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Why Isn’t My Central Air Blowing Cool Air?

Written on: April 22, 2024

Count on Williams Energy for your central A/C service needs

central air Plymouth, MA Few home maintenance issues are more frustrating than discovering that your trusty central air conditioning system has decided to take an unscheduled break from cooling your home.

For many homeowners, the first sign of trouble is the unsettling realization that when they adjust the thermostat, the air coming from their central air system isn’t the refreshing, cool breeze they expect. Instead, it might be warm, tepid, or even just a regular ol’ room temperature air.

But fear not! Understanding the reasons behind this issue can empower you to troubleshoot and potentially fix the problem.

This detailed guide is designed to walk you through the various checks and steps you can take to get to the bottom of your central air’s reluctance to cool your home. Understanding your cooling system is the first step to enjoying a comfortable, well-maintained home without the headache of dealing with an unexpected issue.

How Central Air Conditioning Works

A central air conditioning system consists of several key components, each with an important role in the cooling process. Here’s a simplified breakdown:

Thermostat: Acts as the control center, telling the system when to turn on and off based on the temperature you set.

Air Handler: The indoor unit that circulates the cooled air through your home via ductwork.

Condenser: The outdoor unit where the cooling process truly begins. It houses the compressor, coils, and a fan.

Refrigerant: A fluid that circulates through the system. It’s the medium that absorbs and releases heat, creating the cooling effect.

The typical cooling process starts as warm air from your home is pulled into the system, passing over evaporator coils that contain the cold refrigerant. The warm air is chilled, then cycled back into your home through the air vents. At the same time, the heat from the warm air is absorbed by the refrigerant and released outside, and the cycle continues until your home reaches the set temperature.

Understanding this process is critical to identifying where a breakdown might be occurring.

Troubleshooting steps for non-cool air

Here are a few initial steps you can take to diagnose your system’s non-cooling woes.

Check the thermostat: Ensure it’s set to “cool” and the temperature setting is at least 5° lower than the current room temperature. Sometimes, user error can be the culprit!

Inspect the air filters: Dirty filters restrict airflow and can cause the evaporator coils to freeze, leading to warm air. Regularly changing or cleaning your filters is essential for proper AC performance.

Look at the circuit breaker: A tripped breaker could be the reason the system isn’t running. Flip it back on to see if that solves the issue.

Performing these checks might just solve your problem. However, if your central air is still not blowing cool air, contact Williams Energy for a service call.

Common causes of non-cool air

Low refrigerant: If your A/C is low on refrigerant, it can’t absorb heat effectively, leading to poor cooling. Low levels could indicate a leak in the system, which should be addressed promptly by a professional. Signs of a refrigerant problem include:

Dirty evaporator or condenser coils: Grime and dust can accumulate on these coils, preventing the system from cooling the air properly. Regular cleaning can help avoid this, but if the coils are already dirty, the system may run longer to achieve the set temperature. You also might notice a decrease in overall cooling efficiency.

Compressor issues: The compressor is the heart of your air conditioning system and is responsible for moving the refrigerant through the system. When it fails, you can expect the outdoor unit to make unusual noises, such as grinding or humming. Also, warm air will be blown even when the system is on.

Leaky ducts: If the cooled air doesn’t make it to your living spaces due to leaks in the ducts, you won’t feel the cooler temperatures. Telltale signs include:

If you suspect leaky ducts, a professional can perform a pressure test to confirm.

With expert air conditioning installation and service from Williams Energy, your South Shore home will be cool and comfy all summer long! Schedule your air conditioning tune-up today.