Your air conditioning can be frustrating. Why is warm air blowing out? Why isn’t it running? Will it ever stop running? And with the way the weather is going, Baltimore is going to be hot, hot, hot before you know it which means higher demands on your AC. But how can you tell if you need air conditioner repair or if it’s something you can fix yourself at home?
We’ve made up a short troubleshooting information guide to help you know whether your problem can be solved at home or if you’ll need the help of a professional HVAC technician from All Seasons Heating & Cooling.
Do You Need Air Conditioner Repair?
The air blowing out of my vents isn’t cold! There are a number of reasons why the air blowing out of the vents doesn’t feel cold. But before we can get into that, let us explain a little bit about how your air conditioning works:
- Your air conditioner has two modes and two modes only: on and off. Changing the temperature on your thermostat only tells your air conditioner when to turn on or off, not how cold to blow out the air. This means, if you come home and your house is feeling hot, turning down your thermostat temperature from 75°F to 65°F will not cause the air conditioner to pump out colder air. Your AC will simply run continuously until it brings the temperature of the house down to 65°F.
- The air coming out of your air conditioner is typically 20° cooler than the air going into it. This is because the air being pulled into the AC unit travels over an evaporator coil full of heat-absorbing refrigerant. This coil is approximately 40°F cooler than the air in your house and 20° cooler than the air that’s being emitted from the vents.
Now, with that information under your belt, imagine that you were away for the weekend and decided to turn off your air conditioning while you were gone. The house reached 90°F while you were away and, of course, it feels unbearably hot upon your return. When you turn on the air conditioning, you may notice that the air coming from your vents still feels warm. That’s because the air being emitted is still around 70°F. Don’t worry, though! The temperature will continue to drop. It’ll just take a little longer to cool down your house.
I can hear my air conditioner running, but no air is blowing out! Two of the most common causes for this problem are frozen coils and dirty air filters. The second problem is the easier to fix. All you need to do is check your air filter—which you should be doing once a month already—and replace it if it’s starting to get filled up. Dirty air filters block the airflow and keep your air conditioner from running properly. If left unfixed, this minor problem can cause your blower fan to burn out causing a catastrophe that requires your air conditioner to be replaced.
Frozen coils, on the other hand, can be a little trickier to handle. As we said before, the evaporator coils are generally 40° cooler than the temperature of the house. So, say that when you returned home from the previously mentioned weekend vacation, you set the thermostat to 68°F to combat the heat. As the house began to approach that temperature, the coils would be nearing 28°F. Since these moisture from the air condenses on the cold evaporator coil (this is how your air conditioner dehumidifies your house), when they reach temperatures below 32°F, they are essentially creating blocks of ice.
Sometimes, this problem can be solved by raising the temperature on the thermostat and allowing the coils a chance to thaw out. Be careful when you do this! The melting ice can cause a little bit of a mess. However, if the coils were left frozen for too long, they may need to be repaired and you should call one of our HVAC professionals to come take a look.
My air conditioner won’t turn on! The first thing that you should do when this happens is make sure that the air conditioner disconnect switch is ON. This may sound too easy, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to turn the disconnect switch back on after shutting it down over the winter.
Second, check to see that your thermostat is working properly. Not all thermostats turn on the air conditioner right away. Sometimes it can take a few minutes for the unit to get up and running. Another quick fix is checking to make sure that your thermostat isn’t running low on batteries. Finally, make sure the thermostat is set to COOL mode rather than HEAT mode. A lot of people forget that they want their AC, not the furnace!
If none of these things get your unit back up and running, you should contact us for your air conditioner repair so that we can assess your unit and make sure that minor problems don’t turn into anything major.
When You Do Need Air Conditioner Repairs
If you’re still unsure whether you need air conditioner repair in Baltimore, call the professionals at All Seasons Heating & Cooling. We can answer any questions you have or schedule a time to come out and get your AC in top notch condition.