It’s a hot, dry California summer day, and you decide to live in luxury by turning the AC down a few notches. Horrifyingly, warm air begins to flow from the vents and circulate. You frantically google “ac repair near me”. While the page loads, you wonder how you’ll survive the summer with a very confused air conditioner.
If this situation sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Air conditioners can get pushed to their limits in summer, especially if the appropriate maintenance precautions are overlooked. There are a few reasons that your AC might be pushing out warm air, but first, let’s take a look at AC anatomy to understand why.
How Does an Air Conditioner Work?
Your AC system is not creating cool air. Instead, a fan pulls the warm air from inside your house through a filter, then pushes it over the evaporator coil. This coil is full of refrigerant, a heat-absorbing chemical, which pulls the heat out of the air. The cooled and conditioned air is then returned to your home.
Meanwhile, the hot refrigerant liquid is turned into a gas and passed through the compressor. The compressor condenses it into an even hotter vapor. This heat is released outside, the refrigerant is returned to the coil as a cool liquid, and the cycle begins again.
Several malfunctions within this process could be causing an outflow of hot air from your AC.
What Causes an Air Conditioner to Blow Hot Air?
- Failed Compressor. Like a heart, the compressor circulates refrigerant around your HVAC system. A compressor in trouble is not able to pump refrigerant through the system, resulting in a lack of cooling power. This issue is best handled by a professional.
- Low Refrigerant. If your AC has been in operation for a while, you might have a worn service valve, loose joints, poor assembly, which can all lead to overcharged or undercharged refrigerant. A leak could also be the cause of low refrigerant. Act quickly to call your local HVAC and AC professionals if you suspect this problem: liquid refrigerant is a dangerous chemical.
- Frozen Evaporator Coils. When moisture collects on the evaporator coils, they freeze. Frozen coils interrupt the heat transfer process, which is why you feel warm air blowing out. If this is the case, turn off power to your AC and let the coils thaw completely.
- Dirty Coils or Filter. Dirty evaporator coils run into the same issue as frozen evaporator coils – the heat transfer process cannot occur properly. Make sure to replace your AC filter and gently clean debris and dirt from the coils.
- Thermostat Settings Error. It may seem obvious, but this simple error is often overlooked. If the blower fan is set to ON instead of AUTO, it runs all the time – not just during a cooling cycle. Between cooling cycles, this may generate warm air from the vents. Make sure you select “cool” instead of “heat”, and AUTO instead of ON.
A broken air conditioner can be a thorn in your side during summer. No need to worry – the best “ac repair near me” is right here.
Get in Touch
Here at Shepherd’s Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning, we’re committed to providing you with the highest quality air conditioning service. Reach out to us at (650) 422-2466 or send us an email by clicking here.