Why You’re Only Getting Warm Air from Your AC

woman-with-fanIn our last blog post, we looked into an issue that sometimes occurs with heat pumps: a system that won’t switch out of heating mode when warm weather arrives and only sends out heated air. This week, we’re going to look at the air conditioner’s equivalent of this problem, i.e. when a cooling system isn’t cooling. If you have an AC that’s only sending out room temperature air through the vents, that’s a problem.

There are different reasons why an air conditioner might fail to do its basic job and instead act like a large fan. Below are some of the common causes for this problem. A few are minor complications or errors that anybody can fix without having to call for repairs. Others are major complications that require technicians to remedy them. And others can put the whole air conditioner in danger of breaking down unless they’re repaired as soon as possible.

Mistakenly set thermostat

Don’t laugh: it can happen to you. We’ve sometimes gone on service calls for ACs that aren’t sending out cool air and find the trouble is someone fiddling around with the thermostat settings. If the temperature setting is too high or the AC is programmed to “fan only” mode, an air conditioner won’t turn on the compressor to start the actual cooling cycle. Before calling professionals, see if the thermostat is set correctly.

Tripped circuit breaker

If the circuit breaker to the outside unit of the AC trips because of an overload, then the compressor won’t run. The indoor fan and other components will continue to operate, but without the action of the compressor to circulate refrigerant, no cooling will happen. Reset any tripped circuit breakers to see if this resolves the issue. If the breaker continues to trip, call for repairs to see if there’s an electrical issue with the AC system.

Loss of refrigerant

Refrigerant is the heat transference fluid necessary for an air conditioner to draw heat out of the home and then release it outdoors. Refrigerant is supposed to remain at the same level throughout the lifespan of an air conditioner, but it can leak. If the refrigerant level drops, it will cause the AC to lose its cooling ability—and eventually result in catastrophic damage to the compressor.

Leaking ductwork

The trouble may not even be in the air conditioner itself, but in the ventilation system. Air leaks in the ducts allow conditioned air to escape, which lowers the air temperature. You must have professionals locate duct leaks and repair them.

When you have a malfunctioning air conditioning system in Lebanon, OR and you can’t find a simple solution to the trouble, don’t attempt to do any further tampering with it. Only qualified professionals can effectively diagnose what’s wrong with a broken air conditioner and then effectively repair it. In the Willamette Valley, we’re the people to contact. Our staff receives regular ongoing training on every type of heating and cooling system, and you can reach us 24 hours a day when you need the help necessary to keep your home comfortable through the summer.

Midway Mechanical Inc. has served the Willamette Valley for over 40 years.

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