Generally, the temperature is written outside on the motor name tag of the ac. It can be different for the variety of the condenser but most of the condenser fan motors have been designed to operate at temperatures up to around 150F. If it is not, then there must be some exact temperature on it. So is the outside ac unit hot to touch?

Air conditioner can overheat and cause problems with the HVAC system, if there is something wrong with the fan motor. If it gets overheated then it can cause problems like being hot in the outside area. Then it must be hot to touch the outer system which is not normal. Let’s see if the outside ac unit is supposed to be hot to touch or not.

Outside AC Unit Supposed To Be Hot To Touch

Is outside ac unit hot to touch?

There is a condenser fan in the HVAC system. It has a set temperature that is safe for it to operate and it is totally normal. If some problem occurs in the fan motor, then the outside air conditioner unit can be hot to touch; but normally outside AC unit cannot be hot to touch.        

How Hot Should My AC Unit Be Outside? 

First of all, an air conditioner should be blowing cold air, not hot air. That’s why outside a unit cannot be hot. The air coming out of the air conditioner is supposed to be cool air as it passes through cooling coils. 

If my air conditioner is blowing warm air instead of cool air then there is something wrong no doubt. Which means the air conditioner needs to be repaired immediately. Otherwise, it can cause damages to the other air conditioner parts also.

Why Is My Outside AC Unit Hot? 

If an air conditioner does not work properly then a house can be a complete mess with heat and humidity. This is a common scene in summer that can overheat the air conditioner. It will trip the circuit breaker and will continue the damages unless the problem is fixed. 

There are some common reasons of being the air conditioner unit hot – 

1. Dirty Air Filter:  

The air filter is the safety net and it protects the air conditioner from dirt and pollutants. But when it becomes covered in dirt, it stops working efficiently. A dirty air filter not only blocks airflow in the home’s air ducts, it also starts forcing the air conditioner to run longer and harder to cool. 

This will continue unless the air conditioner breaks down at the end. This will surely cause the air conditioner to overheat, tripping the circuit breaker.

2. Dirty condenser coils:

Condenser coils are refrigerant and there are filled tubes running through the air conditioner’s the outside unit. However, the air conditioner also runs longer. This keeps causing the air conditioner to overheat If these coils are dirty. 

That is why a standard split A/ C unit has 2 corridors – the outside unit and the inside unit. The inside unit uses refrigerant to absorb the heat in the inner air to cool it down. That hot liquid refrigerant flows to the outside unit and at that moment the refrigerant dumps the heat out into the world. 

But if dirt covers the coils, the refrigerant becomes unable to release the heat fluently because dirt is an insulator. So, now the refrigerant can not absorb further heat from the air, which will cause the air conditioner to blow out lukewarm air or even worse. The air conditioner will tend to keep running as long as it overheats and for that reason, it can not usually reach the thermostat temperature setting. 

3. Low refrigerant: 

This one is similar to the previous problem. If my air conditioner does not have enough refrigerant that will affect the air conditioner. That will definitely cause constant run and it will lead to overheating. 

If I notice that my house is not cooling as quickly as it used to before, then there is something wrong, no doubt. Mostly this problem is seen in summer days. Also, the outside unit loaded with ice is another specific example.  

If these signs are being seen with the air conditioner, then it is because of low refrigerant. There must be another sign of leaking the refrigerant.

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What Should I Do If My AC Unit Is Hot To Touch?

I described the reason behind an ac unit being hot to touch. Now I will let you know the ultimate solution for them. The dirty air filter, dirty condenser coils, and low refrigerant mainly cause an ac unit to overheat. 

A dirty air filter of an air conditioner can make it overheat. It also increases the electricity bill as the machine has to work harder. So, changing the air filter at least once a month will be the right thing to do in this case.

Dirty condenser coils are also a major reason for overheating an ac unit. In this case, there are some special coil cleaning sprays one can use to clean the outside unit. I usually do it by myself, it is no big deal but Or as a part of a standard air conditioner maintenance, one can call a professional mechanic to do it when they come to visit. 

Low refrigerant is another cause of overheating. If the house isn’t being cooled as quickly as it used to or having a hard time doing it, these are signs of low refrigerant.

If these signs arrive, first I will contact a professional air conditioner repair person. 

Then he will check if there is a leaking point and immediately repair the leak. Then the person should charge the air conditioner with enough refrigerant. Do not forget to check about the leak unless one may have to bear double the cost for it.

Read more: What Happens If You Don’t Vent Portable Air Conditioner?

Is my AC broken or is it just hot?

To check up on an AC if it is broken or not, the first one should check the thermostat setting. Sometimes the air conditioner faces trouble maintaining the home properly but it should work anyway. So, if an AC does not work properly, that does not mean it is broken.

Symptoms like blowing hot air, unusual sound, unusual smell; are the main reasons behind a broken air conditioner. If I realize that my AC is not cooling my room as expected or it is going on and off automatically then maybe it is broken. In these circumstances, I should call an expert or a mechanic to solve this problem. 

If my AC is just being surprisingly hot in the outside area then I should look up other things like how do I cool it down or repair the outside area. That means, it is not broken yet but if I do not take proper steps it can be harmful to my AC. It can also affect the outside area, as well as my air conditioner, ‘s inside area.


An AC unit is not supposed to be hot to touch as usual. Having some problem on the outside area basically on the fan can make it happen which is not healthy for any air conditioner. So, it will be best to check up and find out the problem. 

As soon as the problem finds out, the air conditioner should be repaired immediately. Being hot outside the ac unit is not good for an air conditioner, it may be the reason for other problems too. Regular checkups can reduce the possibility of this kind of problem.

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