The AC Won’t Turn On: Investigating Electrical and Thermostat Issues

Texans love their air conditioners. When an air conditioner breaks on a hot day in summer, you will want to get it fixed immediately. Different things can cause an air conditioner to break down. Before you call for repair, you can troubleshoot so the HVAC repair person’s job is a bit easier.

There is Something Wrong With the Thermostat

The first thing you should check in the thermostat is the batteries because they may need to be replaced. If replacing the batteries does not work, you may have a more serious problem. The sensor in the thermostat may not be working, or the thermostat may be installed in the wrong place in the home.

If the thermostat is misplaced, it can not do its job. You can read more here. If the sensor is not working, an HVAC professional will need to replace it. If the thermostat is not working, consider upgrading to a touchscreen Smart thermostat for added control and convenience. Upgrading to a smart thermostat also allows more precise temperature regulation and energy efficiency.

The Circuit Breaker Has Been Tripped

Whenever electronic equipment does not work in your house, you always want to check the circuit breaker. Your HVAC system is no exception. Simply look in your breaker box, and see if the switch has been flipped. If it has been, turn it back on and see if it solved the problem.

The Condensation Drain May be Clogged

Window air conditioners have condensation drains that can easily become clogged. If a condensation drain is clogged, the air conditioner will not turn on. It is a safety feature in all modern air conditioners.

You will find the drain on the underside of the outdoor part of the air conditioner. If it is clogged, you can turn the AC off and vacuum it out with a wet-dry vac. Test the drain to ensure it is unclogged by pouring water through it.

The Owner’s Manual May Have a Solution

When all else has failed, you can always read the instructions. The owner’s manual can give you troubleshooting tips that are specific to your AC unit. For example, some AC units have a reset button that you may occasionally need to hit. The manual will also tell you the type of filter you should use. If you use the wrong type of filter, it can cause your AC system to break down.

The Filter May Need to be Replaced

If you hear the air conditioner turn on, but it does not work at all, it may be because its filter needs replacement. Most filters need to be replaced every one or two months.

A filter collects debris in the air. The better a filter is, the smaller the particles it will be able to collect. When it is dirty, the air in the system will not circulate properly. Over time, this can do damage to the entire air conditioning system.

If you can’t figure out what is wrong with your AC unit, a trained repair person certainly can. Remember to have regular AC maintenance.

- by Matt Watts