We’ve all been here: your central air conditioner is on the fritz, and you’re not sure what to do. You’ve Googled “AC repair near me” and been stumped at whom to call, or worried about what that repair call was going to cost.
We’re here to help – our Orlando AC repair technicians are always available, and it doesn’t cost you a thing to ask us questions, or read our troubleshooting guides. Even when you do need us to come out, our first priority is customer satisfaction, not bill collection.
Is your home AC not doing the job? Is it blowing warm air, or even hot air? If so, you’re completely justified in being concerned. An Orlando summer is no time to be without an air conditioner – the humidity alone is dangerous sometimes!
Below, we’ll go over some things that can cause an air conditioner to blow lukewarm or hot air. Some of these problems you’ll be able to fix up right away and others will require professional repair services. For your convenience, we’ll let you know which is which.
Things You Can Check On Your Own
1. Incorrect thermostat settings – your thermostat probably has settings for ON, AUTO, and OFF. If it is set to ON, rather than AUTO, then your system will continue running the blower fan 24/7, even when the compressor and evaporator aren’t doing their cooling work.
If your system sometimes blows cold air and sometimes blows “room temperature” air, this could be your problem. The solution is simplicity itself: set your thermostat to AUTO and your desired temperature. Now the fan will only run when the rest of the system is also running.
2. Dirty air filters – This is the biggest pet peeve of your average HVAC contractor. A dirty air filter is the simplest possible problem to avoid, but also the cause of a huge percentage of AC repair malfunctions.
We make a point of reminding our customers to change or clean their air filters as directed by the manufacturer of their system. Typically, that’s about once a month. A dirty air filter is a problem because it restricts airflow, making your system work harder to push air through the debris-clogged filter.
Cool air can’t escape the system itself – so your home feels warm, and your evaporator coil literally ices over. At that point, no more cooling will take place, as the evaporator is the part of your system that does that.
The solution? Check your air filters. If they’re dirty, clean or change them. If your evaporator has already iced over, thaw it by running just your fan for a few hours before trying to cool your home.
3. Dirty outdoor unit – Your central air conditioner works mostly thanks to three factors – the evaporator, the condenser, and refrigerant. We’ve discussed above what happens when the evaporator freezes over – and later we’ll talk about what to do if refrigerant levels are low.
Your condenser is in the outside unit, unless you have a package system. For most people, that means the condenser unit is somewhat exposed. The outdoor unit is what dissipates the heat your evaporator is absorbing to cool your home, if it’s crowded with dirt, debris, mold, weeds, or other plant growth, heat won’t be able to escape.
The solution is simple, though: clear larger debris away from your unit (you want a few feet around the unit to be totally clean) and then use a garden hose to very gently spray the unit down. It’s important not to use forceful spray, as that can bend the condenser’s fins.
Things You Should Call Us For
Even the most enterprising homeowner can’t fix everything. For the issues below, Orlando AC Repair contractors are required.
1. Low Refrigerant – Refrigerant is the liquid flowing through your coils that allow it to absorb heat. Without enough of it, your system blows warm air and ice builds up inside the chassis. If you see ice on the refrigerant line or outside unit, hear a hissing sound that you hadn’t heard before, or notice your AC blowing warm air more often on hotter days, turn it off.
Low refrigerant is a direct threat to the most expensive part in your central air conditioner: the compressor. Refrigerant is a hazardous chemical, requiring trained and certified professionals to find and repair leaks, charge the system, and dispose of the excess.
2. Compressor fault – The compressor circulates refrigerant between the inside and outside units, essentially ferrying the heat in and out like your circulatory system. If it gets damaged – which can be caused by most of the other issues on this list – the entire system ceases to function.
If your compressor is the issue, be warned that it’s a very expensive part to replace. This is another reason we recommend regular maintenance to our customers – if we catch these problems early, you’ll likely still be under warranty.
3. Faulty Fan motor – The condenser uses a fan to dissipate heat from the outdoor unit. When that fan has problems, the heat doesn’t dissipate, meaning your central air conditioner can’t do the job of cooling your home. Once that’s replaced, it will be business as usual.
So what’s the most important message to take away from this? Be proactive, keep regular maintenance schedules, have your system tuned up once or twice a year, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Next time, instead of typing “best ac repair near me” into a search engine, give us a ring at 407-499-8942. We’ll give you a no-nonsense breakdown of your situation, and put you on the path to a quick resolution.
Michael Haines is a veteran A/C contractor and founder of the largest and oldest e-commerce site in the heating and air conditioning industry. His HVAC websites have served 10's of thousands of customers.