technician what seems to be the problem? In order to help your air conditioning repairman, use this handy guide to locate where the most critical parts of your HVAC unit are and how to tell if they are problematic and in need of repair.

Take A Look At…. What You’ll Find Inside Unit? Signs Of A Problem

Your Outdoor Condenser Unit

(The large, square unit outside your home)

  • Condenser Tubes
  • Compressor
  • Fan Motor
  • Copper Tubing
  • Loud/Abnormal Noises
  • Vents Blowing Warm Or No Air
  • Leaking Past Average Condensation

Your Indoor Unit Or Central Air Conditioner 

(Located in a utility closet or basement, close to where your furnace filter is)

  • Evaporator Coil
  • Air Filter
  • Air Handler
  • Freon
  • Leaking Refrigerant
  • Unusual Noises
  • Hot Air Blowing
  • Frozen Pipes

Ductwork And Vents 

(Located behind air filters and in each room of your home)

  • Ducts
  • Air Flow
  • Air Filter
  • Strange Noises
  • Unpleasant Odors
  • Lack Of Airflow

While you should never DIY air conditioning repair, knowing your HVAC unit will help you notice when things aren’t right. You’ll be able to quickly call a professional to come right over and prevent an unbearable house filled with stuffy, hot air.

Common Reasons Why Your Air Conditioner Is Not Blowing Cold Air

To expedite the AC repair process, homeowners can identify the problem’s cause and let the service technician know upon arrival what the problem may be. This information will allow your air conditioning specialist to repair your unit quickly and restore comfort to your home once more.

But where do you start? Let’s take a look at the most common issues preventing your air conditioning system from cooling your home.

1. Fan Motor Power Issues Or Tripped Circuit Breaker

When troubleshooting, always start with the basics. If your fan motor isn’t running, make sure your unit is plugged in correctly and that the outlet is functioning. If the outlet and cord appear fine, there could be a more significant issue with your electrical panel.

Because air conditioners need large surges of power, your unit may have tripped a breaker or blown a fuse. Check these to make sure everything is turned on. Some air conditioning units have built-in overload switches, so check that to see if power issues are causing your AC system issues.

2. Malfunctioning Thermostat Or Improper Thermostat Settings

As you investigate why your AC isn’t cooling as it should, take a look at your unit’s thermostat.

Check to make sure the thermostat is set to the correct temperature and that the thermostat turns on when pressed. If not, replace the batteries and check to ensure the thermostat’s writing is connected correctly.

Try adjusting the settings by turning the dial down or pressing the buttons to the lowest possible setting. Listen closely to see if that prompts the unit to kick on.

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3. Clogged Or Dirty Air Filter

Many modern AC units have an automatic function that shuts the unit down if the filter is clogged or compromised. This is to keep from damaging the motor or causing dangerous overheating. It could also be that the air filter is so full that it’s not allowing proper airflow.

Check your unit’s air filters and clean or replace them as needed. You can find directions in your HVAC unit’s instruction manual or on the packaging of your new air filter.

4. Dirty Compressor

Regular HVAC maintenance requires clearing the area around your compressor and covering it during the winter months. Over the years, leaves, dirt, lawn clippings, and other outdoor debris build-up and prevent your unit from running correctly.

While some homeowners can handle compressor clearing, trust a professional to help for the best results. This means your unit will receive proper cleaning and the correct maintenance. Missing even a small amount of debris can result in the need for expensive air conditioner repairs.

As always, remember to turn off your unit before beginning any work.

5. Clogged Drain

AC units remove moisture from your indoor air, which requires a drain hose or pipe to take that water away from your home and HVAC unit.

These pipes or drains can quickly become clogged with algae, which will cause the unit to stop working. This safety feature is crucial because it keeps water from backing up into your home or the unit and causing property damage. The piping may need to be replaced but can also be clean with a mild bleach solution.

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6. Ice Buildup Or Frozen Condenser Coil

The presents of excessive ice in your AC unit could happen for a couple of reasons. You could have dirty condenser coils or clogged filters, which result in poor airflow or lack of refrigerant.

Try clearing your AC’s filter and the coils while the unit is shut off to see if that improves the airflow. If there is significant ice build-up, you’ll need to run the unit with just the fan setting to melt it down.

If that doesn’t help the air conditioning unit blow cold aid, it could be low refrigerant levels.

7. Low/Empty Refrigerant

Did you know that coolant, also known as refrigerant or Freon, doesn’t expire or deplete?

The main reason for the lack of cold air is often a refrigerant leak. Slow leaks in the refrigerant line cause refrigerant levels to drop over time, which requires a line check and recharge of the system to restore cold air.

This should only be done by a professional because of the complex nature of cooling systems and the hazardous chemicals involved.

8. Condensate Airflow Switch Issues

Some air handlers have a safety float switch that shuts off the unit when the drainpipe backs up. This prevents condensate from entering your air conditioner’s critical internal components, which will lead to extensive damage.

If you check and find the switch has been tripped, it must be reset after the condenser drain pipe has been cleared and properly cleaned.

Repair Your AC Unit And Cool Your Home Today!

When your air conditioner isn’t doing its job, you need to call the professionals right away to prevent a small problem from becoming a big headache.

Remember to schedule routine air conditioning maintenance to prevent the surprise of warm air coming from your vents at the height of the cooling season.

The HVAC technicians at R&T Services have been troubling shooting air conditioning issues in Billings for over 30 years. We take pride in our professional knowledge and high-quality services.

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Is your AC blowing warm air? Our team is here to keep your home comfortable all summer long (and save you $$$)!

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Why Is My AC Blowing Warm Air FAQ

What is AC preventative maintenance?

AC preventative maintenance is a professional service that ensures your air conditioning unit runs effectively and does not break down when you need it the most.

Do I need annual AC unit tune-ups?

Yes, yearly air conditioning tune-ups prevent minor issues from ballooning into costly repairs and keeps your unit running efficiently.

How much does a new HVAC unit cost?

Depending on your home’s square footage, a new HVAC unit costs between $5,000 and $10,000.