Why is my AC unit not turning on?  Pippin Brothers, Lawton, OK
September 14, 2020

Is your outside AC unit not running? Perhaps the fan inside the furnace unit runs, but you aren’t feeling cool air coming out of your vents? Before you scramble to phone to call a residential AC repairman near you, there are a few things you can do to get your air conditioner back up and running. 

DIY Ways to Fix an Air Conditioner

Before you bring in the home comfort and HVAC repair professionals, try these DIY AC tips:

Make sure the thermostat is set to COOL

A repair person will check this first, so you might as well, right? Ensure that your thermostat is set to COOL and then set the temperature setting at least 5 degrees below the current indoor temperature. If you do not feel or hear your air conditioner after a minute or two, move on to the next DIY tip.

Check the emergency or shut-off switch

Most air conditioners have a shut-off switch near the outdoor unit. It’s usually a metal box that’s hanging on your house. If someone has recently worked on the AC, they may have left it in the “off” position on accident.

Check the inside unit’s power switch

There’s usually a switch in your attic, closet, or crawl space near your furnace that can shut off power to your furnace and indoor blower.

Because the switch looks like a light switch, people often accidentally flip it to “off”. Setting it to “off” turns off the blower, causing the inside unit to freeze, which makes your entire AC system shut down.

So make sure this power switch is in the “on” position.

Look for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker

If there was a power surge, your air conditioner might have blown a fuse or tripped a circuit breaker. You can look for this problem in two places:

  1. Your main electrical panel — On old homes, this is a fuse box, while newer homes have a circuit panel. If it’s a fuse box, look for a blown fuse (replace that thing!). On a circuit breaker, look for a tripped circuit and flip it to “off” and then back to “on”.

  2. At the shutoff box near the AC — Some models of air conditioners have a fuse at the previously mentioned safety shutoff box. Try replacing this fuse, even if the fuse does not appear to have blown. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: If one of these methods fixes the problem, but the issue returns—call an AC repair company. Your air conditioner may be pulling too much electricity, short circuiting, or overheating (the later two are serious problems). 

Related: Why Does My Furnace Keep Tripping the Circuit Breaker? (Yes, we know it’s about furnaces. But much of the same information applies.)

Look for problems with your condensate drain line

When your air conditioner works, it creates condensation, which is drained out of your home via a drain line. When the humidity is high, condensate lines tend to clog  If this drain line becomes clogged, it will trip a safety switch that shuts down your air conditioner. One way to unclog the drain line is by using a wet/dry vacuum to suck out the blockage. Some homes have a condensate drain pump, which pumps the water out of the home. So if the pump breaks, the same safety switch can get tripped.

Learn more in our article: How to Prevent Thousands of Dollars in Damage from a Clogged Condensate Drain Line

Try resetting the air conditioner

Some air conditioners have ‘reset’ switches near the outside unit. You can try pushing this button to see if it helps. If your air conditioner doesn’t have a reset button, try this:

  1. Turn off your AC at the thermostat

  2. Wait 5 minutes

  3. Turn it back on again

Still having AC problems? Call Pippin Brothers!

If you have made it to the end of this list and you are still not feeling the cool air coming out of your vents, it's time to bring in the experts that homeowners trust for their AC repair in Lawton, OK. Pippin Brothers can assess your central air conditioning and recommend if you will benefit from repair or replacement in the long run. Plus, we can help you schedule regular maintenance for your AC unit so that your cooling issues do not return when the warm summer temperatures do!

Looking to get your air conditioner back up and running, in peak condition? Give Pippin Brothers Home Services a call at 580-215-6491 or get in touch here

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