Why Won't My Air Conditioner Turn On?

Why Won't My Air Conditioner Turn On?

The last thing you need on a hot summer day is for your air conditioner to fail to turn on. Seriously, is there anything worse than when you’re hot and sweaty and walk into the house only to realize it feels just as hot as it does outside? A broken air conditioning system is every homeowner’s worst nightmare during the summer and if yours won’t seem to turn on, we’ve got a few reasons as to why this might be the case:

It’s On The Wrong Setting

This is one of the most common reasons why air conditioning systems don’t kick on. Check to make sure the thermostat is set to “cool” rather than “heat” or “off” as your first method of diagnosis. Sometimes we forget to switch them over to cool after a long winter, or maybe the kids decided to play a trick on you!

Once you flip the switch over to “cool,” make sure the temperature is set appropriately. If the temperature is set higher than the current temperature of the room, the system won’t kick on until the temperature rises above the set temperature.

The Filter Is Clogged

If you don’t remember the last time you changed or cleaned the filter, and the system was running up until a few days ago, chances are you’ve got a clogged filter. When dust and dirt get trapped in the filter and airflow is restricted, the system shuts down in order to avoid major problems.

Break out the vacuum and clean the filter or head over to the local home improvement store to purchase a replacement. One all is said and done, the system should kick back on within a few hours.

The System Froze Up

If your system has been running continuously without any time for rest in the last couple of days, it could potentially freeze up. Check on the components in the outdoor for ice buildup and if you notice any, shut the system down completely and let it defrost for a few hours.

The Thermostat Needs New Batteries

Head over to the thermostat and check to make sure you can still see the display. If you don’t see anything at all, it’s possible that the thermostat has run out of batteries. If this is the case, simply remove the old batteries and replace them with new ones.

The Circuit Tripped

If the circuit tripped at any point, the system won’t turn on. This happens to reduce risk of danger or injury when too much current flows through. Head over to the circuit breaker and reset the one labeled “air conditioner” or “hvac” or “ac” or something along those lines. Be sure you turn it all the way off and then turn it back on, but only do so one time. If it keeps tripping, you’ve got a larger problem on your hands and should call in a professional right away.

The Drain Pan Is Full

Check underneath your air conditioner for a drain pan. The drain pan is designed to catch residual condensation so that it doesn’t leak into any other areas of your house. If the pan is full, the system may not kick on and that is to prevent any overflowing that could occur. 

The drain connected to the drain pan could be clogged and it will need to be cleaned out in order to return back to normal operation. We suggest calling a pro to tackle this issue.

At Total Comfort Solutions, we understand that a broken central air conditioner is an emergency that can't wait. That's why we work on your schedule to fix your cooling system quickly. Give us a call today at (509) 956-4764 to schedule an appointment and we’ll get your cooling system back up and running fast!


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