As spring arrives, you may be looking forward to the warmer weather and being able to turn off the heat and run your air conditioner. On the first warm day, you may decide to turn on the AC system, only to find that the air coming out of the vents is not as cold as it should be.
If this is the case, it is possible that the outdoor unit sustained damage over the winter months and needs to be professionally repaired. There are a couple of things you can do to look for signs of needed AC repair the first time you turn the unit on after winter.
1. Air Coming up from the Top of the Condenser Does Not Warm up after a Few Minutes
One thing you can do to look for a clue that your home's central AC unit is not working properly and needs professional attention is to place your hand above the top of the condenser on the unit a couple of minutes after it kicks on. The condenser is located at the top of the unit, and air blows up through the vents as it pulls heat from the air while cooling it.
If the air blowing out of the condenser is cool, there is an issue that is inhibiting the heat transfer, which will keep your home's air from cooling down. A professional repair technician will be needed to fully inspect the condenser to see if it can be repaired or needs to be replaced.
2. Large Copper Line Coming from the Unit Stays the Same Temperature and Does Not Get Cold
After checking the air coming from the condenser, another thing you can do is locate the large copper line coming out of the unit. The refrigerant flows through this line and becomes as cold as the inside of your refrigerator when everything is working properly.
However, if the line feels warm even after the system runs for a few minutes, the refrigerant level is low. Since this could be caused by a leak, you will need to have a professional check it for you.
If you do not feel any cool air coming out of your home's vents the first time you turn your air conditioning system on, check the air coming out of the top of the condenser on the unit to see if it is warm. If not, there may be an issue with the condenser. You can also put your hand on the large copper line coming from the unit to test whether it is cold, and if not, then the refrigerant level is low. Since both of these issues require a professional to fix, schedule a service call with an HVAC contractor who offers air conditioning repair services.