Troubleshooting An AC Unit That Blows Hot Air

An AC unit is a critical piece of equipment when you are trying to keep your family warm and safe through the summer, so what do you do when your AC unit starts to blow hot air? You might think that you have no choice but to call an AC technician, but there are some things that you can do on your own. 

Check Your Evaporator Coils

Your AC unit will have two sets of coils—one located outside your house, and one located inside your house. The set of coils in your house next to the furnace are known as evaporator coils. Their job is to extract heat from the air pushed over them by your AC fan. Sometimes they do their job too well. When this happens, they extract so much heat that any water vapor in the air freezes and sticks to the coils. If enough ice builds up on the coils, they can loose their ability to extract heat from the air flowing over them. To fix the problem, turn off your AC unit, place a bucket under the evaporator coils, and use a hairdryer to help remove the ice. 

What Causes Coils to Freeze Over?

Your coils are at risk of freezing over whenever they don't get enough air. If you have failed to clean your AC filter, the dirty filter can starve your system for air. Check your filter, and if it is in good condition, you have bigger problems. Turn your AC unit on and check to make sure the AC fan is running, if it is not, it is time to call in a technician.

What if Everything Checks Out Inside?

If you have checked out everything inside without finding a problem, it is time to move your efforts outside. When the AC unit is running, go outside and check to see if the fan on your condenser unit is running. If it is not, take a long-handled screwdriver and give the fan blade a firm push. If it starts running, you have a blown capacitor. You can use the screwdriver trick to get some cold air flowing into your house, but you need to call a technician to fix the problem permanently. 

A basic rule for troubleshooting your AC system is that if there is anything wrong with the electrical or mechanical components of the system, you should leave the repair up to professionals like Kennard - Pace Co. Inc. This rule will rule the homeowner out as far as making most repairs is concerned, but at the very least, you should know that iced over coils are not a reason to immediately call your AC repair technician.