Finally, the first hot day of the year – you turn your air conditioner on to keep cool inside your home. After a few rumbles, yanks and false starts, you finally get your AC running after six months of hibernation. But just when you think all is okay, you go over to one of your duct registers and realize that your air conditioner is blowing out hot air. This can be an alarming scenario, but there is actually a really simple solution. There is usually one common culprit when it comes to an air conditioner that isn’t cooperating: the filter. Just like you would not dismiss the importance of having the right R-values in your home insulation – you also want to be sure to watch out for a dirty air filter in your AC. Here is how to fix an AC that is blowing hot air.
Your first step is to open up your air conditioner unit and inspect the inside. You will need the following tools: a flashlight, a screwdriver and a good sense of touch. You may also want to have your air conditioner user manual near you – just for reference. Simply use the screwdriver to take the main faceplate off your AC unit – so that you can get a peak of the inner workings. Doing a visual inspection is usually the first and most important step.
Once you are looking at the inside of your air conditioner unit, you want to inspect the condenser coils – this is where water flow through and chills. Once the air from the fans passes through these coils, it provides cool air to your home. If these condenser coils feel cold – maybe even icy – you are in good shape so far. If these coils are not cold, you could have a problem that needs further attention.
Next, you want to head over to your filter, which should be located near the coils. Your AC filter is responsible for blocking unwanted pollutants, like dust and pollen, from getting inside your air conditioning unit. Eventually, though, your filter will become so clogged that your system can’t effectively and efficiently let air flow through, which can ultimately cause your air conditioner to pump out hot air. Once you find your filter, you want to pull it out and inspect it. If it is covered in dust and detritus, it definitely needs to be replaced.
Lastly, you want to replace your filter. Replacing the filter is easy – all you have to do is order a new one and replace the old one. Sometimes, a dirty filter can cause your condenser coils to completely freeze, which can also cause a problem. Before you replace the filter, make sure to turn your system off. Once the new filter is in, you want to run your air conditioner’s fan system until everything is calibrated again. After a few hours, you can probably start using your AC system again. If you have an issue with frozen coils, you may want to let the fan run for longer.