Is your AC blowing hot or cold air?

AC condenser unit, Columbia SC

After returning from Cherry Grove Beach in April our air conditioning unit was on but the air was not blowing. The air that was coming out was so weak you could not tell if it was cool. It was not cold. That’s not good.

Everything seemed okay a week before.

What could have happened to the air conditioning system?

Who knows?

But, actually the first time we used the system, three years ago, the same thing happened.

So maintaining records makes a difference.  

Three years ago when very little air was coming out the vents we called the ac repair contractor. He came out and explained four things most homeowners could check before calling for repair service. Step 5 and after required professional attention.

So this year in April before calling for service I followed those steps.

4 things you can do if the air conditioning is not blowing cold air.

Below are things most real estate owners can do when the central air conditioner is not cooling. This is the order followed by the contractor three years ago and by me before placing the service call this April.

  1. Check the thermostat for error messages. The thermostat can lose its mind. If the power goes out… some thermostats lose their mind and need to be re-programmed. If the thermostat is flashing or acting different ... re-programming it could be a quick, easy and no cost fix. 
  2. Check the fan setting on the thermostat. The fan has 2 “On” and “Auto.” If the fan is set to “On” it will run all the time, 24/7. That means at times the system will be moving warm to hot air. Switch the fan setting to “Auto” if needed. 
  3. Check the filters. If the air filter is dirty, dusty or installed improperly replace it immediately. Air movement should improve when a clean air filter is installed properly. The evaporator coil can freeze when air flow is blocked. A blocked evaporator will turn into a block of ice and cooled air movement will stop. Air filters should be removed and replaced monthly.
  4. Check the outside unit known as the condenser. The heat from in the house is transferred outside to the condenser. The condenser disperses that heat. If it is dirty or cluttered with debris it will not function properly. Remove any pine needles, leaves, weeds and other debris from around the condenser and give it some breathing room.

After following the above steps…my air was still not blowing out the vent enough to cool the house so onto Step 5, call a reliable air conditioning professional.

Our air conditioning guy came the same day. He went in the attic and checked the evaporator then outside to check the condenser.

The problem was there was no refrigerant in the system. The solutions three years ago and in April were: 

  1. add refrigerant and see if it leaks out again
  2. replace the system

Our choice was add 6 pounds of refrigerant. Within five minutes the house was cool. Two weeks later the system was checked and there were no leaks. Three months later, the house is still cool. There is no sign of leaking. All is good. The air is cold. 

The reason I share this story is three friends recently had a similar story with their air conditioning unit. Two homeowners felt forced or pressured into buying a new system. Perhaps they only needed refrigerant. I don’t know, neither do they.

That’s my air conditioning story. If you have one email it to me.

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