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Help! My Air Conditioner is Blowing Hot Air!

thermometer on the windowsill on the background of the summer heat

Yep. That sounds about right. All you want is a good night’s sleep, and you suddenly realize your house feels more like a sauna, and the air that’s coming out of your vents is like a hair dryer.

“Come over here,” you say to anyone near. “Does this feel hot to you?” You need proof. And then it’s settled: your air conditioner isn’t working. Now what?

There are a few basic things you can do to troubleshoot. But if none of them work, it’s time to call an air conditioning technician in order to diagnose the problem and get it fixed.

Check your thermostat.

Yes, we know it’s basic, but you’d be surprised at how many times well-intentioned little hands (code: children) have adjusted buttons and switches on their own. Check to see your thermostat is on the right settings, starting with the most obvious – that it’s not set to “Heat.” Also, check the fan settings to see if it’s “on.” If so, the indoor blower will continue to circulate air into your home, even when it’s not being cooled. This is important to note because sometimes homeowners immediately think the air conditioner is low on refrigerant, when in fact, it’s a setting issue. Set the thermostat to “Cool” and “Auto” so your A/C only blows cold air. Doesn’t work? Move on to the next step …

Check your air filter.

Go to your air conditioner’s return vent and check the air filter. Is it covered with lint and dust? A clogged or dirty air filter can block return airflow to your air conditioner, which makes it difficult to circulate cooled air back into your home. If your filter is dirty, change it immediately (it should be changed once a month). If this doesn’t help, then …

Clean your outdoor air conditioning unit.

When’s the last time you had the outdoor air conditioning unit cleaned? Don’t remember? Wonder if it’s ever been purposely cleaned? Oops … this might be your problem. You should really have your outdoor unit cleaned at least once a year. Normal debris – like grass clippings, wayward branches or sticks, weeds or bushes – can create unexpected obstructions just from normal seasonal growth. Such obstructions can prevent the refrigerant from cooling down, which then means cool air doesn’t reach the inside of your home.

So how do you clean your unit? You can do a basic cleaning yourself with a water sprayer and special A/C coil cleaner. But here’s a word of warning: to ensure a proper cleaning, you should enlist the help of a professional. They can do this during one of your regularly scheduled maintenance visits.

Now what?

If you’ve checked your thermostat settings, the status of your air filter, and you know your unit is clean but your A/C is still blowing hot air, then it’s time to call in a professional. We will check the levels of your refrigerant, the function of your condenser fan or compressor, and more. We’re happy to help. Just contact us to schedule an appointment, and don’t forget to take advantage of our FREE service call coupon too.