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

image of an air conditioner condenser

A good air conditioner unit can keep your home cool and comfortable when temperatures rise during the summer months. Unfortunately, homeowners sometimes find that their air conditioner won’t turn on, which leaves them with a hot humid house while waiting for an HVAC contractor to come and service their system. However, occasionally, there are instances when an air conditioner won’t turn on due to some simple reason that a homeowner might be able to fix. Check the items listed here to help you avoid dealing with an uncomfortably hot house in the hot weather.

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Where Do I Check When the Air Conditioner Doesn’t Turn On?

Let’s look at some air conditioner troubleshooting advice you can follow if you find that your cooling system isn’t running as expected.

1. Check the Air Conditioner’s Power Source

circuit breaker

When the heat hits and the air conditioner is failing to turn on, anxiety often follows quickly, clouding your thinking. In times like this, you could easily overlook some fundamental factors that could be causing the issue.

First, check out your circuit breaker to see if it might be a problem with the electricity. Find the main electric panel and look to see if the circuit breaker might have tripped. Flip it back on if you find it in the off position.

Then, check if the electrical plug might be out of place or have disconnected from its power source. It may sound too obvious, but this is sometimes neglected and you could find that the cord or plug end is loose.

Examine the thermostat, too. Many scenarios involve people thinking that their air conditioning unit is not working when the problem may simply be the thermostat. Make sure the thermostat is completely plugged into the power source and that it is set in the correct mode.

While these may seem like basic tips, people often overlook the simple things. A disconnected electrical or loose plug and tripped circuit breakers commonly turn out to be the culprits.

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2. Familiarize Yourself with the A/C Unit & Switches

Be sure you know your way around your air conditioning unit. You can easily troubleshoot some of the more common air conditioner issues as long as you understand your HVAC system. The secret to prolonging your HVAC system’s years is knowing the way to practice regular maintenance. Learning the basics of the system will help you as well. For example, many homeowners don’t know that their air conditioner has on and off switches. Occasionally, the unit’s power switch located within the air handler will be found in the off position. You may just need to turn it on again. Also, an emergency shut-off switch is sometimes located just beside an outside air conditioner. Someone could have accidentally shut off the switch and forgotten to turn it back on.

3. Inspect Your HVAC Air Filter

image of an hvac air filter replacement

Air conditioner filters require replacement every 60 to 90 days. However, there are certain homes that even require more frequent air filter replacement. It depends on the location of the home, if there are pets, and other things. This is an essential task if you want to maintain the efficiency and lifespan of your HVAC system.

Filters are indispensable for preventing the buildup of dust and debris in the system, which usually ends up causing more problems. The longer those filters remain on, the more likely it is that they will get clogged and create issues.

Once the filters are clogged, your air conditioning unit will consume more power to maintain cooler temperatures in your home. It is likely to spike your energy bill higher than you like to see it if you do not quickly address the issue. Even worse, it may cause the air conditioner to quit working completely and need replacing.

Keep an account of when you last replaced your filter. Some homeowners record the date right on the filter then they set a calendar prompt to check the filter condition at the start of each month. Swap your filter before it gets clogged to extend the life of the unit.

Try to prevent your cooling system from consuming more energy than is required to keep your home comfortable. Over time, forcing a system to utilize excessive power might cause a complete breakdown. Remember that replacing an entire air conditioning system is a lot more costly so don’t neglect regular replacement of its HVAC filters.

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4. Inspect the Air Conditioner Drain Pan & The Condensate Lines

When you call on an HVAC contractor, be sure to ask them the best way to check the air conditioner drain pan for yourself. When that drain pan is full, it will activate a float switch that prevents your unit from starting.

As your air conditioner begins functioning, it will create condensation. This is removed from your home through the drain line. Your drain line may get clogged and this can prompt your system to turn itself off.

Emptying your drain pan and as well as clearing any clogs in the drain line often solves any issue. However, this is a job for a professional. You should call a technician if you have any trouble with blockage in your drain line.

5. Check The Evaporator Coils

dirt on air conditioner coils

A system’s evaporator coils should always be clean. This simple HVAC maintenance task is fundamental to your system and must not be neglected.

Cleaning evaporator coils is critical, as is changing your filters with regularity. This task is going to decrease your risk of damage to the system. If your air conditioner does not turn on, it may be due to the evaporator coils being too dirty. Think about the last time you scheduled an air conditioner tune-up. Remember, air conditioners need to be cleaned at least one time every year for maintenance.

Be certain to call on an air conditioner repair company to clean the coils. You should also request air conditioner tune-ups at least once yearly to avoid air conditioner issues during the hottest days of summer. Have your unit serviced regularly, maintained scrupulously, and cleaned as often as needed by a licensed technician.

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Final Words

If your air conditioning unit does not turn on, the issue could be a simple electrical problem. Sometimes, the circuit breaker has been shut off, or your unit is disconnected from the power source. Maybe it’s as simple as a plug is loose. Most homeowners are capable of fixing these simple things. It’s also likely you can fix the problem yourself if the culprit is a drain pan that is full. That’s a matter of emptying a pan. However, it’s wisest to call a professional technician if the problem is anything more than the basic ones listed here. Also, be sure to have regular HVAC maintenance service at least once yearly.

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The best prices for the services in this area are found with Townsend Energy. Our maintenance service will increase your comfort, improve energy efficiency and also reduce your home’s bills with lower heating and cooling costs. If you require HVAC repair or are looking for a replacement system, let us recommend the best solution for your home, while working within your budget. We guarantee our work to ensure your satisfaction. If you would like to schedule a service appointment today, please give Townsend Energy a call. Ask about our free, in-home estimates.

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