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

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Air conditioners ensure your home remains cool and comfortable despite the high outdoor temperatures. However, you may find that your air conditioner won’t turn on at some point. This means your home is left hot and humid until an HVAC technician comes to resolve the problem. In many cases, a simple reason may be why the air conditioner won’t turn on. If this is the case, a homeowner can conduct a DIY check. Keep reading to explore some of the simple things you can inspect before calling your local HVAC company.

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

This article discusses several troubleshooting tips when your air conditioner doesn’t run as it should.

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Air Conditioner Power Source

image of a homeowner at electrical panal checking air conditioner circuit

You may not be thinking clearly when it is hot, and your air conditioner refuses to switch on. Therefore, you may overlook essential factors that may be causing your AC issue.

  • Examine the circuit breaker to determine if the cause is an electricity issue. Find the electrical panel to check if it is a tripped circuit breaker. Turn it back on if it’s off to reset it. 
  • Make sure that the electrical plug is placed and connected securely and properly to a power source. It may seem obvious, but this is usually neglected. Some cases may see a loose plug causing the issue.
  • Assess the thermostat. Homeowners may think their air conditioner isn’t working when it may be the thermostat. Ensure it has the right settings and is plugged into a power source.

These tips may seem obvious, but homeowners tend to overlook them because they are basic and simple. Common reasons an air conditioner is not turning on are loose plugs and tripped circuit breakers.

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Become Familiar With The Air Conditioner & Its Switches

Understanding how your air conditioner operates can help you troubleshoot issues it may experience. This helps prolong your HVAC system’s service life when you know how to practice effective upkeep. It is also beneficial to learn basic system parts. For example, many homeowners aren’t familiar with the on and off switches. The indoor unit or the air handler has a power switch that may be in the off position sometimes, so it needs to be switched back on. The outside unit can also have an emergency shut-off switch next to it. Someone may have turned it off and forgotten to switch it back on.

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Check Your HVAC Air Filter

removing dirty HVAC filter for home central air conditioning system

The filters in your air conditioner should be replaced every two to three months. Some homes may require more frequent air filter replacements, depending on where the house is located, how many pets you have, and more. This is an essential task to maintain the HVAC unit’s efficiency.

Filters are crucial because they trap dust and debris, preventing them from getting inside and wreaking havoc in the system. The longer you let the filters stay unchanged, the more they get clogged. This causes problems in the system. A blocked filter leads to the air conditioner consuming more energy to meet the set indoor temperature. This spikes the energy bills if it isn’t resolved right away. Even worse, it can cause the air conditioner to break down.

Remember the dates you change your air filter. A few homeowners write the replacement date on the filter and set a calendar reminder to check it monthly. You help extend your system’s lifespan when you replace the air filters before they clog.

An air conditioner using more energy than required can be harmful down the line. Excessive power can cause your system to break down permanently. Getting a complete air conditioner replacement can be costlier, so you don’t want this issue to happen. Therefore, you shouldn’t neglect regular HVAC filter replacements.

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Check The Drain Pan & Lines

During a consultation, ask the HVAC technician how to check the drain pan in the air conditioner. A full drain pan will trigger the float switch, stopping the unit from switching on.

The cooling process of an air conditioner creates condensation. This moisture is eliminated from your system and home through a drain line. This line can become clogged, triggering a system shutdown.

Emptying the drain pan or unclogging the drain can resolve this issue. Call an expert HVAC technician if you experience any problems with a blocked drain line.

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Check Your Evaporator Coils

air conditioner coil

The evaporator coil should be cleaned at all times. This is an essential part of HVAC maintenance as it helps with your system’s service life.

Cleaning the evaporator coils is a task that’s as important as replacing filters regularly. This is because it helps lower the risk of damage to the unit. The evaporator coil may be why your air conditioner isn’t turning on. When was the last time you cleaned the coils? Remember that they should be cleaned at least once a year for proper upkeep.

Talk to a reliable HVAC technician to learn how to clean the coil properly. Moreover, ensure your air conditioner is annually tuned up. You wouldn’t want to deal with air conditioning issues during the hottest days of the summer. Therefore, have a licensed HVAC professional regularly check, clean, and maintain your air conditioner.

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Why your air conditioner isn’t turning on can be a simple electrical issue, like a tripped circuit breaker or a loose plug. These can be easily resolved, including if a clogged drain line or a full drain pan is causing the issue. You only need to remove the clog in the line and empty the drain pan. Call a reputable HVAC technician if the issue is due to an advanced cause. You should also get your HVAC unit serviced annually.

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R.F. Ohl is the leading provider of high-quality heating and cooling services throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania, including the Poconos and the Greater Lehigh Valley Region. Our team comprises the best professionally certified technicians who are experts in all your HVAC service needs, such as maintenance, replacements, installations, and repairs. All our techs are friendly, experienced, and knowledgeable to ensure accurate and superior services on your HVAC system.

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