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why my ac is not working

Why is My AC Running but Not Cooling?

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Living in the Los Angeles area, you know how crucial it is to your comfort to have a functioning central air conditioner. Unfortunately, one of the customers’ most common issues is an air conditioner that suddenly stops blowing cold air. What should you do in this situation?

There are many potential culprits and reasons why your AC is blowing warm air rather than cool air. The professionals at Universal Heating & Cooling are just the team you need to diagnose the problem and find a solution you can afford.

cold-air-from-ac-unit
Your AC isn’t simply blowing air around; it houses a sophisticated cooling system, similar to your refrigerator

no cold iconCool Air Not Coming Out? Low Refrigerant or Refrigerant Leak

Your home’s air conditioner works on a cooling cycle, and refrigerant is critical. The refrigerant is stored in a series of copper refrigerant tubing and works by drawing heat energy from inside the home and safely releasing it outside.

The refrigerant levels must remain constant for the system to work correctly. Unfortunately, if there is damage to the refrigerant lines, the cooling system cannot release warm indoor air outside and replace it with cool air.

If there is a refrigerant leak, the issue should always be handled by a professional air conditioning technician. An HVAC technician can pinpoint the cause of refrigerant leaks, such as damage to the copper lines, and refill the unit with coolant.

dirt-in-air-filter
Your AC filter collects all manner of dust particles in the air and keeps them from entering your home. Every now and then, this “nose” needs a good “blowing”!

dirt-particlesObstructed Air Flow Can Mess Up the Air Conditioning System

For your air conditioner to blow cold air, there must be a constant flow of air around and through the system. The unit’s job is to eliminate hot air from inside your home and replace it with cool air. If there is any obstruction, this cycle cannot occur, and your air conditioner will blow warm air or stop working altogether.

One of the most common causes of obstructed or improper airflow is a clogged or dirty air filter. The air filters on your HVAC system play a critical role. They remove airborne particles from outdoor air before circulating inside your home. Your air filter is supposed to get very dirty, but it needs to be periodically tossed out or cleaned.

If your HVAC system’s air filter becomes clogged or very dirty, it will obstruct airflow in the inside unit and cause various problems, including an ac system that is blowing hot air.

expansion-valve-damage
Any kind of damage to the AC piping or valves requires attention only from a professional HVAC technician. Do not attempt to DIY these issues!

valveThe Expansion Valve Is Clogged

An often overlooked component of your air conditioning system, the expansion valve is found in the evaporator coils and regulates the amount of liquid refrigerant that can enter the coil. If the valve becomes clogged or fails, the refrigerant cannot be released, and your ac unit will not blow cold air.

It can be tricky to locate the expansion valve and even more challenging to determine if there is an issue. This is a common cause of cooling problems and one, as a homeowner, you will probably overlook. That is why you should always contact an HVAC technician if you are experiencing any significant issues with your central air conditioning system.

thermostat-check
Like the old saying goes; the simplest explanation is usually the right one. Check your thermostat settings before worrying about any technical issues!

thermostatFaulty Thermostat

Imagine this scenario: You wake up on a hot Los Angeles morning, and no cold air is blowing out of the registers. You panic and assume the worst-case scenario has occurred, such as a faulty heat pump system or a bad condenser unit, and you see your wallet slowly emptying.

Before you lose your cool, walk over to your thermostat and check the temperature. If there is an issue with your thermostat, such as a set of dead batteries, or a curious kid who loves to push buttons, your central air conditioning system cannot maintain the desired temperature.

Often, you will find that simply adjusting the temperature setting on the thermostat is all you will need to do to fix the issue.

outdoor-ac-unit
Your outdoor unit is where the air conditioning all begins. If there is a fault located here, it will affect the air quality that passes into your home

ac outdoorFaulty Outdoor Unit = No Cold Air

All central AC systems are comprised of two major sections: The indoor unit and the outdoor unit. The indoor unit houses a fan coil cabinet that contains your evaporator coil. If you have a furnace, this will often house the indoor components. Otherwise, you will have a fan coil, or the evaporator coil will be found in the indoor air handler unit.

The outdoor unit is that giant metal box outside your home that contains the compressor, fan, and condenser coils.

If there is damage to this outdoor condenser unit, which can occur after a storm or even through vandalism, the entire unit can blow warm air or even stop working altogether.

evaporator-coil-dirty
The evaporator coil extracts warm air from your room. If it becomes dirty or damaged, your warm air will remain.

evaporator coilDirty or Damaged Evaporator Coil

Once again, the evaporator coil is found inside your home and plays a critical role in the cooling cycle. The job of the evaporator coil, which is filled with evaporated refrigerant, is to draw warm air out of your house. The evaporator coil is connected to a compressor, and if the coil or the AC compressor malfunctions, heat energy exchange cannot occur.

A faulty or frozen evaporator coil is another common issue that can be tricky to pinpoint. Once again, leave it to the professionals at Universal Heating & Air to diagnose the problem and make any necessary repairs.

condenser-coilFaulty or Clogged Condenser Coil

The evaporator coil and its counterpart, the condenser coil, work in tandem and are two critical components in all air conditioning systems. The condenser coil is attached to a condenser fan. The heated, pressurized refrigerant travels to the condenser coils, where it is released outside your home.

Once again, if this outdoor coil suffers any type of damage and it cannot do its job properly, your AC will blow hot air.

air-duct
The air ducts in your ac unit can be clogged or damaged for a number of reasons, causing cool air to flow with less pressure into your home

air ductDamaged Air Ducts Will Slow Down the Cooling Process

Your air conditioner often stops blowing cold air quickly, and the issues mentioned above are typically the problem. However, what if the airflow is diminished, and the air coming from the registers feels slightly warmer than it should? Believe it or not, the problem could be damaged air ducts.

When the air ducts running through your basement and the rest of your home suffer damage, the hot air surroundings the ductwork mixes with the cool air traveling through it from the air conditioning unit. The resulting warm air will not be able to adequately maintain your home’s inside temperature.

This leaves your air conditioner running constantly and your home much warmer than it should be.

ac-drain-line
A clear, undamaged drain line – shown here in white – is crucial for condensed outflow

drain lineClogged Drain Line

AC units naturally produce water, which is drained from the outdoor coil by a drain line. If the drain line becomes clogged, which often occurs when dirt, debris, and even mold collect inside the pipe, it causes the water to back up into the condenser unit.

This water damage can be severe, and if the electrical components housed in the condenser unit become wet and short out, your ac unit will start blowing warm air, or it could stop working.

keep-ac-clear
Keeping your ac clear of any obstructions is one of the easier ways to avoid future damages

what to do?How Can I Prevent This Problem in the Future

Luckily, there are several things you, as a homeowner, can do to protect your air conditioner and prevent this common issue from happening to you.

Keep the Area Around Your Condenser Free of Obstructions

Remove any obstructions to ensure proper airflow around your outdoor and indoor units. For example, cut back any trees or shrubs or keep your lawn furniture several feet away from the condenser unit.

Avoid storing boxes or keeping furniture near your furnace or indoor air handler unit.

Change the Air Filters Regularly

Dirty air filters cause a multitude of problems, the most common of which is an air conditioner that blows warm air or stops working completely. Change or clean your HVAC filter according to the manufacturer’s directions.

This will allow the filter to perform its most important job: Capture the dust, dirt, dander, and other airborne particles that can make your family sick.

Cover Your Air Conditioner When Not in Use

The outdoor systems of your HVAC unit should be covered when not in use. For example, cover the condenser unit with a tarp or a universal AC unit cover during the winter or if you will not be using your system for several weeks at a time.

Schedule Yearly Maintenance

If you are constantly dealing with your air conditioner not cooling, the best way to combat this problem is to schedule yearly maintenance. An HVAC professional from Universal Heating & Air will examine every component of your AC system to ensure it is not only properly cooling but you are enjoying peak energy efficiency.

We offer maintenance plans that will fit any budget. When you sign up for a yearly maintenance plan with Universal Heating & Air, you do not need to worry that your HVAC system will not work correctly when you need it the most.

call-universal-today
With over 20 years of dedicated experience, our team will have your AC purring in no time!

universal logoTired of Dealing With Your Broken Air Conditioner? Contact the Professionals at Universal Heating & Air

Are you sick and tired of your AC system not running correctly? Are you experiencing higher-than-average energy bills every month and believe your HVAC system is the issue?

No matter the problem, Universal Heating & Air technicians will work tirelessly to ensure your air conditioner appropriately cools your home in Los Angeles.

With over 20 years of experience serving our amazing customers throughout the Los Angeles area, Universal Heating & Air is a Google Certified HVAC company that services all air conditioners on the market.

We offer comprehensive residential and commercial HVAC services, including AC repair and installationemergency servicesAC Maintenance, and thermostat repair.

Peri T.
Peri T.

I'm Peri, the owner of Universal Heating & Air, and I'm here to save the day (or at least your AC). Our team got the skills and knowledge to handle any AC repair, installation, or maintenance job. My goal is to make sure my customers are comfortable, no matter the weather. So, if you need superheros for your AC problems, look no further!