Now is the time to make sure your central air conditioner is ready for a hot summer.
St. Louis residents are finally able to enjoy some much deserved warm summer air after a particularly harsh winter. If you have not already done so, now is the time to check your central air conditioner before it gets too hot. If you do wait, know that you may not be the only household that waited until the last minute to figure out their air conditioner was on the fritz, and you will have to wait your turn for a service call. Do yourself a favor and check it now before you are left sweltering inside your house on the next 90 degree day of the season.
Check the Thermostat Settings
There are a number of things that can be causing your central air conditioner to blow warm air. Some things are simple that you can fix easily, while others will require the expertise of a licensed HVAC technician. The first thing to do is check your thermostat settings. Is it set to the right temperature? Now look and make sure that it is on the cool setting instead of the fan setting. The cool switch is what activates the air conditioner compressor. If you are set only to the fan, the air is blowing through the vents without it being cooled down first.
Check the Air Conditioner Filter
Another important item to check is the air conditioner filter. If it is extremely dirty and clogged then it will restrict the flow of air into your home. A dirty air filter can also cause air to back up and damage the coils that are inside of the main air conditioning unit. If you do not already know how to access and change the filter yourself, have your HVAC technician show you. Changing these filters regularly will not only ensure that the cool air entering your home is free from contaminants, it may help prolong the life of your central air conditioner.
Check the Compressor
If the thermostat setting is fine and the filter is clean, the compressor may not be working. This is a fixable part of your air conditioner yet complicated, and better left to the professionals to handle. With a broken compressor, cool air is simply not being produced, leaving only unconditioned air to be pushed through the vents by the fan. The sooner you are aware of this problem the sooner you can have the HVAC company repair it, before the temperatures begin to soar.
The worst case scenario for a homeowner is the entire cenral air conditioner breaking down. The HVAC technician will do a complete system check to try and find the source of the problem. Depending on the severity and the age of your central air conditioner, this may be the best time to consider replacing the system. Newer models are being produced each year that provide better cooling efficiency that you can take advantage of.