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Serving the South Puget Sound and Western Washington Areas Since 1976

Serving the South Puget Sound and Southwest Washington Areas Since 1976

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Sunset Air Blog

What’s Going on When Your AC System Blows out Warm Air?


It might not get as swelteringly hot here as it does in other parts of the country, but nonetheless it is almost the hottest time of the year. So, your air conditioner is going to go through a lot of work to keep your living space cool and comfortable.

So of course, when something goes amiss, you want it fixed right away. However, an AC seemingly blowing out lukewarm air isn’t always alarming to homeowners at first—they chalk it up to it “just being a hot day” and turn their thermostat down a bit to compensate. Unfortunately, all this does is cause the air conditioner to run even longer to try, unsuccessfully, to meet the desired temperature on the thermostat. There are some troubleshooting steps you can take, which we’ll get to below, but you may need to ultimately call in a pro for AC repairs. Read on to learn more!

What Could Be Causing Warm Air to Blow from Your AC Vents?

We mentioned your thermostat above—check this first! It’s possible that you or someone in your household switched the system over to fan-only mode, which means that warm air will just continue to recirculate throughout the living space without the air conditioner actually ever going through the refrigerant process to produce cooling.

Another possibility, if you have a heat pump or the same thermostat controlling your furnace and central air conditioner, is that you accidentally set the thermostat to heat mode. The good news is, all you have to do to “fix” this problem is to check the thermostat and make sure it’s on the appropriate setting.

One more step you can take is to make sure your outdoor unit is actually running. You might hear your indoor unit running, but many times the outdoor and indoor units of your air conditioner each have their own circuit. So if your outdoor unit isn’t running, you may have a tripped breaker. Without the outdoor unit’s involvement, cooled air will be impossible.

When You Need to Call a Pro

Resetting the thermostat or a tripped circuit breaker is obviously a very easy task for a homeowner to complete. But what if you tried this and it doesn’t resolve the problem? Well, then it might be time to call a professional, as you could be dealing with a refrigerant leak or damaged ductwork.

Your system cycles refrigerant in order to complete the cooling process. The refrigerant is evaporated in the indoor unit of your AC to remove heat from your home. If you have a refrigerant leak, however, it means your system simply doesn’t have enough of this fluid to do its job. The leak must be located and adequately fixed to restore AC functionality.

Your ductwork also has to be in good shape for your home to receive cooled air. If the ducts have tears or pinhole leaks in them, cooled air can be escaping into unoccupied spaces such as your attic or behind walls. Be sure to give us a call so we can assess what’s happening and go from there!

For quality air conditioning service in Olympia, WA, look no further than Sunset Air! Contact us today.

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