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Why Is My Central Air Conditioner Blowing Hot Air?

Discovering that your central air conditioner is blowing hot air can be a frustrating experience, especially here in Phoenix, where we use our ACs most of the year. If you’re wondering why this is happening, don't worry. It’s actually a fairly common problem. In this blog, we'll explore the possible reasons why your AC might be blowing hot air and provide practical solutions to help you restore that much-needed cool breeze.

By understanding the potential causes, you might be able to troubleshoot and resolve the issue on your own. However, for more complicated problems, it's always advisable to consult with a professional HVAC technician to ensure the safety and longevity of your air conditioning system.

Trust George Brazil to restore your cooling comfort. Schedule an AC repair or tune-up today!

Since 1955, George Brazil has been a trusted name in AC repairs, maintenance, and installations throughout the Phoenix area. No matter the issue, our expertly trained technicians will get to the bottom of it, providing honest advice and efficient solutions. Schedule an AC tune-up or AC repair today and see why we’ve earned more than 2,000 5-star reviews!

Common Causes of AC Blowing Hot Air

Thermostat Issues

Closeup of buttons on a thermostat with a red circle around the Fan switch

The thermostat is the brain of your air conditioning system. If it's not set correctly or malfunctions, your AC may not cool your home as expected. Check if the thermostat is set to the desired temperature and is in “cooling” mode–not just “fan” mode. If set to fan only, your system will circulate air but not actually cool it. Additionally, make sure the thermostat is not exposed to direct sunlight or heat sources, as this can give it a false reading.

Dirty or Clogged Air Filters

Dirty air filters can cause a central air conditioner to blow warm air due to the impediment of proper airflow. When air filters become clogged with dust and debris, they restrict the passage of air through the system, leading to reduced efficiency. As a result, the evaporator coils may struggle to absorb heat from the indoor air effectively. Inadequate heat absorption can hinder the cooling process, causing the air conditioner to circulate warm air instead of efficiently cooling the indoor environment.

Refrigerant Issues

Refrigerant is the substance responsible for absorbing and releasing heat in the air conditioning system. When there's a leak, the refrigerant level drops, compromising the system's ability to absorb heat from indoor air effectively. As a result, the evaporator coils may struggle to cool the air, leading to the circulation of warmer air. Additionally, low refrigerant levels can cause the compressor to overheat and potentially damage the system, further reducing its cooling efficiency.

Want to learn more about the inner workings of your AC system? Check out our blog, “What Are the Parts of an Air Conditioner?” in which we break down key components like refrigerant.

Condenser Unit Problems

Outdoor AC unit with leaves clogging up the bottom of it.

The condenser unit, located outside your home, releases heat from the refrigerant. Factors such as dirty or blocked condenser coils, a malfunctioning fan, or electrical issues can compromise the condenser's performance. Additionally, if it's obstructed by dirt, leaves, or other debris, the heat exchange process will be compromised. As a result, the system may struggle to expel heat outdoors, causing the central air conditioner to circulate warm air inside the home.

Faulty Compressor

The compressor is a crucial component that pressurizes the refrigerant, facilitating the heat exchange process. Issues such as electrical failures, refrigerant leaks, or mechanical problems in the compressor can contribute to its malfunction. When this happens, it may fail to adequately pressurize the refrigerant, resulting in an inability to effectively absorb and release heat. This can lead to compromised cooling capacity and the circulation of warmer air through the system.

Electrical Problems

Your AC’s electrical system controls various components, including the compressor, thermostat, and fans. If there are issues such as faulty wiring, a malfunctioning capacitor, or problems with the electrical connections, it can lead to a breakdown in the system's ability to cool effectively. For example, a malfunctioning thermostat may not signal the cooling system properly, while electrical issues with the compressor can hinder its ability to circulate refrigerant and facilitate heat exchange. Any of these problems can cause your AC to blow warm air.

How to Fix Your AC Blowing Hot Air

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is key to preventing and resolving AC issues. In addition to changing or cleaning your air filters, ensure that the area around your condenser unit is clean and unobstructed. Trim vegetation, clear debris, and consider scheduling an annual professional maintenance service to keep your system running smoothly.

Check for Refrigerant Leaks

If you suspect a refrigerant leak, look for visible signs such as oil stains around the refrigerant lines or a hissing sound. However, it's essential to leave the actual diagnosis and repair to a qualified technician to avoid injury and ensure the proper handling of refrigerants.

Inspect and Clean Condenser Coils

Dirty condenser coils can hinder the heat exchange process. Turn off the power to your AC, then use a hose to gently clean the coils. Be cautious not to use too much pressure, as it may cause damage. If the coils are extremely dirty, consider hiring a professional for a thorough cleaning.

Wondering how to clean your AC? Check out our blog with step-by-step instructions, “How To Clean Your Air Conditioner.

Thermostat Calibration

Ensure your thermostat is accurately reading the temperature. If you have an older thermostat, consider upgrading to a programmable one, which can enhance energy efficiency and temperature control. If calibration issues persist, consult with a professional to assess and address the problem.

Professional HVAC Inspection and Repair

For complex issues such as a faulty compressor or electrical problems, it's crucial to seek the expertise of a qualified HVAC technician. They have the knowledge and tools to diagnose and repair intricate components safely, ensuring your AC operates efficiently.

Tired of no cool air? Call Phoenix’s most trusted HVAC pros: George Brazil!

Schedule AC repairs or maintenance today and our highly-trained technicians will restore your cooling system for maximum efficiency and comfort! Our upfront prices mean you'll know exactly what you're paying for, with no hidden costs or last-minute fees. Plus, we offer fast and convenient scheduling, so you don’t have to wait around all day for AC service. Call us at (602) 842-0009 or click below to schedule an appointment online today!

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