Why Your Home’s Air Conditioner Unit Isn’t Turning On

Why Your Home's Air Conditioner Unit Isn't Turning OnTemperatures inside the house are rising, but the air conditioner just doesn’t turn on. Now what? A fundamental malfunction like this might seem to be something serious. However, that’s not always the case.

A number of things — from basic no-brainers to major component breakdowns — can cause this very basic failure. Maybe it’s something you can resolve yourself or maybe you’ll need a service call from a qualified HVAC technician. Here are some of the usual suspects when an air conditioner won’t turn on.

  • The thermostat is “off.” It happens. The unit is simply turned off at the thermostat and needs to be turned back on and put in the “cool” mode. Always check the obvious causes first.
  • Temperature setting has been changed. If someone has inadvertently programmed a temperature setting that’s way above normal, you may be waiting for some time before the unit automatically turns on. Check the settings at the thermostat to make sure it’s programmed to turn on at the temperature you’re accustomed to.
  • Filter is clogged. A dirty filter can eventually obstruct system airflow entirely. If this happens, an overheated compressor caused by insufficient airflow may trip the circuit breaker and the unit won’t start up. Inspect the filter and replace it if it’s dirty. Check for a tripped circuit breaker, then attempt to re-start the air conditioner. No luck? Call for professional service.
  • Coil is iced up. Low refrigerant level may cause ice to form on the A/C evaporator coil, obstructing airflow and causing the unit to shut down and not re-start. The cause of coil icing must be diagnosed by a professional and resolved to prevent recurrence.
  • Condensate drip pan is clogged. Some air conditioners incorporate an automatic shutoff to prevent overflow of the condensate drip pan inside the air handler if the drain line clogs. You’ll need a qualified HVAC technician to clear the clog and reset the auto-shutoff switch.

For air conditioner problems minor or major, the service professionals at Paitson Bros. are here with solutions. We’ve served the homeowners of the Wabash Valley since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air conditioners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “GDJ/Pixabay”

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