Why Won’t My Home’s A/C Turn On?
April 27, 2017
It’s frustrating when your A/C won’t turn on, especially when it’s hot and you need cool air the most.
We feel your frustration. But here’s some good news: we’ve helped many homeowners fix an A/C that won’t turn on, so we know what’s causing the problem.
Here are 4 common problems that keep your A/C from turning on:
Dirty air filters
Circuit breaker issues
Clogged condensate drain line
In this article, we’ll discuss each of these common AC problems and share DIY repairs you can try before calling a professional for AC repair.
Don’t want to try fixing it yourself? Call Plumbline to schedule an A/C repair. We’ll have your A/C turned back on in no time.
4 common A/C problems with easy DIY repairs
#1: Dirty air filters
Dirty air filters block air from returning to the air conditioner, which causes pressure to drop and ice to form on the evaporator coil.
When this happens, a low-pressure switch trips and shuts down your A/C’s compressor (the heart of your system) to protect your system from further damage.
DIY solution: Check your air filter, and change it if it’s dirty. In the heat of the summer, when you’re putting a lot of demand on your A/C, consider changing your filter once every month.
#2: Malfunctioning thermostat
Your thermostat is the brain of your cooling system. If it’s set to the wrong setting, or it’s low on batteries, your A/C won’t turn on.
DIY solution: Try these 2 steps:
Make sure your thermostat is set to “cool” and not “heat” (it won’t turn on if it’s set to heat)
Replace your thermostat’s batteries
If you’ve tried those 2 steps and your A/C still isn’t on, contact a professional.
#3: Circuit breaker issues
Your air conditioner requires electricity, so if your circuit breaker is tripped or broken, then your A/C won’t power on.
DIY solution: Find your electrical panel (see image above) and look for tripped breakers. Turn them “off” and then “on” again. If the breaker trips again immediately or after a few minutes, don’t reset the breaker; call a technician for help. You most likely have a short or grounded circuit which a professional will need to fix.
#4: Clogged condensate drain line
Your condensate drain line carries the condensation that forms inside your A/C outside your home. If the drain line is clogged, water will start to overflow and your drain float switch will shut down your A/C.
Find a wet/dry vacuum
Locate the main condensate drain line (pictured above) outside your home
Using the vacuum’s hose, suck out any debris or obstructions for about 3 minutes
If that didn’t fix the problem, there may be other issues causing your A/C to break down...
More reasons your A/C isn’t turning on (and why a professional needs to help)
If you tried those DIY repairs and your A/C still isn’t turning on, the problem may be something a professional needs to fix. These types of problems include:
Low refrigerant levels: If your A/C has insufficient refrigerant, your low-pressure switch will trip, which will shut down your system to prevent damage. You’ll always want a professional technician to check and change refrigerant fluids.
Dirty condenser: If dirt builds up around your system’s condenser, it could cause your system to break down and not start up again. An air conditioning expert can clean your condenser.
Wiring problems: If your circuit breaker keeps tripping, that could be a sign of faulty wires or a blown A/C fuse. Only a trained and certified technician should handle problems related to wiring and electricity.
Busted contactor or capacitor: Your A/C’s contactor and capacitor help power the fan and compressor when your system calls for cold air. If one or both of these components are busted on your A/C, you may still hear your A/C’s fan turn on, but you won’t feel any cold air. A professional can replace or repair a broken contactor or capacitor.
Icy buildup: There are many A/C problems that create icy buildup in your system, but most of them require professional repairs.
Related article: Why Is Ice Building on My A/C Unit's Pipes?
Faulty motors: In most cases, your air conditioner will shut down if the motor is faulty. Your A/C contractor can help you decide if they can repair the motor or if you need to replace it.
Broken compressor: The compressor is the heart of your air conditioning system. If it is broken or malfunctioning, your entire system could shut down. A professional can inspect your compressor and repair any compressor-related issues.
Want a working A/C again? Call a trustworthy professional...
Contact Plumbline to schedule an air conditioning repair. We’ll send one of our expert technicians to your home to get your A/C back up and running again.
We’ve been keeping Denver families cool since 1998.