Steps to Take When Your Air Conditioner Won’t Turn On

air conditioner condenser unit

When the temperatures outside start to rise, your air conditioner should keep your home cool and comfortable. However, there may come a time when the cooling unit may refuse to turn on, leaving you waiting in a hot and humid house for an HVAC contractor to arrive. However, don’t despair. Many times, the reason why your air conditioner won’t turn on is a simple one that you can fix it yourself. Check the list below for the steps to take when your HVAC unit is not turning on.

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What To Check When Your Air Conditioner Won’t Turn On

Check the list below for the steps to take when your HVAC unit is not turning on.

Check Your Air Conditioner’s Power Source

image of a homeowner checking fuse because air conditioner not turning on

When your air conditioner is not turning on, it is easy to overlook important factors. To troubleshoot the unit, check the following:

  • Circuit Breaker: Locate your electrical panel and determine if the circuit breaker has tripped. If so, reset it by turning it back on.
  • Electrical Plug: Make sure the electrical plug is securely connected to a power source. Sometimes, a loose plug may be the cause of the problem.
  • Thermostat: It’s possible that the issue is with the thermostat rather than the air conditioner itself. Ensure the thermostat is plugged in and set to the correct temperature.

These basic checks are often overlooked but are crucial in resolving the issue. The most common causes of air conditioners not turning on are disconnected or loose electrical plugs and tripped circuit breakers. By checking these three simple things, you can easily solve the problem and have a cool and comfortable home during the hot summer months.

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Understand Your AC Unit for Effective Maintenance

Familiarize yourself with the workings of your air conditioner. By understanding how the unit operates, you can easily troubleshoot any cooling system issues. Doing so also helps you extend the service life of the air conditioners through effective maintenance. Get to know the basic components, including the on and off switches, which some homeowners may not be aware of. For example, the inside unit’s air handler has a power switch that may need to be turned back on if it’s in the off position. Moreover, there may be an emergency shut-off switch near the outside unit that someone may have accidentally switched off.

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Replace Your Air Conditioner Filters Regularly

image of an hvac air filter replacement due to dirty air filter

It’s important to replace the filters in your AC unit every 60-90 days to keep it running efficiently. The frequency of replacement may need to be increased based on factors such as the number of pets in the home and the location of the unit.

The role of air filters is to trap dust and debris, preventing them from entering the system and causing problems, such as a dirty unit and poor indoor air quality. Over time, filters become clogged and, thus, reduce the efficiency of the system. A dirty filter requires the air conditioner to use more energy to maintain the desired indoor temperature. This results in higher energy bills and may even lead to a system breakdown if left unchecked.

To keep track of filter replacement, some homeowners write the date of replacement on the filter or set a monthly calendar reminder. Regular filter replacements extend the lifespan of the HVAC system and prevent excessive energy consumption. This means your system will last longer and serve you better.

Regular filter replacements are a simple and inexpensive task that can greatly improve the performance of your HVAC unit. If you don’t replace the filters, the system will have to work harder. The results will be increased energy consumption, reduced efficiency, and even permanent system failure. To avoid these problems, make it a priority to replace your air filters every 60-90 days or as needed based on the conditions in your home. Some homes with pets require more frequent filter replacements. With regular filter replacements, you can maintain a comfortable and healthy indoor environment while reducing the risk of costly repairs.

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Inspecting the Drain Pan & Lines

It is important to have a well-functioning AC system to ensure your home is cool and comfortable. Checking the drain pan and lines is a crucial part of ensuring your unit is working properly. A full drain pan can trigger the float switch, which in turn will stop your AC unit from turning on. Your HVAC technician can advise you on the best way to check the drain pan.

During the cooling process, moisture is removed from your home by the AC drain line. Over time, this line can become clogged, causing the system to shut down. If you notice that your AC is not turning on, this may be the reason. To resolve the issue, you can either empty the drain pan or unclog the drain line. If the issue is beyond your capabilities, don’t hesitate to call a professional for assistance.

Checking the Evaporator Coils

air conditioner coil

Cleaning the evaporator coils is an important aspect of HVAC maintenance. This task is just as important as regularly replacing filters. If your air conditioner is not turning on, it may be due to dirty evaporator coils. Consider the last time you had them cleaned, and make sure they are cleaned at least once a year.

Regular maintenance, such as cleaning the evaporator coils, is crucial to ensure your AC system is functioning at its best. Find out how to properly clean the coils. Regular tune-ups by a licensed technician will keep your AC in good condition and prevent problems during the hot summer months. Ideally, you want an annual tune-up done on the AC to ensure it is working optimally.

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There are many reasons why your air conditioner may not be turning on. The reasons include both simple and complicated issues. For example, simple electrical problems, like a loose plug or a tripped breaker, can be the reason why your AC is not turning on. Such issues can be easily fixed without the need to call a professional HVAC company. However, if the issue is due to a full drain pan or clogged drain, you may need to call an HVAC professional to help. Annual air conditioner tune-ups are also important to keep your HVAC system running smoothly.

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