You are in the midst of a brutally hot summer, but your air conditioner is blowing hot air consistently regardless of the settings you change and the thermostat levels you choose. Something’s obviously not right. It could be something as simple as dirty or broken filters, or as serious as an on-its-last-legs compressor, but either way, you need to find out what the issue is.
You’ve booked in your regular maintenance check with your air conditioning professional, however, in the meantime, you’re curious as to what might be the problem. Here are some of the more common reasons your air conditioner is blowing hot air and not cooling properly.
#1 The filters are dirty or need replacing
Air conditioners should provide a consistent air temperature, and occasionally you might experience warm air when it’s on a cool setting. However, if you find your air conditioner blowing hot air, there is definitely a problem. One of the more common reasons is that your filters are either dirty or they need replacing.
Air conditioning filters are essentially your unit’s first line of defence against airborne nasties like bacteria and dust, however, if they are compromised, proper airflow is restricted, and this can stop the system from cooling the air. This can also create a noisy system and lead to negative health issues like asthma and allergies.
Cleaning the filters may help fix an inefficient air conditioner, and you can do this yourself, which involves removing the front grille on the inside air conditioning unit and locating the filter panel/s. Then you simply vacuum away any dust that’s evident and/or wash the air filter with detergent thinned with lukewarm water and allow the filter to dry outside in a shaded area.
If that doesn’t work, then you should contact your air conditioning professional and book in a maintenance check, as the issue may be as simple as replacing the filters.
#2 The condenser coils are dirty or blocked
Dirty or dusty condenser coils can be another reason your air conditioner is blowing warm air, and again, you can clean away any leaves or debris around the outdoor unit and contact us directly.
Experts recommend your condenser coils are cleaned at least once a year and you should also make sure plants and other foliage is kept well away from the unit to maximise the system’s airflow.
#3 You have a damaged compressor
If your thermostat is set to a reasonable temperature and you find your air conditioner blowing hot air, then it’s obviously not working at the optimal level. Diminished air flow and/or little or no cool air coming out of the vents during operation is an obvious sign that something’s amiss.
If you’ve done the basic maintenance checks (of your filters and condenser coils), and everything seems right there, then it’s time to call in an expert to get to the heart of the problem. Bigger issues like a damaged compressor can seriously affect your unit’s ability to cool properly and the sooner the problem is recognised the better.
#4 You’re not using the thermostat properly
In most air conditioning units, there are normally two thermostat settings, ‘auto’ and ‘on’. When it’s on the ‘auto’ mode if the unit senses it is close to set point it may actually turn off the indoor fan as it would in heating mode. To be sure, run your unit in cooling mode in summer. This will run the indoor fan circulating the air and give better indoor temperature control.
The ideal temperature to set your thermostat at in summer is actually between 24-26°C in summer. Adjusting the thermostat to less than this may result in overcooling and could lead to increased power bills. In fact, each 1°C increase of the thermostat setting can save you about 10% on your energy usage.
If you’re looking to invest in a new air conditioner in the future, it’s worth buying one with what’s called a ‘smart’ thermostat. Thanks to Wi-Fi enabled sensors, these can automatically detect ambient environment conditions like heat and humidity, and adjust the temperature based on your usage behaviours. They can also set the temperature based on your movements – so for example, switching on the unit as you’re driving home from work. You can also control the temperature of your home remotely via your smartphone and see your energy consumption in ‘real’ time.
#5 The unit is leaking water or refrigerant
A small amount of water or condensation or water dripping from your air conditioning unit drain or outdoor unit is normal, however, if you notice a sudden leak or an increase in condensation from the ceiling space or from outlets it’s time to call in the experts. So, pick up that phone!
Worried you’ve got an inefficient air conditioner on your hands? Then it’s time for a service! Get in touch with H&H Air Conditioning today on (07) 3276 1800 (Brisbane) or (07) 5477 1777 (Sunshine Coast).