What to Do if Your AC Won’t Turn On - Service Plus Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

What to Do if Your AC Won’t Turn On

A woman fanning herself in a hot home.

There’s nothing worse than coming home on a hot day, adjusting the thermostat, and realizing your air conditioner won’t turn on. We’ve all been there, feeling the sweat bead up as the panic sets in. But before you start imagining life without cool air, take a deep breath. There are several common issues that might be causing the problem, and many of them can be easily resolved.

In this blog, we’ll review what to do if your AC won’t turn on and provide practical solutions to get your cooling system back up and running.

Common Reasons Why Your AC Won’t Turn On

As temperatures soar during summer, we employ several tricks to stay cool, like closing blinds or sipping on ice-cold drinks. Yet, nothing quite compares to the comfort provided by a central air system. However, if your AC isn’t turning on and delivering the cold air you need, it’s time to troubleshoot. Let’s discuss what to do if your AC won’t turn on in more detail below.

Check the Thermostat

The first thing to do if your AC won’t turn on is to check the thermostat. It might seem obvious, but sometimes the simplest solutions are overlooked. Make sure the thermostat is set to “cool,” and the desired temperature is lower than the current room temperature. If your thermostat is battery-operated, replacing the batteries might solve the problem.

Inspect the Power Supply

Are you feeling frustrated, asking, “Why isn’t my AC turning on?” You could be dealing with a power issue. Check if the air conditioning unit is plugged in and that the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. Sometimes, a power surge or high voltage can cause the circuit breaker to trip, cutting power to the AC system. Locate your electrical panel and see if the circuit breaker for the AC unit has been flipped. If it has, reset it and see if the air conditioner starts working.

Look for a Blown Fuse

If resetting the circuit breaker doesn’t work, the next step is to check for a blown fuse in the fuse box. A blown fuse can interrupt the power supply to your air conditioning system. If you find a blown fuse, replacing it could be the only solution you need.

Inspect the Air Filter

A clogged or dirty air filter can cause significant problems with your AC unit. Air filters need regular cleaning or replacing because a clogged filter can block airflow, causing the AC to shut down. Inspect the air filter, and if it’s dirty, replace it with a new one. This simple step can often solve the issue of why your AC isn’t turning on.

Check the Condensate Drain Line

Your AC unit has a safety switch that activates if the condensate drain line becomes clogged. This is to prevent water damage. If the drain line is clogged, the AC system will shut down to avoid a water leak. Check the drain pan located underneath your indoor unit. If it’s full of water, you’ll need to clear the clog from the drain line.

Troubleshooting More Complex Issues

Air conditioners are intricate machines, and this means they sometimes require complex troubleshooting methods. Let’s delve into some detailed tips to restore your HVAC system to proper working order.

Examine the Outdoor Unit

Sometimes, the problem lies with the outdoor condenser unit. If the outdoor unit isn’t working properly, the entire AC system can fail. Make sure there’s no debris around the outdoor unit and that the fan motor is running. If you notice any issues, it might be time to call an HVAC professional for a more thorough inspection.

Check the Refrigerant Levels

Low refrigerant levels can also cause your AC not to turn on. If there’s a refrigerant leak, your system won’t be able to cool your home effectively. Signs of low refrigerant include hissing or bubbling noises near the AC unit. A professional HVAC technician can check the refrigerant levels and fix any leaks.

Inspect the Evaporator Coils

Dirty or frozen evaporator coils can prevent your AC from turning on. These coils are located inside your AC unit and help cool the air. If they’re dirty or frozen, the AC unit might shut down. Regular cleaning and maintenance by a professional can prevent this issue.

Look at the Electrical Components

The problem might be with the electrical components inside the AC unit. Issues with the start capacitor, run capacitor, or wiring can prevent the unit from functioning. These components can be dangerous to handle, so if you suspect an electrical problem, it’s best to call a professional HVAC technician.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Future Problems

Now that we’ve identified the potential reasons why your AC isn’t turning on, it’s crucial to explore preventive measures. Let’s delve into some tips to make sure this problem doesn’t recur in the future.

Regular Maintenance

One of the best ways to avoid the frustration of your air conditioner not turning on is through regular maintenance. Schedule annual check-ups with an HVAC specialist to keep your system running smoothly. Regular maintenance can catch small issues before they become major problems.

Clean and Replace Air Filters

Dirty air filters are a common cause of AC problems. Check your air filters monthly and replace them as needed. This simple step can improve airflow and efficiency, preventing many issues that cause an AC unit to shut down.

Keep the Outdoor Unit Clear

Double-check that the area around your outdoor unit is free from debris, plants, and other obstructions. This allows for proper airflow and prevents the unit from overheating.

Monitor Refrigerant Levels

Keep an eye on the performance of your AC unit. If you notice it’s not cooling as effectively as before, there might be an issue with the refrigerant levels. Addressing this early on can prevent more serious problems down the line.

Address Electrical Issues Promptly

If you notice any electrical problems, such as frequent power surges or tripped breakers, address them promptly. Electrical issues can cause severe damage to your AC system and should be handled by a professional.

When to Call a Professional for Help

If you’ve gone through these troubleshooting steps and your air conditioner still won’t turn on, it’s time to call in a professional. A qualified HVAC technician can fix more complex issues that you might not be able to handle on your own. Whether it’s a refrigerant leak, a problem with the outdoor condenser unit, or an issue with the electrical components, a professional can guarantee your system is fixed properly and safely.

Schedule Your AC Services With Service Plus!

Now that you know what to do if your AC won’t turn on, why wait to get the help you need? At Service Plus, our team of expert HVAC technicians is ready to help with any issues you’re facing. Don’t let a malfunctioning air conditioner unit dampen your spirits — contact us today to schedule a service appointment! We’re here to provide reliable and efficient services, including AC installation in Indianapolis.

And for those in need of heat pump services, we’re here for all your heat pump service and repair needs. Your comfort is our priority!

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