air conditioning unitTwo-thirds of all homes in the United States use air conditioners to stay cool in the summer. But like televisions, these appliances are so common that too many Americans simply take this luxury for granted. That is, until it stops working.

So, what do you do when something goes wrong with your air conditioning unit? For instance, what happens when it starts blowing warm air instead of cold? You’re not trained in AC repair, so any mechanical problem might leave you feeling frustrated and helpless.

Don’t sweat it. There might be an easy fix, so take a deep breath and look over the following helpful hints. If you still can’t figure it out, reach out to a reliable air conditioning company to give you a hand.

Three Possible Reasons Your Air Conditioning Unit is Blowing Warm Air

  1. Your thermostat isn’t set correctly. Now, before you roll your eyes, read on. It’s a simple mistake and is actually more common than you might think. You probably already checked, but take another look. Is the fan set to “On” or “Auto”? If it is set to “On,” you may have discovered the problem. “On” means that the fan will continue to run even when the air is not being cooled. You always want to keep the fan on “Auto” so that it only blows air when it’s cool.

  2. The air filter is dirty. A dirty air filter blocks the return airflow to your AC unit, which prevents the air from cooling. If you have an outdoor unit, check to see if ice is building up. That means your AC is functioning perfectly, but all that cold air is getting trapped inside the vents. That’s why air filters should be replaced regularly. Experts suggest checking the filter at least once a month for dirt and dust. Homeowners should have air ducts cleaned every three to five years for maximum cooling efficiency.

  3. Refrigerant is leaking. The refrigerant’s job is to absorb heat from the air, allowing the air conditioner to release cool air. If your air conditioning unit is low on refrigerant, the system will not function properly. Unlike gasoline, refrigerant doesn’t get used up; rather, it is recycled. So, the only way a unit can run low on refrigerant is if there is a leak. If this is the case, you will have to call an emergency air conditioning technician to repair the leak and refill the refrigerant supply.

Air conditioners can last between 10 and 15 years with proper maintenance. For maximum efficiency and lifespan, experts recommend having HVAC systems inspected twice a year – once in the spring and again in the fall, before the cooler weather rolls in.