On a miserably hot and humid summer day, the last thing you want to deal with is a heat pump that is blowing out hot air. Before you dial your air conditioner service, take a pause. You may be able to handle the issue yourself…
Three D-I-Y Fixes for A/C Blowing Hot Air
Improper thermostat setting.
You’re busy – and so is your family. Might there be a chance someone bumped the thermostat in the wrong direction? Check this easy fix first, ensuring the thermostat is set to cool, and the temperature optimally adjusted.
Dirty air filter.
It’s easy for cleaning chores to get ahead of you, especially ones like this that are out of sight, out of mind. However this is the most common cause of system malfunctions – and repair calls – and it’s easily addressed by you. Pop open the door covering your air filter. If it looks like the beginnings of a new life form, it’s well overdue for a change. All that dirt and dust is preventing necessary airflow and causing your coil to freeze up. Change it – and now for the hard part: Thawing your coils. For this, you’ll have to turn off your system and let it thaw naturally, which could take 2 to 24 hours. NEVER clear ice by hand, which could damage fragile components. And NEVER forget to change the air filter again. It not only results in inconvenient repair issues but causes your system’s early demise. Add it to your calendar, keeping extra filters on-hand to swap out old for new every 3 months, at a minimum.
Dirty outside unit.
Check the outside unit – that’s the big metal box you ignore until it’s time to weed eat. Inspect the coils and coiling fins to see if they need cleaning. If they’re jammed with debris, it may be smothering the evaporator. Gently remove dust, dried leaves and grass with a soft brush, taking care not to bend the fins. Keep shrubbery, grass and weeds trimmed away – all heating and cooling units need to breathe.
Still Blowing Hot? You May Need Professional Help to Address:
Low coolant levels can affect system pressure and reduce cooling capacity, causing your air conditioner to freeze. (Overfilling can also affect performance, so don’t attempt to D-I-Y.) Dangerous to you and the environment, refrigeration adjustment should always be left to a professional.
Another side effect of a dirty air filter is a dirty evaporator coil, which can likewise cause your system to blow hot air. You can change your filter – but you’ll need professional assistance for this cleaning.
Reversing valve malfunction.
Sometimes in heat pump systems, the reversing valve that switches the system from air conditioning to heating function gets stuck. When this occurs the system can get stuck in ‘heating’ mode. Luckily, this part can be easily swapped out by a pro.