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Why is My AC Blowing Hot Air? Understanding Common Causes and Solutions

Updated: Apr 26

There's nothing more frustrating than expecting a cool and refreshing breeze from your air conditioning unit on a scorching summer day, only to feel hot air coming out instead. If you find yourself in this predicament, don't panic just yet.

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Let Tri-Point Refrigeration help you understand the solutions to your AC trouble

What are some reasons why my AC is blowing hot air?

Thermostat settings. The first–and easiest–thing to check when your AC blows hot air is the thermostat settings. Make sure that it’s set to the desired cooling mode and that the temperature is lower than the current room temperature (easy to do in this weather!). Sometimes, the thermostat may accidentally be switched to the heat mode, causing the AC to blow warm air. Additionally, check if the fan setting is on "Auto" rather than "On." In the "On" mode, the fan may continue to circulate air even when the cooling function is off.

Dirty, clogged air filters. Clogged and dirty air filters can significantly impact the performance of your AC system. When filters become congested with dust, dirt, and debris, airflow can be severely restricted, which will lead to reduced cooling efficiency. As a result, the air blowing out of the vents will be warm or even hot. Regularly inspect and clean or replace the air filters according to the manufacturer's recommendations, typically every one to three months, and more often if there are animals present. Clean filters ensure proper airflow and help maintain a comfortable indoor environment.

Issues with the refrigerant. Refrigerant plays a crucial role in cooling your home by absorbing heat from the indoor air. If your AC system is low on refrigerant due to a leak or improper charging, it can result in warm air blowing from the vents. Refrigerant leaks should be addressed promptly by a professional HVAC technician who can identify the source of the leak, repair it, and recharge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant. Regular maintenance and inspections can help detect refrigerant issues early on, preventing major problems down the line.

Compressor problems. The compressor is the heart of your AC system, responsible for compressing the refrigerant and facilitating the heat exchange process. If the compressor malfunctions or fails, it can lead to hot air being circulated instead of cooled air. Faulty capacitors, electrical issues, or compressor motor failures are common culprits. Repairing or replacing a compressor is a complex task best left to HVAC professionals who possess the necessary knowledge and expertise to diagnose and address compressor-related problems.

Ductwork. The ductwork in your home carries conditioned air from the AC system to the various rooms. Damaged or poorly insulated ducts can cause cooled air to leak, leading to inefficient cooling and the perception of hot air blowing from the vents. Inspect the ducts for visible signs of damage, such as disconnected joints or holes. Additionally, inadequate insulation can result in heat transfer and reduce the effectiveness of your AC system. Sealing leaks and ensuring proper insulation can help optimize cooling performance.

The bottom line

When your AC blows hot air, understanding the potential causes can help you troubleshoot and address the issue effectively. From thermostat settings to refrigerant problems and ductwork concerns, each problem has its solution. However, for complex issues or when in doubt, it's best to consult with a professional HVAC technician to ensure a timely and accurate resolution.

By being proactive in identifying and resolving AC problems, you can restore the cool comfort of your home and enjoy the benefits of a properly functioning air conditioning system throughout the summer months.

Call us

Have questions about air conditioning? Experiencing any issues with your air conditioner? Please do not hesitate to call us here at Tri-Point Refrigeration. We are committed to providing our clients with the utmost quality of service while giving your AC the TLC it deserves.

We’re excited to help you along the way, and with regular servicing, we can keep your equipment running smoothly and healthily, while also extending the reach of your dollar.

For a direct line to any of our employees ready on the line to help you, please call…(512) 651-4565 for our Austin, Texas community (806) 686-0050 for our Lubbock, Texas community. Or check out our website at

<a href="">Image by pressfoto</a> on Freepik



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