Why is my air conditioner blowing hot air?
An air conditioner is supposed to blow and circulate cool air. Why does it blow hot air? Just as a heater may not heat the indoor air, and you may continue to feel the chill, an air conditioner may fail to cool your indoor air and you may have hot air blowing from the ducts or the indoor unit.
You may have a split air conditioner, a window unit, a cassette air conditioning system or centralized air conditioning with air ducts. All these variants of air conditioners can blow hot air for many reasons. These reasons are not the same, as is the case with heaters obviously, but the premise is the same.
Let’s explore the different, at times related and often unrelated, reasons why your air conditioner may be blowing hot air.
- You may have just purchased a poor quality system. There are the big brands and the relatively unknown brands. Then there are some local manufacturers who don’t always have the right kind of certification or green rating. You should always avoid buying air conditioners that are not regulated, certified or rated by the government agencies. Big brands ensure their systems are tested, and there are impeccable quality checks in place. You may have an air conditioner that just is not good enough, and it will fail to cool the indoor air. Obviously, then you would have hot air blowing out of the system.
- You don’t always need to be alarmed when your air conditioner blows hot air. It could be a simple human error or a mistakenly chosen setting. Check the remote or the display panel of the air conditioner to know which mode it is on. You may have chosen the blower mode. All modern air conditioners have fan modes when the cooling system is not working, and you would only get a blower or fan. The compressor, the coolant or the condenser, nothing will work. You would have the same hot air in your room being circulated.
- Similar to the blower mode or fan mode, you may have chosen a temperature that is far too hot given the weather. If it is ‘x’ degrees outside and you have chosen ‘x’ or just a notch below, then your air conditioner may blow hot air. Since it has not been asked to compress the air and cool it to a sufficiently lower temperature, the air conditioner will just attend to the chosen settings and blow whatever cooled or hot air it is supposed to. Just check the settings.
- If you have purchased an air conditioner that has insufficient capacity, either because of the size of the room or because of the climate you have in your area or for both challenges, then you will feel the system is blowing hot air. However, you would start to feel cool after a while. It is just that an insufficient capacity air conditioner takes longer to cool a given space. This has to be taken into consideration when you are buying the air conditioner.
- The precursor to buying, is making the right choice, ensuring you have the right settings, and use your air conditioner according to the best practices given the outside temperature, are rather uncomplicated issues. These potential problems can be easily averted, and you don’t need to sweat it out. However, if your air conditioner is blowing hot air because of some serious technical problem, then you must worry. Again, if you have the warranty still in effect, then there is no need to panic. There are three technical reasons beyond your doing that can lead to the hot air problem. The compressor may malfunction, the coolant may have gone bad, and the condenser may go kaput. All these three can be isolated incidents, or the developments can happen simultaneously. The latter scenario is rare, but you can be unlucky. The coolant gone bad could be due to poor quality of refrigerant chosen by the manufacturer, there would be insufficient amount of the coolant, and there can be leaks for some reason which will deplete the quantity of coolant. The compressor may need to be replaced or repaired. The condenser pan may not function, which will need repairing or replacement.
- All these technical components need to be attended to by an expert. There are other relatively less worrying technical issues. You may have clogged air filters, which will prevent the system from blowing cool air. This may also lead to excess condensation inside the unit, and you would have water leaking from the indoor unit. The pump may be unable to drain out the excess condensed water, and that can cause problem. A clogged drain pipe will not lead to hot air but will affect the degree of coldness of the air. Timely maintenance should be sufficient to avoid these issues.