If your air conditioner won’t kick on, there may be several reasons for that. And the repair may be more complicated than you think. So if your AC isn’t working properly and you can’t get it to kick on, here are some of the most common causes for this and how to fix them.
When the heat starts to spike, an air conditioner is the last thing you want to worry about. But when your AC won’t kick on, it can lead to a slew of problems.
One of the first things you should do is check your electricity. Using a circuit breaker monitoring device, such as Moni , will alert you if any electronics are being used above normal levels in your home. You can also test if the circuit breaker is working in your home by flipping all the switches in your house and seeing if they are resetting correctly.
Afterwards, once you’ve ruled out an electrical issue, look into maintenance that come with dead zones, mice in vents or dirty filters; these all could be contributing to a problem with your unit. With a little bit of legwork and some patience, you’ll have a cool and comfortable home before you know it.
AC Won’t Kick ON – Troubleshoot And Diagnosis
As any homeowner can attest, an AC unit is one of the most important appliances in your home. Without the constant stream of cool air coming from your unit, you’re going to have a hard time enjoying your apartment during the summer or keeping it comfortable throughout the winter.
If you find yourself with a non-functioning AC unit, don’t panic! You have several options for troubleshooting
1. Tripped Circuit Breaker
In the United States, most buildings use electrical wiring breakers and switches to manage power flow throughout the entire house. Some of these components should be familiar: a majority of homeowners have at least one light switch in their home. These switches control incandescent, fluorescent and other types of lights.
Usually, each circuit is labeled with its purpose. For example, bathroom fans are usually wired into one specific circuit.
When you’re using more power than your circuit breaker can handle, the circuit trips and switches off. This is a safety measure that ensures your appliances don’t overheat or catch fire.
To fix this problem: find your panel, look at the AC switch on it (the one with “AC” on it), and switch to ON position if it’s in OFF.
If your circuit trips as soon as you plug in an appliance, don’t try and reset the circuit breaker — it’s overloaded and may cause a fire. Get in touch with a licensed electrician to diagnose the issue and repair it.
2. Thermostat Problem
Your thermostat is a direct line of communication between your air conditioner and you. If your thermostat has problems, then there’s no way for your AC to know that it should switch on at a certain time.
Go to your thermostat’s display screen and make sure that it isn’t displaying anything other than the time, or a blank window. It is possible that your machine may have been in standby mode — simply touch the display to bring up the window of home information, including temperature, weather forecast, and more.
Next, check the batteries in your thermostat. If they are dead or low on charge, replace them with alkaline batteries (standard household AAA batteries).
If you’re still having issues with your thermostat after trying these solutions out, contact a professional who can diagnose and fix any remaining issues.
3. Unplugged Condenser
Start by looking at any electrical cords coming out of your house. If you see something that looks strange, or if one is split open, unplug your air conditioner immediately.
This will ensure that no electricity is running through it — which could be causing it to overheat.
A quick fix involves double-checking the power cord plug, and reinserting it into the air-conditioner panel on your home’s interior wall.
Now that you know how to inspect your air conditioner, it’s time to check out how you can proceed with the AC maintenance.
Check the Power Cord: First off, make sure that your air conditioner isn’t unplugged. An easy way to do this is by visually inspecting the AC power cord and looking for any signs of damage or improper use.
Another thing to do is check if the switch next to your unit is turned on.
Power outages are inconvenient and can cost your business a lot of money, but they don’t have to. Instead of facing the consequences of sudden power loss with an unplugged or chewed through cord, it’s better to proactively avoid these problems in the first place.
4. Clogged Air Filter
It’s clear that replacing your AC air filter is something you would rather avoid, but we can’t stress this enough: you have to take care of your home’s main cooling system. When you neglect it as if it were a second thought, the consequences can be lasting and very expensive. Don’t risk breaking down your AC for no reason and replace the filter regularly.
Grab a fresh air filter for your AC and get ready for the cool weather to come. As the temperature outside grows colder, you’ll want to keep the heat in. When you don’t change the air filter, it can become clogged from dust particles and other debris that lead to an increase of pressure inside of your unit step by step.
What’s worse is that this also causes ice buildup due to reduced airflow —which will lead to even worse damage when it comes time to repair or replace your AC system. But what if you did?
By simply changing out your filters twice a year (halfway through summer and halfway through winter) you can help keep your AC operating within its peak efficiency during the entire cooling season. And yes! It’s as simple as that.
If your air conditioner is stuck on, you may have a clogged filter or other issues that affect its performance. Before checking to see if this is the case, turn your unit off and unplug it. After that, check if your filter needs replacing — they eventually stop working as well as they should and require replacement.
If you want to speed up the defrosting process, use a blow drier set on low power; turn it on for a few minutes and then leave it in place for a minute before removing it (repeat until the appliance isn’t wet anymore).
5. Blown Fuse
The fuse box is one of the most important areas in your house, and it’s critical that you know how to use it. A fuse is a switch that controls an electrical circuit, protecting wires from excessive current.
When the current exceeds a safe threshold, the switch opens. If you see sparks or burning smells coming from your fuse box or one of your home appliances, turn off that power immediately.
Safety is of upmost importance when working with any electrical system. Make sure that you are aware at all times of your surroundings, and consider hiring a professional if you aren’t confident in doing so yourself.
In order to remove the burnt out fuse, you must locate the fuse box and turn off the power from electrical source. This can be found in a basement, garage, or an outdoor shed.
Once the power is off and all power is extinguished, you will have to find the blown fuse and pull it out by either unscrewing it or taking it out with your fingers. You can then test if it’s really broken by using a multimeter or simply buying a replacement part online.
6. Faulty Motor
AC is one of the great life-savers in the hotter months, but if your system is making an unusual noise or it won’t turn on at all, you’re probably wondering what’s up.
The most common issue is a bad capacitor — and we can help! To figure out whether this might be the problem, you do need to work with electricity: turn off your power source (the circuit breaker or fuse) and remove access to the wires from your circuit board box.
Test your AC motor using a multimeter. And if it turns out that nothing’s wrong with your motor, then you’ve cleared up another possible culprit for this cooling failure.
7. Refrigerant Leak
If your AC isn’t cooling the home properly, or your bills have gone up without explanation, you may have a refrigerant leak. This can be due to a number of issues; it may be supply line, an incorrect pressure setting or jacked up thermostat. It could also signal that there is trouble with the compressor.
Also, leaks in your cooling system can lead to refrigerant poisoning. The EPA requires technicians and contractors who work with certain kinds of refrigerants to be properly certified — so unless this is done by a licensed professional, you could be at risk for secondary poisoning.
Whichever the case, there are several telltale signs that should clue you in to an issue with your AC and what to do next. Let’s look at a few:
Odd Noise – The hissing sound tells you that Freon is leaking from somewhere inside your AC unit.
Hotter than Usual – If you notice that your air conditioner isn’t keeping your home as cool as it usually does, check out these tips on how to fix it quickly and easily instead of calling for professional help.
8. Clogged AC Drain Line
When you’re maintaining your air conditioner, be sure to pay special mind to the condensate drain pipe and line. Condensation is a necessary part of an air conditioner’s cycle, but can be a nuisance if not regularly handled.
The last thing you want is for your pipes to become overwhelmed by excessive moisture, which happens when the drainage stops working properly. Instead of allowing water to collect in one place, make sure your AC periodically drains its drip pan into a tub or sink — taking care that it won’t leak or overflow nearby electrical items and furniture.
When was the last time you had your condensate drain cleaned? It’s important because clogged lines can cause future problems like mold and mildew accumulation inside your duct work, as well as damage more quickly and cost more in the long run.
Be sure to clean out your condensate drain line regularly by pouring a cup of boiling water down your drain pipe every month or so.
Before you begin, however, make sure you turn off your air conditioner and power supply. Otherwise, you could cause damage to the equipment.
Hi there! I’m Sam Hendricks, and I’m a repair technician and expert. I created this website to help people like you save money and time by fixing your own appliances.
Over the years, I’ve seen people spend a lot of money on unnecessary repairs or replacements. That’s why I decided to share my expertise and create easy-to-follow guides for fixing appliances on your own.