My Air Conditioner is Not Turning On – Guide to What To Do
Your air conditioner plays a big role in keeping you cool and comfy during the warm season. So if your a/c unit suddenly decides to stop doing its job properly, of course you want to get the problem diagnosed and fixed ASAP!
Many factors can cause air conditioner malfunctions, including unit age, make and model, previous maintenance history and usage patterns.
You can use this handy guide to common air conditioning issues to figure out the right next step to take when your a/c unit breaks down.
My A/C Won’t Cycle On
When your unit won’t turn on at all, this may point to an issue with the main circuit breaker. The quickest fix in this case is to head over to the circuit box and reset the tripped circuit.
If this doesn’t get your a/c working again, the next place to look is to your a/c’s thermostat. If the thermostat is battery-powered, you may just need to replace the batteries. But sometimes an older thermostat simply conks out.
In this case, give your local HVAC service a call.
My A/C Cools Unevenly
When you notice that some rooms are warmer and other rooms are cooler, this may be an issue with your duct system.
Ducts are the channels that transport cooled air to each room in your space. Older duct systems can start to degrade, sagging and even pulling away from the connection points. Leaks and cracks can develop and let in dust and debris.
You may need to have dampers installed to direct the flow of air more evenly through your ducts. Cleaning out your ducts, adding insulation and repairing any leaks or cracks can also aid in even air distribution.
My A/C Blows Hot Air
Nothing feels worse than hearing your a/c cycle on, anticipating the cool air to come and then having warm air blowing on you!
This issue can come from a number of sources. One of the most common is a thermostat or a/c control board malfunction. If the thermostat and your a/c unit are not communicating clearly, your air will not be cooled to your desired temperature.
Another common issue is a refrigerant leak or low refrigerant. Refrigerant is vital to cool your air, but it is also dangerous if handled improperly.
You can contact your local EPA-certified HVAC contractor or AC service to repair a refrigerant leak.
My A/C Cycles On & Off & On & Off….
The condenser is the part of your a/c unit that sits outside your space. A number of factors, from weather and environmental to refrigerant levels, can cause fluctuating pressure changes that continually trigger your condenser to cycle on and off again.
This issue is best addressed by contacting your local HVAC service.
My A/C Won’t Cycle On At All
If your a/c unit is simply unresponsive, the most likely cause is that it isn’t getting power. This may be an issue with a tripped circuit, a stripped electrical connection or a miscommunication between the thermostat and the central a/c control board.
Power problems can also indicate a potential fire hazard. For your own safety, contact your local AC service to diagnose and repair the issue.
Other Common A/C Problems
As your air conditioning unit ages, you can expect more small repair issues to crop up. Scheduling an inspection and preventative maintenance service once or twice per year can help keep minor repairs from turning into major repairs or an outright breakdown.
Keep a watchful eye out for these other common air conditioning problems if your system is in mid-life or older.
While the typical air conditioner looks kind of clunky on the outside, inside are all kinds of wire clusters that are responsible for relaying messages as your a/c functions.
If your a/c starts malfunctioning in spring, you may have had unwelcome visitors chewing on your wires. Wires can also simply break down, corrode, rust or strip over time.
Not only is a wiring issue bad for your a/c’s operation but it can also be a fire hazard.
Refrigerant Runs Low
If your a/c unit develops a refrigerant leak, not only will this cause cooling malfunctions but it can also contaminate your indoor air when it emits freon. This is a potential danger to your family and is best handled by an EPA-certified HVAC service.
If you live in an area that gets some seriously cold winter weather, there is always a danger that the outdoor components can ice over. A clogged air filter can make this issue worse.
Cleaning the icy dirt out of delicate coils is a difficult job that must be handled with precision to avoid major repairs.
Dirty A/C Components
It can be so easy to forget to change out your a/c unit’s filter, but this simple yet essential task can keep other major repairs at bay.
When the internal components of your a/c unit start to gather dust and dirt, not only does this create a fire risk but it also releases toxins into your air supply and shortens your air conditioner’s useful life.
Blower Motor Malfunction
A blower motor malfunction can represent a major repair. Changing your air filter regularly can protect the blower motor.
The compressor’s job is to move refrigerant to where it is needed to create cooled air. When your energy bill starts creeping upwards independent of your usage patterns, this may signal a compressor malfunction.
Over time, even the best old-school thermostat will wear out. When this occurs, consider upgrading to a digital, mercury-free programmable thermostat.
As a perk, programmable thermostats can help you conserve energy and save money.