If your air conditioner will not turn on, it can be frustrating, especially during the summer months. If you are having issues with your air conditioner, it is important to troubleshoot a few key things before you call in an AC technician, as this can save you time and money on a service call. The good news is that typically there is a good chance that you can solve the issue yourself.
The next time your AC is not turning on, try these troubleshooting tips from Super Heat & Air.
Check Your Thermostat
This might sound silly, but the first thing to check when your AC will not turn on is the thermostat. Make sure that your thermostat:
- Has power.
- Is set to COOL.
- Has the temperature set a least 2-3 degrees below the current room temperature.
Further, if your thermostat is battery powered, you might need to check the batteries. Then, try to turn your AC on again!
Check Your Air Filter
Imagine that something is keeping the air in your home from being drawn up into the system and over the coil that is supposed to cool the air. Wouldn’t that coil get colder without the air in your home heating it up? If it got too cold, it would eventually freeze up and block the airflow to your home.
The culprit here could be a clogged air filter. Usually, it will result in your AC running but not cooling, but it can also keep your AC from turning on at all if it is clogged enough.
Check your AC air filter, which is often located at the air return of your AC unit, or at the evaporative coil itself.
If your AC air filter is clogged, replace it. If not, replace it anyway!
The caveat here is that AC filters can be clogged but still look clean, so the only true way of knowing if it is not clogging the air in your system is to replace it. Air filters should be replaced every 30-90 days depending on pet dander and other considerations.
Check Your Circuit Breakers
Often, the cause of an AC not turning on is a tripped circuit breaker. Circuit breakers are safety features designed to click the power off to an electrical component or appliance in your home if there is a power surge. Most of the time, this surge is just a harmless power surge in the grid, or someone overloaded the breaker in the house and caused it to trip.
To check the breaker, locate the AC circuit breaker marked on your home’s main power panel. It should be marked as HVAC, AC, Air, etc.
Turn the breaker off and wait a few seconds before turning the breaker on again. Now check to see if your air conditioner has turned back on.
Check the Drain Pan
Another common reason for an AC unit not turning on is a full or clogged drain pan. This pan, found underneath your air conditioner, catches, and accumulates residual condensation from your AC unit. If the pan is full, it might have triggered a float switch, which is designed to stop your AC from flooding your house. This will prevent the AC from running.
Drain pans can also become clogged with algae, especially in humid climates. Once your drain pan is clogged with algae it can trigger the float switch as well. The AC won’t turn on until the drain pan is cleared or the drains are cleaned.
Typically, an HVAC technician will use compressed air or a vacuum to clean out drains during servicing. Be warned, it can be a little slimy!
AC Still Not Turning On?
If your air conditioner still will not turn on, it’s time to call in a professional HVAC technician. They will be able to troubleshoot the more complex and technical aspects of your AC system to get it up and running again.
Also, even though AC units can normally be fixed, a breakdown might mean that you need to replace your system or upgrade to a new unit.
Turn to the Pros!
When your AC system breaks down unexpectedly it can be frustrating and uncomfortable, especially in Tampa Bay’s summer heat. Hopefully with a few easy troubleshoots you will be relaxing in cool air again, but if not, the pros at Super Heat & Air are just a phone call away, 24/7 365 days a year!
Contact us now to schedule AC troubleshooting and repair— (813) 355-0288! With our Super Fast Guarantee, we will be at your house in an hour, or your service call is free!
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