Top Reasons Your RV AC Is Not Blowing Cold Air And Here's How To Fix It!Anthony Day
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If there is one part of a camper than needs to get routine maintenance, it’s the AC. But how do your fix it when it’s not blowing cold air?
Before you head out for your next RV adventure, you need to make sure that your vehicle and all of its components are functioning properly - with air conditioning being a necessity for most travelers. With that said, a notorious issue that ACs are prone to experiencing is a lack of cold air blowing out of the unit.
Your RV AC is most likely not blowing cold air due to the coils, fins, or air filters being dirty, insufficient power to the unit, damaged ducts, or a faulty capacitor. You can fix these issues by cleaning your unit’s components and replacing damaged parts.
When the RV season is on the horizon, it’s a good time to start performing maintenance checks on your vehicle so that it’s road trip ready. If you are testing your RV air conditioner and finding that the unit is not blowing out cold air, you are not alone. This is a very common problem with ACs and the majority of the time, it is a relatively simple fix that you can take care of on your own without seeking out professional help. However, you should keep in mind that there are a number of different reasons why your unit is failing to produce cold air. To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at the top reasons your RV AC is not blowing cold air and how you can get your unit working again.
After researching RV maintenance and troubleshooting techniques, I have been able to gather enough information to determine how to fix an AC that does not blow cold air. My research has indicated that if you are not comfortable dismantling certain components of your air conditioning unit, you should always get professional help from an RV service station so that further damage is not done to the AC.
Top Reasons Your RV AC is Not Blowing Cold Air
RVs require a considerable amount of maintenance and upkeep. While there are a few components of your camper that you can afford to neglect for a season or two, your vehicle’s air conditioning unit is not one of them.
The last position you want to find yourself in as you embark on your next road trip is finding out that your AC is not blowing cold air, which is why it is best to hop on the issue as soon as you notice it. With that said, there are a number of different reasons why your RV AC may be experiencing this malfunction such as:
- Dirty Coils or Fins
- Dirty Air Filter
- Insufficient Power
- Damaged Ducts
- Faulty Capacitor
Given that there are so many factors that could be contributing to the issue, you need to carefully assess your unit so that you can find out the best fix for your AC. Does your air conditioner produce some cold air? Or is it completely dead? Did the problem start all of a sudden? Or has it been gradually getting worse over time?
The majority of the fixes related to this type of RV maintenance are relatively straightforward and you should be able to solve them without professional help. However, if you do not feel comfortable handling certain repairs or dealing with specific parts and components, you should consider hiring a professional.
How to Fix an RV AC that is Not Blowing Cold Air
Taking the DIY approach with your RV maintenance can you save you a lot of money on your vehicle’s repairs.
If you are comfortable getting on the roof of your RV and have a little bit of experience with tools, you should be able to get your AC back in working order in no time. Whenever you deal with your RV’s electronic components, make sure that the vehicle is powered down so that you do not harm yourself or damage your camper during the repairs.
Dirty Coils or Fins
The most common reason behind an AC that does not blow cold air is that the unit’s coils and fins are dirty. After a road trip, you can expect your air conditioning unit to take in some dirt, dust, and debris.
The majority of it will get caught in your unit’s coils and fins, which will ultimately affect the quality of cold air that you get flowing into your camper. If you are finding that your AC is blowing air - just very poorly, there is a good chance that you have a considerable amount of dirt and debris in your coils and fins.
Remove Shroud & Cover
To access your RV’s AC, you will need to climb on the roof of the vehicle so that you can remove the shroud and cover. You will need a screwdriver for this, as well as some cleaning supplies.
There will be some screws that keep the shroud in place, which you will need to undo. I would recommend approaching the shroud with caution, as this is a notorious spot for bee and wasp nests.
Clean Coils & Fins
As soon as you undo the shroud and cover, you will be able to see the coils and fins, which are quite easy to access and clean.
You want to approach cleaning these components of your camper with care and consideration, as they are easy to damage when mishandled. I would recommend buying a safe coil and fin cleaning product that was designed for RV ACs. Make sure to follow the instructions of the product carefully and brush gently to avoid any risk of breaking the coils and fins.
Dirty Air Filter
If you have not cleaned your AC’s air filter in a while, then it most likely has quite a bit of dust and dirt built-up inside of it. For this fix, you should not have to climb on your roof, as most units are designed so that you can easily access the filter from within the vehicle.
Remove Vent Cover
When you look at your RV AC unit from within your camper, you will see a vent cover that needs to be removed.
Most units are designed with a slide component that keeps the vent cover in place. Pull on the component to remove the vent cover from the AC.
Clean or Replace Air Filter
As soon as you remove the vent cover, you will see the air filter. Cleaning an AC air filter is very easy and it is not nearly as delicate of a component as your coils and fins.
You can use soapy water or a cleaning product of your choice to remove any dirt and debris. If the air filter is old or damaged in any way, I would recommend replacing it altogether with a new filter. If you want your AC to function properly, you should try to clean your air filter every 6 to 12 months.
An RV air conditioning unit requires a considerable amount of power to function. If are finding that your unit is not blowing cold air at all or that it keeps turning off and on, then there could be an issue with your vehicle’s power.
You should consider whether the problem happens all the time or only in certain situations. This is particularly common when an RV is running on a generator, as these are known to deliver less power than what your rig needs for all of its components to work properly.
With that said, if your vehicle has a strong enough battery to support your AC, it may be getting overloaded. When assessing power issues with your RV, you need to be aware of exactly how much power you are using and how much your vehicle can support. This may require you to unplug certain appliances and devices so that your AC can receive enough power.
Damaged Ducts or Seals
The AC may be working properly but there could be an issue with the cold air escaping before it can reach the inside of your camper. To fix this, you need to assess your unit to confirm whether there is any cold air leaking, which you can usually tell by feeling the area around the air conditioner.
Remove Shroud & Cover
Climb onto the roof of your RV so that you can take a better look at the unit. Using a screwdriver, remove the shroud and cover from the air conditioner.
This will give you access to the primary components of your AC so that you can assess the unit for any leaks.
Fix Air Leak
There are a number of different things that can cause an air leak. Take a good look for any noticeable damage such as exposures or holes. In addition, assess the AC’s gasket, as the seal may also be worn out.
Depending on where the leak is coming from, you may need to use caulk or aluminum tape to fix any holes and punctures. Or you may need to buy an AC seal gasket replacement for your specific AC’s make and model.
If the fan of your AC is not turning on at all and you have tried all of the above-mentioned approaches, then there may be a more serious issue with your RV AC that will require technical repairs.
While this is not a very common problem with AC units and it should only arise after many years of use, a damaged capacitor will prevent your air conditioner from blowing cold air and functioning properly.
When dealing with a damaged capacitor, your best bet is going to be to replace the component with a new one, which you can do by following this guide. However, make sure that you use a multi-meter to test the capacitor before you replace it, as it may not actually be broken.
Replacing a damaged capacitor is more challenging than standard AC maintenance and upkeep, which is why I would recommend relying on professional help for this fix if you are not completely confident with the repairs.