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Why Is My Central AC Not Blowing Cold Air?

Updated: May 16, 2023

The summer heat can make being in a hot house a miserable experience. If your central AC is not blowing cold air, have Sons of Air come to the rescue.

For millions of people in the United States, these cooling systems are crucial to allowing them to endure with cool air throughout the summer months. The summer heat will only make indoor temperatures in your house hotter, resulting in health risks to you, your family, and even pets.

You know you need to take immediate action and call for emergency air conditioning repair service. Identifying the underlying source of the problem within your central air conditioning unit and informing your contractor about it aids in resolving it. This data allows for a more effective repair procedure when the HVAC technician arrives.

Here are some things to look for with your air conditioner not blowing cold air and how to fix the issue fast.

1. Leaking or Low Refrigerant

If your cooling system can't produce cool air, you may have a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant, also known as Freon, is a chemical coolant that is critical for producing cold air from an AC unit. It goes through the system's indoor and outdoor coils, changing from liquid to gaseous form. It absorbs heat energy and humidity from inside air and releases it outside your home.

Refrigerant levels in the system does not diminish over time, but if there is a leak somewhere in the refrigerant lines, the system may not have enough coolant to produce cold air. However, you should not attempt repair refrigerant leaks on your own. Refrigerant is an EPA-approved chemical that can only be handled by properly certified experts. Your HVAC pro will have the tools to discover and repair the refrigerant leak, then replenish the coolant so you can return your home to a pleasant, cool temperature.

2. Dirty Air Filter

Your system's air filter may be found inside or around the indoor air handler unit. Dirt, dust, and other airborne particles are trapped by the filter as they enter the air handler unit. The advantages of air filters extend beyond decreasing pollutants and improving air quality. They keep the components inside the system cleaner and operating more efficiently, which helps to maintain the air in your home better.

A dirty air filter might obstruct airflow and reduce the amount of heat your home is able to absorb. It can lead to the system shutting down in more serious situations. Find the air filter for your system, turn off the power, take out the filter, and look.

Replacing dirty air filters is routine maintenance every homeowner should know how to do themselves. When you're satisfied that your air filter is clean and your central air conditioner still isn't cooling your home, you'll need to keep searching to figure out what's wrong.

3. Issue with Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is the indoor component of your central air conditioning system. If your home has a heat pump system, the evaporator coil is housed inside the fan coil cabinet if the indoor unit is a fan coil. The evaporator coil is activated to remove heat energy and humidity from the air as it passes through it. The next stage in this cycle is for cooler, more comfortable air to be circulated into your house.

Coils can also freeze up if the refrigerant is running low within the system. You may have a frozen evaporator coil if you notice:

  • Frost surrounding the copper refrigerant tubing coming from the coil cabinet

  • Higher energy bills

  • Inadequate cooling

  • Condensate seeping from your indoor unit

If it's difficult to access the evaporator coil, troubleshooting problems connected with a frozen evaporator coil should be left to Sons of Air Cooling and Heating.

4. Issue with Condenser

A blocked or clogged condenser coil is one possibility if you have an air conditioner that is on and not lowering the temperature inside your home. A dirty condenser unit may result in a system's energy efficiency being reduced, with no cool air from the registers, or in the worst-case scenario, system failure or compressor damage as a result of overuse. The condenser fan draws air into the outdoor unit through the condenser coil to remove heat energy from your home as long as it is in operation. Between the fins, dirt, grass, and other airborne particles can build up, clogging the coil.

You may try brushing away debris, vacuuming the coil with a brush attachment, or rinsing it gently with a hose to remove dust and grime from the coil. If your system isn't cooling down after all of this effort, call a certified heating and cooling specialist.

5. Blocked or Clogged Registers

A clogged or blocked register or return vent can have the same impact as a restricted or clogged air filter. The return air register receipts air into the system, and supply vents deliver conditioned air into the house. Clogs in either location create difficulties on your air conditioner.

When something is obstructing air near the vent, only the room with that vent may seem warmer than the rest of the home. That's a sign there may be a ventilation issue in your home's ducts, which distribute conditioned air throughout your house.

6. Thermostat Set Incorrectly

Make sure your home's thermostat is set to auto or cool. Air conditioners will not turn on until the room's temperature rises above the control setting. The first step is to verify that the thermostat is set to the appropriate temperature setting. Occasionally, a thermostat is set to heat rather than cool, resulting in the issue. Check the temperature setting to see whether anyone else changed it.

Something may have been altered by mistake if you just had air conditioner service. Switch the thermostat to heat before changing it back to cool in the event that it is set to off. After a few minutes, go to your registers and check for any cold blowing through.

7. Drainpipe Clogged

Each central air conditioning system has a drainpipe to collect extra humidity and moisture. Debris and algae could accumulate in the drain, preventing water from draining, just like in most cool, dark pipes that aren't flushed frequently. It's an annoyance, but a necessary safety precaution since you don't want the AC unit to let filthy water backflow into your house. A professional HVAC technician will be able to spot and clear a clogged drain in a matter of minutes.

8. Power Issue

It's possible that the initial power surge tripped the breaker or blew a fuse. Try resetting your breaker and turning on the AC again to see if that solves the problem. You may also check to see whether there is an overload switch built into the motor. Finally, check the power cable to ensure it hasn't been pulled out of the socket.

9. Undersized System

Air conditioners are sized based on the amount of cooling they can provide in BTU per hour (British Thermal Units per hour). Under normal circumstances, an undersized air conditioner will not produce any problems. However, as temperatures outside increase, your AC may operate for long periods of time and struggle to keep you cool.

If your air conditioner is insufficient, it may be feasible to provide cooling in hot spots with ductless mini-split installation service to assist. Alternatively, if the system is incorrectly sized, it might be preferable to replace it with one that is correctly sized.

10. Air Duct Leaks

Another potential source of a leak is your ducts. A leak in your air ducts may disrupt the circulation of conditioned air throughout your home. Because many AC ducts are located in the attic, some of that heated air may enter them and cause temperatures to rise indoors.

The Importance of AC System Maintenance

The best prevention to avoid your air conditioner not cooling properly is scheduling an annual tune-up. Regular air conditioning unit maintenance can help reduce energy costs, identify refrigerant leakage, and ensure your HVAC system is properly cooling your house.

There are several reasons why this could occur, and they range from simple to more complicated. If you're not sure what the problem is, it's worth having Sons of Air Cooling and Heating come take a look at it.

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