Troubleshooting an Air Conditioner that Won’t Turn On

Home comfort is crucial in our day-to-day lives. However, there are days when our cooling systems fail to cooperate and leave us feeling hot and miserable. Troubleshooting air conditioners can be done just as long as you know what to do. You can do the following steps in identifying and troubleshooting air conditioners. However, keep in mind that there are certain cooling issues that only an AC expert can safely and efficiently handle without compromising the integrity of your air conditioner.

You can count on most air conditioners to live anywhere in between 10 to 20 years at the most. But even the best AC brands may experience some issues now and then. Bear in mind that proper and regular AC maintenance is the key to avoiding having unexpected AC issues. If you’re not confident in your capacity to clean your unit yourself, seek the services of a professional to do it for you. Spending for AC maintenance is nothing compared to the high costs of repair and the discomfort and inconvenience brought about by a faulty AC.

Check out some of the common AC issues you encounter at home and how you can fix them without needing the assistance of a professional. Before meddling with it, though, check first if it’s the entire system that is broken or only a particular part. Make sure you turn off the power before doing anything involving the wiring of your air conditioner or risk your safety in the process.

  • The air conditioner doesn’t cool the rooms evenly. Check the distribution channels of your unit. Determine if the unit’s fan is delivering air into the rooms or your ductwork.
  • The air conditioner turns on but does not cool. Take a look at the thermostat to find out if it was set at the right temperature. Next, check the evaporator and condenser if they are dirty or clogged. Your AC may not turn at all if there is too much dirt buildup.
  • The condenser turns on and off repeatedly. It is often due to a dirty fan or a dirty and clogged condenser.
  • The condenser will not turn on. It may be due to a faulty power, or the unit may not be getting power at all. Check all the wiring and make sure you plug in the unit.

Common Causes of AC Issues

Review the usual causes of air conditioner problems, so you can tell the AC technician what is wrong with your unit, and they can address the problem efficiently.

  • Wiring issues – this issue is the common cause of an AC breakdown. It’s practical to inspect the breakers of your home’s power box as well as adjacent outlets to make sure the issue involves your AC and not other electric components.
  • Ice buildup – dethaw the unit and remove all of the ice inside.
  • Faulty motors – determine what’s best for your motor, to do a repair or just replace it.
  • Faulty compressors – make sure the compressor is always clean to avoid having performance issues.
  • Dirty filters, evaporators, and condensers – dirt buildup is often the cause of AC breakdowns. Schedule regular AC maintenance to prevent these issues. Replacing your AC air filters on a regular basis is the easiest and cheapest way of caring for your AC.
  • Low on refrigerant – hire a professional to check coolant levels and have them recharge this fluid when necessary.
  • Faulty thermostat – if your thermostat is the likely cause of your AC issues, turn on the AC directly on the main unit. If it turns on, it’s confirmed that the thermostat is faulty.

Remember that when you have AC issues, your first task is to consider whether your unit needs a repair or replacement. Keep in mind that if your AC is older than 12 years, a replacement is likely your best bet. Meanwhile, if it cuts on and off before it even cools your home or it won’t shut off, go for a repair. If you are a handyman yourself, try troubleshooting air conditioners if the problem is only minor. If not, hire a professional. But before choosing between the two, consider repair costs in the equation. If the repair costs you more than half of your AC’s overall value, just go ahead and buy a replacement.