QUESTION: I have a central air conditioner not blowing cold air but still running. I do not have the money to have a professional come and repair my central air conditioner. My AC is 3 years old and I want to fix it myself. I believe the AC needs freon but I am not a licensed HVAC technician. What parts of the AC (besides the freon/refrigerant) can I test and fix myself?
ANSWER: Check the air filter, clean the condenser coils to remove dirt, check capacitor and fan motor in condenser. A bad cap is very common. The fan motor is also high on the list of failures. Test cap, motor, and the fan blade if the fan is not spinning or struggling to turn. More parts and info below.
You can check all of the AC components yourself, however you need a licensed technician to add the freon if found to be low. Troubleshooting and replacing parts should be left to a licensed HVAC technician. However, you can attempt to repair the issue yourself as the most common AC parts are inexpensive and widely available.
There are multiple components of the air conditioner that can cause it to malfunction. The AC components can be cleaned, maintained, and repaired by you to get the air conditioner working properly. Use the information below to assist you in fixing your AC.
Before you begin troubleshooting, check the diagram below to get an understanding of the location of parts and components in your AC. This is a simple diagram but will help you to understand the layout of your AC before you begin taking it apart and testing parts/components.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you begin any troubleshooting or maintenance on your central air conditioner, always remove power before performing any work!
What To Check On A Central AC Not Blowing Cold Air?
These 4 things are the most common reasons why an AC doesn’t blow cold air.
1. Dirty AC Air Filter
Dirty air filters will decrease the air flow and reduce efficiency.
Change the AC air filter with a medium grade pleated filter for maximum efficiency.
2. Dirty Condenser Coils
The outside AC unit can become clogged with dirt and dust which will reduce cooling.
Remove the top of the AC unit outside, spray a garden hose from the inside out to clean out dirt.
3. Bad Capacitor
The capacitor starts the motor and if burned out, the motor will not start.
A bad capacitor will buldge or burn out, test the capacitor with a meter and replace if found bad.
Order New Capacitor Here – How To Test AC Capacitor
4. Faulty Condenser Fan Motor
This fan motor is located in the outside unit and blows hot air from the condenser.
If the fan is not turning, check the motor with a meter and replace if found to be faulty.
Order New Condenser Fan Motor Here – How to Replace an Condenser Fan Motor
What Parts Or Areas Of My Central Air Conditioner That Can Go Bad Should Be Checked By A Licensed AC Technician?
These parts/components are all areas of a central air conditioner. If found to be bad or dirty, this can cause an AC to not cool, not blow air, smell like burning rubber, ice on coils, or not turn on.
Other faulty AC parts or areas that can cause an air conditioner to not blow cold air
1. FREON – Refrigerant has leaked out of AC
2. DRAIN – Plugged up condensate drain
3. MOTOR – Faulty blower motor in furnace/air handler
4. DUCTS – Ductwork is dirty/clogged
5. DAMPER – Damper out of adjustment
6. FURNACE – Compartment dirty or blocked
7. VENTS – Home vents closed/clogged/dirty
8. CONTACTOR – Faulty contactor
9. WIRING – Fault in wiring causes failure
10. BOARD – Control board fault
11. COMPRESSOR – Compressor failure issue
MORE INFO: To check the AC yourself, make sure you have checked the AC filter, condenser coils, the capacitor, and fan motor. To check thoroughly use the videos below as a guide. Dirty coils are high on the list for AC not cold. Follow the video below to show you how to clean them out to get your AC blowing colder air. If the AC does not perform correctly after cleaning the coils, shut off all power and check the capacitor and fan motor. These 2 items are also high on the list of AC failures. Use a meter to troubleshoot if the cap has burnt out or the fan motor may have failed. Also check the fan blades to be sure they are not bent and unable to spin freely. If after troubleshooting all aspects of your AC and still no cold air, you may need to call a licensed HVAC tech and have the refrigerant level checked.
CLEAN AC CONDENSER COILS
Not Cooling? – Dirty Condenser Coil
TEST/CHANGE AC CAPACITOR
AC Fan/Compressor Not Working – How To Test
REPLACE AC CONDENSER MOTOR
Install AC Condenser Fan Motor
Need assistance? Please leave your AC question below with a brief description with your AC problem. We will get back to you and help you troubleshoot your issue.