Why Is My Central Air Not Working?

Central air is such a convenient way to keep your home cool that when it doesn’t work, life can get surprisingly difficult. A common question we get is, “Why is my central air not working?”

Some of the most common reasons a central air system stops working include: coolant has run too low, the air filters are blocked or dirty, the coils are frozen over, or there is an electrical issue.

To help you troubleshoot what exactly is wrong with your central AC, we’ve detailed the most common issues below. If you’re completely overwhelmed and not sure where to start, you can request that a certified technician on our team come to assess the status of your central air system and determine what is necessary to fix it. Click below to start a service call!

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Why Is My Central Air Not Cooling?

If your home cooling unit is running yet no cool air is coming out of it – or it’s taking longer to cool off the house — the air conditioner coolant may need a charge. Many home cooling units use freon as its coolant. Newer A/C units will use a refrigerant called R410A or Puron. If your central air conditioner needs refrigerant, don’t keep running the unit. You can end up damaging its compressor.

If you notice that hot air instead of cold air is coming from the vents, this could be an indication that the filter is clogged or that the coils have built-up dirt or ice around them. Make sure you have a certified technician work on the coils if that’s the issue; do not attempt to do this yourself, for your own safety.

central air system outside home

Why Is My Central AC Running But Not Blowing Air?

If you can hear the unit running but you feel no air (or a minimal amount of airflow) from the vents, there is likely a fan-related issue. Often what we see in this situation is that the fan capacitor has stopped running altogether and it needs to be replaced. Or it could mean the blower belt is broken and needs to be replaced.

In much rarer situations, there could be a blockage somewhere, such as in the filter, although this usually results in warm air coming through (as opposed to no airflow at all). If you’re on one of our HVAC maintenance plans, this type of maintenance may already be included in your plan.

Why Does My Central Air Keep Freezing Up?

The most likely reason your central air unit is freezing over is because of a clogged or dirty air filter. If not resolved in a timely manner, this can escalate quickly.

So what should you do when the central air unit freezes up? The tempting but risky approach would be to simply replace the air filter and see if the ice melts off the coils naturally. However, continuing to run your central air with this issue could cause other parts of your system to malfunction. So what we recommend instead is to have an HVAC technician inspect the unit first to make sure the filter is to blame, and to remove the ice from around the coils. They’ll also be able to do a full inspection to determine if the problem possibly stems from something else altogether.

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Why Does My Central Air System Not Run At All?

If your home’s central air isn’t working at all, check the main electrical panel in your house. It could just be a tripped breaker or blown fuse. If that’s the issue, just reset the breaker or replace the blown fuse. Your thermostat setting could be another reason why your central air isn’t working. Make sure it’s set a few degrees lower than the ambient room temperature. On days of high humidity and high temperatures, your “typical” thermometer setting might not be sufficient to reach your typical level of comfort.

How Long Do Central Air Units Last?

Most central air systems (HVAC) last at least 10 years. Beyond that, how long it lasts depends on how rigorously it is used and how well it is maintained. Some systems may last as many as 20+ years if maintained properly.

If you’ve had your system for more than 10 years and you’re noticing a number of malfunctions, it may be worth investigating if a full system replacement is necessary. An experienced HVAC technician can help you make that decision.

How To Avoid More Problems With Your AC In The Future

Knowing that your home’s HVAC system is functioning properly provides peace of mind. One easy thing you can do to keep your air conditioner running efficiently is to change its filter at least once in the spring and once in the fall. Also, consider annual tune-ups. The small investment for an annual air conditioning tune-up can save you thousands down the road. Our maintenance services can help ensure your comfort throughout the year.

If your home is located in Montgomory County PA or near Reading or Allentown PA, contact our team here at Young’s Home Comfort! We’re based out of Green Lane PA, which is in between Allentown, King of Prussia, and Reading PA. We look forward to hearing from you!

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