In the suffocating summertime heat, the last thing you need is for your A/C to stop blowing cold air. Unfortunately, it’s a common problem. And here in Charlottesville, we’re no strangers to hot, humid summer days.
The good news is, it may only take a simple tweak or two to get your A/C running correctly again. All it takes is a little observation.
First, be sure to check your thermostat switch and set it to “auto.” If it’s only on the fan setting, it won’t blow cold air. Once you’ve confirmed that it’s set to cool your house–but still isn’t working–you can inspect your unit to rule out the following possibilities.
1. It’s time to replace your air filter.
A dirty air filter can prevent the cold air from your A/C from cooling your home properly. Dust and grime that builds up in the filter over time restrict the desired air flow from the unit. It can even cause your unit to freeze up.
Some HVAC units will shut down completely when the filter is clogged. Try purchasing a new filter and replacing the old one to see if this corrects the problem.
2. The condenser on your unit needs cleaning.
Dirty coils in your condenser might be keeping your A/C from cooling properly. Because refrigerant must run through the coils to cool your house, dirty coils can inhibit its flow. You’ll need your condenser cleaned out professionally at least once a year to prevent this issue.
3. There’s an ice block inside your HVAC unit.
It might seem counterintuitive, but ice inside your A/C causes it to stop cooling your home as it should. Not only can a dirty filter cause this problem; filthy coils can, too. Try changing your thermostat to the “fan” setting and allow the ice inside your unit to melt.
4. Your A/C drain is clogged.
It’s possible that the drainage hose running from your A/C has become clogged, which in turn shuts down your HVAC unit. While this prevents water from getting into the unit or your house, it also keeps your unit from cooling as it should. If the pipe is clogged, it might need to be cleaned out or replaced.
5. Weeds and grass around your unit are overgrown.
Overgrowth around your outside HVAC unit can block adequate air from flowing through the unit. Bushes, plants, low-hanging tree branches, and weeds can all be culprits. If you inspect your unit and find overgrown plants and grasses covering it, trim everything back at least three feet away from the unit. Giving your HVAC room to breathe could help it start to cool your home again.
If your A/C still isn’t cooling your house…
You might be overdue for routine maintenance on your unit–or it might be time for an A/C repair or new HVAC installation. Your HVAC technician will carefully inspect your A/C unit outside, as well as the thermostat inside, to ensure everything is in working order. They’ll also be able to determine whether:
Your refrigerant fluid is leaking
The condenser is damaged or broken
Your fan or fan motor isn’t working
The thermostat controls are malfunctioning
The compressor has gone bad
While some repairs are reasonably routine and inexpensive, some are costly. If your unit is more than ten years old and requires an expensive repair, it might be time for a new A/C installation. And if you’re burning up right now, you don’t have to suffer in the heat–we offer same-day service.
Maintenance tasks you need on your unit regularly include compressor and condenser cleaning. You’re more likely to catch small, preventative repairs at your routine checks–and in the long run, it’ll save you money and sweat (literally and figuratively!). We offer affordable maintenance plans that make it easy to keep your A/C up and running.