My AC is Not Turning On, What Should I Do?

As temperatures begin to rise, it’s time to make sure your cooling system runs efficiently. So let’s start with the basics – does your A/C turn on without any problems? 

Here’s what to do if your air conditioner won’t turn on, to get it up and running before you call in an HVAC technician:

Check Your Thermostat

Make sure that you’re A/C thermostat has power, is set to COOL, and that the temperature is set at least 3-degrees below the current room temperature.

If you have a battery-powered thermostat, you may need to replace the batteries.

Check Your A/C Air Filter

If your air filter is clogged, what can happen is that your air conditioner runs, but does not cool your home. Also, if it’s heavily clogged, it can keep your A/C from turning on at all.

Check Your Circuit Breakers

Your A/C won’t turn on if you have a tripped circuit breaker, and here’s why.

A circuit breaker is a safety feature, designed to switch the power off to an electrical component of your home in case of a power surge. Most times this is just a harmless power surge in the grid, and it can affect your air conditioner among other electrical components.

To check if this is the case, locate the A/C circuit breaker on your circuit breaker panel; it’s the main power distribution panel that can be located inside or outside of your house. It’s usually marked as “A/C,” “HVAC,” or “air-conditioner”. Once you locate this breaker, turn it all the way off, and then wait a few seconds before turning the breaker on again.

Keep in mind that circuit breakers can look like they’re ON even when they are tripped – so make sure to turn it all the way off, and then back on again. Also, only reset a circuit breaker once – if it keeps tripping off, you run the risk of starting an electrical fire if you keep turning it back on. If it keeps tripping, it means there’s a problem and your best bet is to call an HVAC technician.

Check Your AC Drain Pan

A drain pan is designed to accumulate any residual condensation that your air conditioner couldn’t drain out. It’s located underneath your A/C, and if it gets full, it may trigger the float switch that’s meant to stop your air conditioner from flooding your house – which will turn your A/C off.

These drains can become clogged over time causing the spill into the drain pan. This is why your drain pan should also have a secondary drain, especially if you live in humid climates.

The drains will need to be cleaned, and the float switch turned back into the DOWN position. The HVAC technicians use compressed air to clear out the drains during air conditioner servicing – another reason why it’s wise to schedule regular maintenance of your HVAC systems.

Check A/C Shutoff Switch

Air conditioners and furnaces are often installed with an ON/OFF switch that can easily disconnect power during troubleshooting and servicing.

To check if your air conditioning has this switch, look at the inside portion of your unit, and all around it as it should be relatively close to the A/C. If it’s there, switch it ON, and try your A/C again. 

If your air conditioner still won’t turn on after you’ve tried all of the above steps, it’s time to call in the A/C repair technician.

As always, use caution when handling any HVAC job, as you could potentially cause more damage to your electrical or plumbing system, leading to bigger expenses and headaches.

Rely on UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing skilled HVAC contractors to help you with your A/C service or air conditioning repairs.

Make an appointment today with the leading HVAC company for air conditioning installation that is right for your budget, environment, and home needs, and other cooling and heating system needs in and around the Lehigh Valley, PA, Harrisburg PA, Lancaster PA, Reading PA, Chester and Montgomery Counties, PA.

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