Why Isn’t My AC Blowing Cold Air?

Posted On: July 07, 2019

When temperatures skyrocket outside, you count on your air conditioner to supply a continuous stream of cold, refreshing air. If your AC is running, but it doesn’t seem to be getting any cooler in the house, place your hand over a few supply registers. Does the air feel lukewarm? That’s a problem.

7 Reasons Why Your AC isn’t Blowing Cold Air

Consider these possibilities, as well as the troubleshooting tips you can try to help solve the problem before calling a pro.

  1. Incorrect thermostat settings: Just because the blower motor has turned on doesn’t necessarily mean the air conditioner is running. Every thermostat has an “on” setting that keeps the fan continually blowing rather than turning on and off intermittently with the air conditioner. To make sure this isn’t happening, change the setting to “auto.”
  2. Clogged air filter: The filter serves the critical purpose of trapping airborne particles that travel through your ductwork before they can land on and potentially damage your HVAC equipment. Efficient filters can even improve indoor air quality. However, if you go too long without changing the filter, it can become clogged and restrict airflow. If this happens, the evaporator coil may freeze, preventing it from cooling the air. Check and change your air filter to see if that fixes the problem.
  3. Dirty condensing unit: The outdoor portion of your air conditioning system, called the condensing unit, has fins that act as heatsinks. If these fins are coated in dirt, cobwebs, and grass clippings, the condenser may not function properly. To encourage cold air to blow once more, spray down the unit with a garden hose. Also, be sure to keep surrounding vegetation trimmed back to prevent restricting airflow.
  4. Tripped circuit breaker: Air conditioning systems have two circuits—one for the outdoor condensing unit and a second for the indoor air handler. If the breaker for the outdoor unit has tripped, the blower may still operate when the thermostat calls for air conditioning, but the air may feel lukewarm. Reset any tripped breakers to see if you can fix the problem.
  5. Low refrigerant charge or leak: Refrigerant is the key to air conditioning. If your unit’s charge is low—either due to a mistake at installation or a leaky refrigerant line—the AC may fail to cool properly. Checking the charge, fixing a leak, and topping off the refrigerant if necessary is a job only a professional HVAC technician can perform.
  6. Dirty evaporator coils: The evaporator located near the air handler is responsible for extracting heat from the indoor air as it circulates over the coils. If these coils are caked with grime, they won’t function properly. Professional cleaning is required to get the evaporator coil running efficiently again.
  7. Bad compressor: The compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant between the inside and outside units. If it isn’t working properly, the AC can’t blow cold air. A broken compressor may need to be replaced. Unless the part is still under warranty, it may be more cost effective to replace your entire air conditioner.

Schedule AC Repair in Richmond, VA

An HVAC technician can diagnose the exact problem and provide the AC repair you need. In fact, many of the reasons that cause an AC to stop blowing cold air can only be fixed by a trained professional. Once your air conditioner is up and running again, keep it that way with routine HVAC maintenance.

For more AC troubleshooting tips, or to schedule air conditioning repair or maintenance in Richmond, please contact Short Pump Heating & Air at (804) 364-9040.

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