Air conditioners are an important necessity during the summer months. When they do not power on though, it can be rather frustrating. Today, we at Steve’s Heating & Air would like to offer some options you can try if your air conditioner doesn’t turn on.
What Happens when AC Does Not Turn On?
1) Check the Thermostat’s Settings. Make sure the desired temperature on the thermostat is lower than the current room temperature and ensure it is set to ‘cool.’ Check to see if the fan is set to “auto” or “on” as well. The fan will only run when the air conditioner is cooling air if it’s on “auto.” Even if the AC isn’t cooling air, the on” setting tells the fan to run continuously. If the thermostat has nothing on the screen, it may simply need new batteries, or the circuit breaker may be tripping or having difficulties.
2) Inspect the Circuit Breaker Panel. Through their electrical circuits, air conditioning systems draw a lot of power. A brief power surge can cause the circuit’s circuit breaker to trip and stop electricity from flowing through the circuit. Your AC can’t turn on when that happens. It will switch from the “on” position to the “off” position if a circuit breaker has tripped. By flipping them back to the “on” position, reset any tripped breakers.
3) Ensure the Power Switches of the HVAC System is On. With most central air conditioners, there are two power switches associated. One powers the outdoor unit, and the other switch powers the indoor unit. In order for your AC to work, both switches need to be in the “on” position. For the indoor unit, you can find the switch near your system’s furnace or air handler, usually. Generally, in a metal box on the exterior of your home, you can find the switch for the outdoor unit next to the outdoor unit.
4) Ensure the Air Filter isn’t Over Encumbered. Straining your AC and making it more likely to overheat and shut off, a dirty air filter can restrict airflow. During the cooling season, most homeowners should replace their air filters at least once every three months. Go ahead and replace it if you don’t know when you last replaced your air filter, or if it looks visibly dirty.
5) Make Certain the Outdoor Unit is Not Overcrowded by Debris or Vegetation. Causing your AC to overheat and turn off includes landscaping, loose leaves, dirt, and miscellaneous debris that block airflow through the outdoor unit. Make sure there are at least two feet of clearance around the unit and several feet of vertical clearance and remove any debris blocking airflow. They need plenty of overhead room to breathe, outdoor AC units usually release the most heat from the top.
6) Try Resetting the Unit if You Know How. After a power surge trips the circuit breaker, your air conditioner might start acting strangely. Sometimes all it needs is a hard reset. To avoid inadvertently creating more problems, refer to your system’s owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to correctly reset your particular system.