When your HVAC unit suddenly releases only warm air or does not come on at all, it always seems to happen at the worst time. If it is the hottest day of the year and you have guests coming over, suddenly you find yourself on the phone begging anyone with the proper training to come fix the problem. However, before you panic and decide that the party is now going to be a "swimsuit only" event, it is a good idea to learn some basic air conditioning terms, so you will understand what the technician is talking about. 

Did The Technician Mention The Charge?

Your air conditioner needs a minimum level of refrigerant in order to function properly, or at all. If you run the air conditioner without refrigerant, the home will become hotter, because at best you are merely circulating warm air. If you do so for a long time, it is possible to damage the unit even more than it is, so avoid that.  

That refrigerant is the same thing as the charge and it also needs to have an acceptable level of air flow that goes over the coils of the air conditioner. If that air flow is blocked, problems like warm air and an offensive smell from the unit are probable.  

A common misconception is that anytime the air conditioner seems unable to keep the area cool, there is a problem. The truth is that if you have a large group of people, a lot of new appliances or other heat-producing additions, the air conditioner may be unable to keep up with the new demand. Although it may be a good idea to check out the problem, you may need to consider temporarily adding a portable air conditioner or window air conditioners to reduce the stress on your central air conditioner.  

Is Your Condenser Causing The Problem? 

Adequate airflow is also needed by the outdoor coil, also known as the condenser. If it becomes blocked or dirty, even if it just the extra grass from mowing the lawn, its cooling capacity will quickly diminish.   

Therefore, the technician may need to examine and clean the condenser. While waiting, although you should never open the unit and always be sure that the condenser is not turned on, you may want to try blowing any visible debris from the top of the unit.  

In conclusion, it is a good idea to have your entire HVAC system examined by a professional at least once a year. In addition, appropriate maintenance, even basic things like changing the filter monthly, can keep your system running smoothly and prevent unexpected crises at home. Click to read more about air conditioning troubleshooting.