I would not wish a tepid air conditioner onto my worst enemy, especially if their present place of dwelling happens to be inside an RV. RV( or a Recreational Vehicle) are constricted areas, even at their best.
No matter how much usable space you have, proper cooling is imperative for comfort. This article deals with RV air conditioners not blowing cold enough air, probable causes, and viable remedies for the same.
Why is my RV AC not blowing cold air?
An RV AC has various components that work in conjunction to keep your RV cool. If you find that the air conditioner is not delivering, the problem at the root could be one of five.
The following list is a record of those.
- There is a problem that has to do with the thermostat.
- A problem with the fan.
- A dirty compressor
- A burned-out capacitor
- Inadequate Freon levels
In the next few paragraphs, we will tackle each of these problems and inform the reader about fixing them. A separate section here is about low Freon levels that we shall address under a different subheading.
How to fix an RV air conditioner that is not blowing cold air
The first step to fixing an RV AC is to ascertain the cause of the problem accurately. Once that is done, you can go ahead and devise a method that works as the solution.
By Fixing Faulty Thermostat
The most common reason an RV AC malfunctions is because of a faulty thermostat. Something as seemingly insignificant as a loose wire or a low battery can induce the thermostat to shut down the operation.
If your thermostat runs on AA batteries, remember to replace them regularly.
The most common indicators of a thermostat replacement are blinking lights, an unrealistic temperature on display, or a weird whirring noise.
A burned-out thermostat usually leads to problems such as a failure to measure the temperature or processing signals to the compressor.
It can cause overheating. In cases such as these, the fan will be on, but the compressor shall remain dormant. Fortunately, replacing a thermostat is a fairly easy job and can be performed with relative ease.
By Fixing The Fan Itself
Problems with the fan manifest in one of two ways- a refusal to work at a higher speed or dimmed lights when the fan speed is more. It indicates that the fan motor or the capacitor might be nearing its lifespan.
A more dangerous eventuality as if turning on the fan causes an inexplicable burning smell.
A definite fire hazard, burning smells point towards a damaged wire. In all the scenarios above, the fan will need replacement.
By Fixing AC Compressor
There are issues with the AC compressor running hand-in-hand with regular use.
Over-taxing compression can cause problems such as overheating, which are especially magnified when one has been neglecting basic upkeep and maintenance.
Clean the coils and fins, and rid the surrounding areas of accumulated debris that interfere with the smooth working of the air conditioning unit.
You might also want to check the roof for leaks, gaskets, and loose machinery to be extra thorough.
An issue such as dirty cooling fins or a loose bolt is manually fixable. However, a more serious problem, such as a burned-out compressor or an internal leak, would require professional intervention.
By Fixing Bad Capacitors
As a continuation of the compressor, we now come to capacitors. A bad AC capacitor could be an extension of the fan and the compressor and lead to a host of different problems.
Some of these include a slow fan, the release of very hot air, a humming AC unit, and sometimes even the emergence of smoke.
It is important to check up on all capacitors in use.
Locating and fixing the problem in one capacitor only ( the one you think is causing the problems) will not be a long-term solution if the unit contains another bad capacitor.
Another aspect worth mentioning is the winterization of the AC. Winter months generally indicate a period of dormancy, following which you might notice problems with the air conditioner. Preventing this is simple- all you need to do is winterize your AC before sending it off into hibernation.
You should follow these steps:
- Clean all surfaces thoroughly and remove all traces of dust, dirt, debris, and pollen. If you cannot reach certain areas ( such as crevices in the roof), use a water hose to spray them down.
- Turn off the power to both the air conditioner and the thermostat.
- Be wary of ice buildup. The safest option is to store the air conditioning unit indoors, but if that is not an option- use adequate protection to keep it protected from both incumbent weather and animals. Use a good-quality tarp and secure it with nails and brick reinforcements.
It is an important procedure and goes a long way to prolong the lifespan of an RV AC.
How do I know if my RV AC is low on Freon?
The question that arises first is; what is Freon? It is a colorless, odorless, non-flammable gas that falls into the category of chlorofluorocarbons. Due to their low boiling points and low viscosities, we use them as refrigerants and cooling units.
A few different signs can help you gauge if your RV AC is low on freon.
- Room temperature air- An air conditioner’s use is to let out cool air. If you find that the air emerging is either room temperature or warm, you might want to check on the Freon levels.
- Leaks- Freon resembles grease( appearance-wise) in a liquid state. If your AC is underperforming and you find that the vents and compressor are starting to look greasy, you almost certainly have a leak leading to insufficient Freon levels.
- Ice on the compressor- Often a risky side-effect of inadequate protection during the colder months, ice buildup on the compressor could mess with your unit’s Freon levels. Moisture will take Freon’s place and affect the performance greatly.
The good news is that you can quite easily recharge Freon manually without seeking professional consultation. However, in the case of a major leak, fix the leak before you recharge your Freon levels for a durable remedy.
Air conditioners in RVs are not much different from those in a regular home.
They are contraptions that cool and need to be cleaned and inspected with regularity to prevent malfunction.
Since accessibility to professional help is not much on the open road, it makes sense to educate oneself about the basic workings of an AC. If and when a problem does arise, you might be able to fix it yourself.
Also, a little research goes a long way!