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My AC Is Not Blowing Cold Air: What’s Wrong?

an AC vent

Air conditioning systems are designed to keep our homes comfortable during hot weather. However, they are prone to faults from time to time. So, when you notice the AC not blowing cold air, it means something is wrong. If you’re having this problem, you’ll want to get to the root of the issue and contact an HVAC specialist to help.

If you’re tired of sweating in your home, keep reading to find out what’s wrong with your air conditioner unit.

What Are Some Common Reasons?

Some common reasons your AC isn’t blowing cold air could include the following.

A Clogged Air Filter

A clogged air filter can cause various problems with your air conditioning unit. Dirt, dust and other debris can get trapped in your air filter as the air gets sucked in through your air ducts. Over time, this debris can build up, making it harder for the air to get through. A dirty air filter can even cause your AC system to shut down completely. Experts recommend changing your filters every one to two months, but you may need to do it more frequently depending on where you live and whether you have pets.

A Malfunctioning Compressor

Your AC compressor aims to keep the refrigerant lines stable. So, an issue with the compressor can cause your refrigerant to heat up when it shouldn’t. This could cause your AC to not blow cold air or any air. The compressor being an issue may also cause other components of your unit to fail if not checked by a professional.

A Faulty Thermostat

Since the thermostat is responsible for regulating the temperature in your home, if it’s faulty, it may be why your AC is not blowing out cool air. If your thermostat is turning on and not dead, check that it is set correctly. If not, contact an HVAC professional to get your thermostat working again.

Additionally, a thermostat that isn’t working correctly will cause your AC to waste energy. It may run longer than necessary, leading to higher energy bills and potential damage to the unit. It can also mean inconsistent temperatures throughout your home.

A Damaged Condenser Unit

When it works correctly, your condenser unit’s fan draws air into the outdoor unit to pull heat out of your home. So if the condenser unit has issues, it won’t be able to remove heat from your home to keep it cool. A damaged condenser unit can also cause the refrigerant to become too hot and lose its ability to cool the air passing through the system.

Evaporator Coil Issues

The evaporator coil’s job is to take in the heat from the air that passes over it. If the coil has a problem, like a refrigerant leak or a buildup of dirt and debris, it can prevent it from effectively absorbing heat.

Furthermore, your AC not blowing cold air may be caused by one of these reasons or a mix of them. That’s why it’s essential to get the issue figured out quickly, so you can fix it and prevent further damage. If you want to avoid damaging the AC, an HVAC professional can find the problem and provide a solution.

How to Diagnose the Problem

Diagnosing a problem with your AC unit can include several steps to try at home:

  • First, check that the thermostat setting is correct and that the unit receives power.
  • If the AC is still not responding, check the air filter.
  • Many HVAC technicians recommend cleaning or replacing your filter every one to two months because dust and dirt can build up.
  • However, if the problem persists, check the circuit breaker and ensure it is not tripped.

If none of these steps resolve the issue, it could be a more significant problem or a combination of one or more common factors. The most sensible thing to do is contact an experienced HVAC technician for additional information and efficient repair.

a living room

Why Is My Upstairs AC Not Working, but the Downstairs AC Is?

There could be several reasons why your upstairs AC is not working, but the downstairs AC is and vice versa. It could be due to the thermostat, air filter or ducts. For example, if there is a blockage in the ducts or it needs cleaning, this can result in the upstairs AC not having an appropriate airflow.

It’s also possible that the AC unit upstairs has a malfunctioning compressor. So if you notice a change in airflow within the levels in your home, contact a professional HVAC technician, who can quickly fix the issue.

Additionally, the AC system itself could be outdated and need replacing, causing it to not work at maximum capacity.

The Average Life Expectancy of an AC

The average lifespan of a central air conditioner varies depending on the following:

  • The type or brand of unit
  • How often it’s used
  • How well it’s preserved in your home
  • How many AC systems are in your home

Central air conditioning units typically last 10 to 20 years, while window units have a shorter lifespan of about 5 to 7 years.

Regular air conditioning preventative maintenance, like keeping it clean and changing filters and coils, can help extend the life of your unit. Ensuring the proper installation and sizing can also contribute to a longer lifespan.

Contacting an HVAC Professional

If your AC isn’t blowing cold air as it should, there could be an issue that is complicated or dangerous to fix on your own. We always recommend contacting a licensed HVAC specialist to manage the situation.

For example, there could be an issue regarding the electrical panel the AC is connected to. Or it may be as straightforward as changing your air filter.

Either way, attempting to overcome the obstacle with little knowledge could lead to more fault in your AC or even injury to yourself.

Not only will a professional solve the problem within your central air conditioning system, but they can also service the indoor unit and outdoor components to ensure every line of the AC is working at its optimal level.

an outdoor AC unit

Where Is the AC Compressor Located?

The AC compressor is part of the outdoor unit responsible for circulating refrigerant to cool the air indoors. A home’s AC compressor is located outside, usually on a concrete pad or scale on the side of the house. The AC compressor is connected to the outdoor coil and the indoor unit’s evaporator coil, condenser fan and air handler to convert the heat energy into cold air.

Understanding AC Compressors

The AC compressor is a vital piece of the AC system in your home. It compresses the refrigerant gas, which flows through the system to cool the air. The compressor creates a high-pressure environment that forces the refrigerant to release heat and transform into a cooled liquid.

This cooled liquid then flows through an evaporator coil, which absorbs heat and moisture from the air in your home.

Finally, the air ducts blow the cooled and dehumidified air back into your living space. Without the AC compressor, your air conditioning system couldn’t consistently keep your home cool during hot days.

It’s helpful for homeowners to know the signs of compressor failure. These include:

  • Strange noises
  • Reduced cooling capacity
  • Less air flow
  • Breaker keeps tripping

If you notice any of these signs, contact an HVAC professional to diagnose and fix the issue.

Final Thoughts

You might notice your AC not blowing cold air for many reasons. Some issues, like replacing the air filter, can be easily fixed, while others may require experienced help. It’s helpful to regularly maintain your central air conditioner unit to prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.

If you’re unsure how to troubleshoot and don’t want to cause further damage, it’s time to contact an HVAC expert. You can keep your AC running smoothly for years with appropriate maintenance and frequent check-ups.

ABC Can Keep Your AC Working Efficiently

Dealing with AC issues requires lots of technical know-how. Instead of trying to figure it out yourself, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our professionals can efficiently diagnose your AC problem. They can also offer advice on when to replace your air conditioner.

Tom Riggs

Tom Riggs is the Division Manager for Mechanical Services, overseeing sales and operations for HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Appliance Repair and Water Quality for all ABC Austin branches. He joined ABC in 2014. Before ABC, he was an HVAC Service Technician, HVAC Comfort Advisor/Sales and Operations Manager. Tom attended Universal Technical Institute. He's an avid outdoorsman and enjoys country living with his wife and two sons.

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