Nothing becomes as frustrating as quickly as waking up on a hot day only to discover that your air conditioner isn't working properly. If you've tried turning it up and still can't get any relief, your fan could be to blame. Here's what you should do to determine if it's the fan, and how to get help.
The first thing you should do is prepare yourself to head outside into the heat. You'll want to check the air conditioning unit outdoors, while your thermostat is set so that the air conditioner is turned on.
If you can hear your air conditioner working, it's likely that the unit itself is not to blame. While it's still possible that something like a lack of coolant could be causing your cooling woes, the next step will help you to narrow that down.
Head back indoors and go to one of your air conditioning vents. It doesn't really matter which one; just pick one that you can physically reach and touch.
Once you're in range, rest your hand on the vent. Does the vent feel cool or cold? If so, your coolant isn't to blame. Cold air is being produced, but it may not be reaching you.
Next, do you actually feel a breeze coming out of the vent? If there's no breeze or only a minor one, it's probably the fan to blame.
What to Do
There are multiple fans in your air conditioner, with one that draws in air from the outside and another that pushes the chilled air through the vent. If the vent feels cold, then you can pretty much guarantee that the fan outside is working normally. However, the fan that pushes the air through your indoor vents likely isn't.
This is a significant issue that should be attended to as quickly as possible. Your air conditioner is working just as hard as it normally does, and it's going to end up working for longer with less of an effect, raising your energy bill in the process and potentially wasting coolant, as well. For now, the best thing you can do is to shut off the air conditioner and to call someone for help.
Contact an air conditioning repair service near you. They'll open up the vent and will take a look at the fan to see if it's not running. If not, they'll troubleshoot the problem until they figure out what's going on. Replacing the fan may be necessary.
Once the fan is operating again, you should immediately be able to turn on the air conditioner and receive a rush of cold air. To help prevent this problem in the future, consider having your air conditioner inspected at least once a year to catch issues before they become a big problem.