Not getting cold air on a hot summer afternoon is one of the most common air conditioning challenges. It happens at the most unexpected times, and it can be a precursor to a much bigger AC problem. Therefore, it should not be ignored. Better yet, you should strive to prevent it from happening in the first place. If it does happen, you need an urgent solution that is inexpensive and effective. While it’s possible to fix AC not blowing cold air by yourself, it’s always recommended to consult with an HVAC technician. But first, let’s first look into what’s making the air conditioner struggle to blow cold air. 

Reasons Why the Air Conditioner Is Not Blowing Cold Air

There are many reasons why your AC is not blowing cold air,  but there are a few basic situations that lead to this problem. These are: the AC is running but not cooling the house, the AC is running but blowing hot air, or the AC is not running at all.

Scenario 1: The AC Is Running but Not Cooling the House

For air conditioning units that contain an outdoor unit, this scenario occurs when the unit is blocked or clogged. Since the unit is sucking air from the sides, it tends to suck up the surrounding materials. This is what leads to blockage. Subsequently, the clog prevents the condenser fan from drawing air into the condenser, pulling heat from the interior. This process is essential and works to lower the temperature of the air circulating in the house.

How To Fix This:

In this scenario, the condenser is usually clogged with dirt, leaves, or debris. As you might have guessed, the obvious solution is cleaning. Mild dirt and debris can easily be cleaned with flowing water and a hose. First, switch off the power supply from the switch located near the condenser. Then proceed to spray water from the inside out until the condenser fins are free of the clogging material.

Scenario 2: The AC Is Running but Blowing Hot Air

The primary function of an air conditioning unit is to regulate the indoor air temperature of the room. In most cases, this regulation involves cooling indoor air when the temperature is too high. It gets to a point when the AC blows hot or warm air instead of cold, raising the heat inside your home. Unless you have a reversible air conditioner that provides heating and cooling solutions, you don’t want this to happen. But when it does, there are several reasons. These are:

  1. Incorrect thermostat setting. A manual thermostat usually requires adjusting when there is a temperature change. When these settings aren’t toggled appropriately, it can mess up the AC cycle. 
  2. A power problem. At times, cables get unplugged, and switches get flipped. 
  3. Low refrigerant. Refrigerant is responsible for the cooling properties of your entire AC unit. When it’s low, it causes pressure in the evaporator coils to drop, thus forming ice on the coils.
  4. Dirty air filters. Air filters found on the air vents accumulate all sorts of foreign material that eventually limit airflow in the house.
  5. Blocked air registers and return vents. When there is not enough air flowing inside the house, the AC will blow in hot air.

How To Fix This:

Adjusting temperature readings and modes on the thermostat is a good place to start. Alternatively, you can switch from a manual to an automatic thermostat that will adjust itself accordingly. Also, make sure connectors and switches are turned on. Then, change the air filters regularly and keep return vents open when needed. Last, call a qualified technician to fix the refrigerant leak and inspect other causes of the AC blowing hot air. 

Scenario 3: The AC Not Running Completely

This is another cause of the AC not blowing cold air. Where this is a more uncommon scenario, it can happen for a number of reasons. Your AC might be experiencing a maintenance problem that requires inspection, or it could be a switch that’s turned off. It’s also worth noting that most of the reasons we discussed above can lead to the complete failure of the whole unit. But don’t panic.

How To Fix This:

If you have basic AC troubleshooting skills, you could solve the issue of the AC not running at all. Otherwise, you might have to contact an HVAC technician to come and inspect the problem and possibly provide a fix. All in all, the issue of AC units not supplying cold air can be easily and permanently fixed. 


Weather conditions continuously make air conditioning systems essential household appliances. Therefore, when something is not working right, it robs you of peace of mind. Consider the issue of the AC unit not blowing cold air. Situations like these require prompt action to prevent further damage. As you have seen, with the right approach, it can be fixed. More importantly, we understand that problems like these can be intimidating. That’s why we are always ready to help. Are you feeling stuck? Contact us today. 

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