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Why Is My AC Blowing Hot Air?

Is warm or hot air coming from your AC vents? That’s a problem, especially in Arizona when summer temperatures skyrocket.

The hot air coming from your AC can be caused by a variety of problems, but some of the most common include:

  • A wrong thermostat setting
  • A dirty outdoor unit
  • Low refrigerant
  • A tripped circuit breaker

In this article, we’ll go into detail about each of the problems to help you determine why your AC is blowing hot air and, more importantly, how to fix it.

Rather have an HVAC professional diagnose and repair your AC ASAP?

Contact Advantage Air Mechanical. We provide convenient 2-hour scheduling slots and same-day repairs.

Problem #1: A wrong thermostat setting

To ensure that your AC is blowing cool air, you want to ensure that your thermostat is set to:

  • COOL not HEAT
  • AUTO not ON

When your thermostat is set on AUTO, it will only blow air when your AC is on and has cooled the air. On the other hand, when your thermostat is set to ON, it will blow air constantly, regardless of whether the air has been cooled or not.

If your thermostat settings are correct but your AC is still blowing hot air, keep reading for your potential problem.

Problem #2: A dirty outdoor unit

Example of a dirty outdoor ac unit

Dirty outdoor unit

To properly cool your home, your AC removes heat from your home’s air and then dumps the heat outside.

However, if your outdoor unit is covered in dirt or debris, your AC can’t dump as much heat as it needs to and your AC will struggle to effectively cool your home’s air.

If your outdoor unit is dirty, you’ll want to contact a professional to clean it for you to prevent damaging your AC unit.

Problem #3: Low refrigerant

As we mentioned above, your AC removes heat from your home’s air. It does so with a super cold substance called refrigerant. The refrigerant circulates through your AC system using refrigerant lines. It absorbs the heat from the air in your indoor unit and moves to your outdoor unit to dump the heat outside.

When your refrigerant levels are low, your AC cannot remove as much heat from the air as it needs to, so the air may feel warmer than it should.

Beyond your AC blowing warm air as a sign, you may also notice:

  • Your indoor and outdoor units forming ice
  • Your AC making hissing or bubbling noises

Your refrigerant lines always work in a closed-loop system. So, if your AC has low levels of refrigerant, you have a leak somewhere.

To fix the leak, you’ll want to contact a technician since refrigerant is a toxic substance. The professional will repair the leak and refill your refrigerant to the right levels.

Problem #4: A tripped circuit breaker

a tripped circuit breaker

Circuit breaker for the AC

There are two circuit breakers for your AC, one for the outdoor unit and another for the indoor unit. If your outdoor unit’s circuit breaker is tripped, you will feel warm air from your AC. That’s because your AC is still continuing to blow air, it’s just not cooled air.

Check your breaker box to see if your AC has tripped (i.e. in neutral position). The switch should be labeled as “HVAC” or “AC.”

To fix a tripped breaker, you’ll want to reset by:

  1. Turning the breaker OFF (flip the switch to the right)
  2. Turning the breaker ON (flip the switch to the left)
  3. Waiting 30 seconds

If the breaker trips after resetting, do not reset again and call a professional ASAP. The professional can address potentially serious electrical wiring problems in your home.

Need help with an AC blowing hot air? Contact Advantage Air Mechanical

Beyond the above problems, there are also complex issues that can cause your AC to blow hot air like:

  • Compressor issues
  • Capacitor problems
  • Broken contactors

When your AC issue requires professional attention, contact Advantage Air Mechanical. We’ve repaired ACs for Tucson homeowners for over 30 years, so our technicians can repair any AC brand or models day or night.

Also, if you’re watching your budget but want high-quality service work, we’re offering coupons and financing for AC repairs.