AC Won't Kick On

ac wont kick on
AC won’t kick on? If a summer heat wave has you feeling the heat, and you’re system won’t cooperate, trying to troubleshoot your air conditioner problem yourself before calling for emergency service could save you some dough – and help you cool things off faster.

What Should I Do if My Air Conditioner Won’t Turn On?

  • Check your Thermostat. Make sure your thermostat is set to COOL, and the temperature is set at least 5-degrees below the current indoor temperature. A family member may have changed the settings or the thermostat may have been accidentally bumped.
  • Check Your Air Filter. If you can’t even tell your air filter used to be an air filter because it’s so covered in dust and hair, this is likely the problem, suffocating your system, and causing it to go into self-preservation mode and turn off. Change it, and make a note on the calendar, making sure you replace your AC filter every 3-months.
  • Look for a Blown Fuse/Tripped Circuit Breaker. This often occurs with power surges, and the problem could affect your system in one of two places:
    • On the unit itself, tripping the fuse at the shutoff box at the outside unit. (This fuse doesn’t flip, it must be replaced.)
    • At the main circuit breaker, tripped breakers will show in the halfway position, and must be flipped all the way OFF and then back ON.
      (NOTE: If you flip the breaker back on, and it flips again, you’re unit may be pulling electricity – a dangerous problem that requires professional attention.)
  • See if the Emergency Shut-Off Switch Is Tripped. Usually located next to the outside unit in a metal box hanging on your house, if someone has recently worked on the AC unit, they may have accidentally left this switch in the OFF position.
  • Check the Inside Unit’s Power Switch. Sometimes a switch in the air handler closet/crawl space/attic that looks like a light switch can control power to your HVAC; make sure this wasn’t accidentally flipped.
  • Make Sure the Drain Pan & Lines Aren’t Clogged. When your AC system runs, it creates condensation that runs out of your home via a drain line. If the drain pan is full, and/or this line becomes clogged, it will trigger a safety switch, turning off your system. Unclogging with a wet/dry vac or pipe snake and clearing the blockage could easily solve the problem.
  • Look for a RESET Button. Some systems have a RESET switch on the outside unit. You can push this and see if it helps. If yours does not, you can turn off the system at the thermostat, wait 5 minutes and try again. If this works, but only temporarily…
  • Look for Icy Buildup. If you see any icy buildup on system components, let it thaw before you try to turn the unit on. The bad news: This can take up to 24-hours. If the coil is clogged by dirt, blocking airflow, it will cause the temperature to drop and freeze up, preventing your system from running. Low refrigerant and improper fan operation can also cause this issue. In any case, if you see it you need to call a pro.

Air conditioner on the fritz? Air out your house quickly, and give Aire Serv® a call for prompt, reliable service today.