Interior Design

Why is my air conditioner not blowing cold air? Key problems to look out for

Why is my air conditioner not blowing cold air? Experts address this timely question – so you can stay cool through the heatwave

why is my air conditioner not blowing cold air
(Image credit: GettyImages)

'Why is my air conditioner not blowing cold air?'– It's the question many homeowners may have asked in recent days – and will continue to do so throughout the coming months. 

As we sit on the fringe of the hottest season, there is no better time to remind yourself of the logistics behind your air conditioner – so you can call in help quickly – and stay cool when it matters the most. 

Sometimes, saving your unit can be as simple as learning how to clean an air conditioner – but other times, the problem is more complicated. Here's what the experts suggest. 

Why is my air conditioner not blowing cold air?

Air con

(Image credit: GettyImages)

'If your air conditioner is blowing warm air, it is important to diagnose the problem so that it can be fixed as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may find yourself dealing with an uncomfortably warm home all summer long,' say the experts at Thomas HVAC Company in Alabama.   

'Each of the problems has different solutions, so diagnosing the issue is the first step before you can even consider fixing the issue.' These are the 4 most common problems you may face with your unit. 

1. Thermostat issue 

According to the experts at Thomas HVAC, your thermostat has a huge influence over your air conditioning unit. However, they are not alone in their observations. 

'Check the thermostat. If the thermostat is set very low or too high, the air conditioner may not be able to produce cold air,' adds Stacy Lewis, an Interior Designer at Eternity Modern. 'An overworked air condition motor does not work properly.'

Therefore, if your AC is not working properly, the solution could be as simple as adjusting the temperature to not provide cool air.

Air con

(Image credit: GettyImages)

2. Dirty air filter

Another common reason your unit may be blowing cold air is a clogged air filter. This will block the flow of air and cause the unit to overheat.  

Knowing how to clean an air conditioner will consequently help you avoid or cure a dirty air filter and, hopefully, allow you to quickly feel cooler air again. As long as filters are kept clean, you can run your AC even when the air quality is bad.

3. Low refrigerant level

The experts at Thomas HVAC also suggest that a low refrigerant level may be preventing your unit from cooling the air effectively. 'Without enough refrigerant, it won’t be able to cool the air,' they say. 

This problem is commonly the result of a leak within the air conditioning system that could stem from a faulty valve or evaporator coil. However, it is often hard to diagnose this problem as any leaks typically evaporate as it leaks out of the AC. However, your unit may make a hissing or bubbling noise if this is the case. 

Air con

(Image credit: GettyImages)

4. Malfunctioning compressor 

If your outdoor compressor is malfunctioning, it may cause your entire AC system to operate inefficiently, the experts suggest. 'If there is an issue with the outdoor compressor, it won't be able to transfer the air properly.'

You can often diagnose a malfunctioning compressor from unconventional noises (such as rattling and clattering) coming from your unit. 

If you wonder, 'why is my air conditioner not blowing cold air?' these are the most common problems you can encounter. If the solution goes beyond a quick clean, it is always best to consult AC experts and always turn off your unit entirely before fixing any issue. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.