So your central air conditioning systems comes on and runs. You can see the fan spinning on the top of the outdoor condenser unit. You can feel the air coming out of your register or supply air vent. The only problem is that the air coming out is not cool at all. In fact it is pretty warm in your house.

The first thing to do is make sure the filter in the air handler / furnace is not clogged or dirty. Replacing the air filter is the simplest thing you can do. Proper air flow is very important. This is how you change an air filter:

  1. Turn off the switch that is either on the air handler / furnace or is at the top of the basement steps.
  2. To find the air filter, remove the door to the air handler cabinet. If your unit comes with two doors, it would be the bottom door. Sometimes the air filter will be in the large metal duct right next to the air handler cabinet.
  3. Pull out the air filter. Pay close attention to which way the arrow is pointing on the side of the air filter. When you install the new air filter, make sure the arrow is pointing the same way. The arrow represents the way the air flow will be going. Make sure that the filter goes in straight without twisting. Sometimes the filter will be held in by a wire that looks like an open coat hanger. Just place the filter in back into the air handler and set up the hanger type wire in to hold the air filter in place. The air flow of a central air conditioning and heating system can be so strong that the air filter will bend out of place and will try to be sucked into the duct.
  4. There also might be ice on the coils just above the air handler unit. If you open the upper cabinet door of the air handler unit and see ice, close the cabinet doors back up. Go to your thermostat and turn the cool / heat switch to the off position. There is a second switch on your thermostat marked fan on or auto. Slide the switch to the fan on only switch. The ice should melt within a couple of hours.
  5. The condensation pump could be clogged. Clear the condensate drain. Air conditioners create lots of water because they remove moisture or humidity from the air in your home. If you look on the side of your air handler unit you will see white PVC (Plastic) pipe. The water comes from your evaporator coil located in the duct just above the air handler unit. It will drain to the PVC pipe and run down to the condensate pump usually located on the floor next to the air handler system. Once the condensate pump fills to a certain level, the pump will turn on and eject the water to the outside of your house usually threw a clear plastic tube. Over time algae and minerals can block this pipe and when it does the Air conditioning system will not turn on at all. When newer systems are installed they come with a clean out brush. Looks like a bottle brush. The white PVC pipe will be installed in a way that there will be a white PVC pipe cap that is removable. Push the brush into the white PVC pipe will an up and down motion to clean out the blockage. Then get a big tall glass of water and fill the condensate pump to see if it will operate. Sometimes it can take quite a few repeated steps to clean all the deposits out of the condensate drain system.
  6. Make sure the outdoor compressor condenser unit is working. Set the thermostat to a temperature below the room temperature. The outdoor compressor should be running and see if the fan is turning on top. Stick a long screwdriver down through the top grille and try to spin the fan blades clockwise. They should spin freely. If doing this gives the fan enough of a boost to get going, the condenser unit has a bad capacitor that must be replaced by an air conditioner repair technician.
  7. If none of the above steps does not get the system to work, chances are pretty good that the refrigerant (Freon) coolant needs to be recharged by an air conditioning technician.

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Richard Marton Electrical Contractor LLC is a full service electrical contractor serving homeowners and businesses in Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Morris County New Jersey with electrical installations and repairs. We are also a Generac Generator installer.

Richard Marton Electrical Contractor LLC works with general contractors, residential architects, interior decorators, interior designers, painters, property management and property maintenance professionals, and professional organizers. We work with these professionals to give clients top of the line electrical installations within such projects as residential remodeling, residential renovations, plus build outs of new kitchens, bathrooms, home offices, add-a-level residential project and more.

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