AC Not Blowing Cold Air? What It Means and What to Do

There’s never a good time for your AC to stop blowing cold air. Odds are that this will happen at the most inconvenient time. If you find that your AC is not blowing cold air, you’ll need to have the unit looked at by a HVAC specialist. Running the AC unit while it is not functioning properly can further damage the unit and cause a more serious and costly repair. Before making the phone call to your local HVAC repair specialist, take a look at this list to see if you can find the culprit for the issue.

Here are the most common reasons why your AC isn’t blowing cold air:

  1. The air filter is dirty and causing ice build-up on the coils.
  2. The AC unit has faulty or old parts.
  3. There is an electrical issue.
  4. The refrigerant level is too low either from use or a leak.

Let’s elaborate a little on each of those…

1. Dirty Air Filters / Ice Buildup

The number one reason that will cause an AC unit to not blow out cold air is actually the easiest one to fix: a dirty air filter. When the air filter gets dirty, the dirt creates a blockage and prevents the air to flow through the unit. As a result, you’ll have lower air pressure and the unit will have to work harder to push out the air. This extra effort can create the AC unit to freeze.  Replace the air filter and turn off the unit until the ice has defrosted completely. Then restart your AC and check to see if the air is cold.

2. Faulty Parts

As AC units get old, their effectiveness at blowing out cold air is reduced. If you find that your AC unit is not blowing out cold air, it could very well be a malfunction of the condenser or compressor in the unit. Condensers remove heat from the air, and when they are not working to their potential, you are not getting cold air coming into your home. If you own an older unit, it is best to call an HVAC repair specialist right away. Delaying the repair can cause further damage to the compressor and condensers, which are the most expensive parts of an air conditioner.

3. Electrical Issues

When examining the air conditioner, if the issues aren’t visible either from a leak in the refrigerant or a dirty air filter, the issue may be electrical. Some things that may be wrong with your AC unit if you have an electrical issue include:

  • Thermostat problems
  • Failed sensors
  • Corroded contacts
  • Corroded connectors
  • Wiring problems
  • Defective breakers

If the AC unit isn’t blowing cold air because of an electrical problem, you should not try to fix the problem yourself. Call your local HVAC repair specialist immediately.

4. Low Refrigerant Levels

Another common cause for an AC unit to not blow cold air is a low refrigerant level.  Most often, a low refrigerant level is the result of a leak in the tubes. A quick fix would be to add more refrigerant, but in time, it will leak out and the air will stop blowing cold again. Additionally, the leak could worsen and grow larger. The best way to decide if your refrigerant is low due to a leak or just use over time, is to have the HVAC repair specialist insert a die into the refrigerant tubes. The die is harmless, and will help show where the leak is, if there is one at all. Depending on the results, the HVAC repair specialist can work up a proper quote for the necessary repairs.