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Why Is Cold Air Not Coming Out Of My AC Unit?

You Are Here:   Home > Automatic Appliance Parts Blog > Why Is Cold Air Not Coming Out Of My AC Unit?

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Your air conditioner is integral to your home, reliably delivering fresh, cool air throughout your living space. If you've noticed that your house isn't as cool and refreshing as it used to be in the summer, you'll probably head to your home’s air vents looking for an answer. Limited airflow and warm air are prime indicators of something wrong with your cooling system.

Here are some common causes and tips on what you can do to restore cool comfort to your home by the team at Automatic Appliance Parts Corporation, your comprehensive parts supplier in the Chicago, Illinois, area.

Image by Sean D is licensed with Unsplash License

The Thermostat Settings Are Wrong

Though this may seem surprisingly obvious to some, incorrect thermostat settings are a top cause of air temperature issues. Though you may have previously entered the right settings, it's entirely possible that an errant child or well-meaning visitor adjusted those settings somewhere along the way. The first thing you should do if you're not getting cold air from your air conditioning (AC) unit is check the thermostat.

Make sure the thermostat is set to cool and not just to fan. If you have the fan on, the system will continuously blow air through the vents, but it won't actively cool that air, so you'll feel warm air coming out instead. If your AC unit isn't blowing any air, you'll need to ensure the thermostat settings are low enough for the system to kick on and start working.

Correcting the thermostat settings is one of the easiest ways to resolve an AC issue. In some cases, your thermostat may still be the root of the problem even when the settings are correct. In this instance, you may need to have the thermostat repaired or even replaced.

The Refrigerant Is Low

Low refrigerant is one of the leading causes of AC problems. If you don't have enough refrigerant in your AC system, it can't properly complete the essential transfer of heat that keeps your home cool and comfortable. One of the first indicators of low refrigerant is a drop in efficiency as the air that was once cold becomes only moderately cool or even warm.

If low refrigerant levels aren't addressed in a timely manner, you could end up with a more serious problem. Low refrigerant leads to low pressure in the evaporator coil, which can cause the coils to freeze. Frost or ice on the evaporator coil is a prime indicator of hazardously low refrigerant. On the other end of the system, low refrigerant can cause the compressor that pressurizes the refrigerant to overheat and ultimately fail.

You should contact a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional to have your AC unit's refrigerant levels checked if you suspect this is the issue. A refrigerant leak is likely in this case, and you'll need to both repair the leak and recharge the refrigerant in the AC unit.

Your AC Unit Has a Dirty Filter

The filter in your AC system plays a crucial role, removing dust, dander, dirt, and other irritants from the air as it passes through. You should check the filter once a month to see if it's visibly dirty. Change the filter any time you can see a buildup of dust or at least once every three months. A clogged filter will restrict airflow to your entire cooling system, which may cause the lack of cool air that you're struggling with. Fortunately, changing the filter for a new one is quick and easy.

The Condenser Is Dirty

The condenser is the outdoor unit that partners with your indoor AC components to deliver cool air throughout your home. When the blower fan blows air over the condenser coils, the refrigerant inside should release the heat that it's carrying so that the air absorbs it. This causes the refrigerant to convert from a gas back into a liquid, at which point it travels into the home to absorb more heat, continuously cooling the air inside your house.

When the condenser gets dirty, it's no longer able to conduct this essential transfer of heat. The blower can't effectively cool the condenser, which can no longer release the trapped heat and allow the refrigerant to cool down and convert back to a liquid. The result is an inefficient system that delivers either moderately cool or downright warm air. You can clean the exterior condenser unit with a gentle spray of water from a hose to remove built-up dirt, dust, and gunk. Make sure you turn the unit off completely before you begin this job.

The Compressor Is Faulty

An AC compressor will typically last for at least 10 years and often as many as 15. This coincides with the life span of many cooling systems, meaning that a failed compressor often indicates that you need to install a new air conditioner. However, if the rest of your system is in exceptional shape or if your compressor fails extremely early, you may want to go ahead and replace this part. There are many possible causes for compressor failure, including a lack of lubrication and overheating due to high electrical current.

The Fan Isn't Working

If you're experiencing very low airflow or no flow at all from your air conditioner, then the blower fan is the likely cause. There are many possible causes for a faulty fan, including poor lubrication, a malfunctioning motor, or worn belts. Even something as simple as a buildup of dirt can cause your blower fan to function poorly.

Routine maintenance is the best way to handle these types of problems. Your HVAC technician will thoroughly clean and properly lubricate the fan and blower motor as part of any standard tuneup. If this part has failed completely, a replacement is the best course of action.

When you need a replacement part for your air conditioner, Automatic Appliance Parts Corporation is the place to turn. You can search parts by model number to easily find exactly what you need for your air conditioner and order online, or you can visit one of our seven branches in the Chicago, Illinois, area. We have affordable products to help you restore your system to prime condition in no time.