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Why Your Air Conditioning System Isn’t Turning On

man-a-fan-a-planWe’ve written before about the signs to watch for that will warn you it’s time to schedule professional air conditioning repair in Fresno, CA. But no sign is clearer that you have an air conditioner in trouble than when the air conditioner just won’t turn on when you need it.

Please don’t panic if you find you’ve got a non-responsive air conditioning system. In many cases, there’s a simple issue behind it and you won’t need to call for a repair technician. Once you’ve eliminated the basic explanations, then you should turn to an HVAC professional. Do not open up either cabinet of your AC system and attempt to do repairs on your own!

Troubleshooting Steps for a Failed AC

When the AC won’t come on, go through the following steps to see if the problem is a minor one you can easily correct.

  • Look over the thermostat: Maybe this seems too basic, but you’d be surprised how many times we’ve arrived at a home for an AC emergency and discovered the trouble was someone mis-setting the air conditioner or playing around with the controls. (This often happens in homes with children.) Make sure the thermostat is programmed the way you want it.
  • Check/change the air filter: Another common hassle for an air conditioner is a clogged-up air filter that needs to be changed. The AC may shut down if the filter is excessively clogged. If the AC filter is extremely dirty, put in a new one—and continue to do this every 1–3 months.
  • Check the circuit breaker panel: An air conditioning system draws on large amounts of electricity, and it may cause a circuit breaker to trip. Reset any tripped breakers and try the AC again. If it keeps tripping the breaker, there’s probably an electrical issue and you’ll need pros on the job.
  • Check on the condensate pan: Below the indoor unit of the air conditioner is a shallow pan that collects the condensate that drips down from the evaporator coils. If the pan is overflowing because of a clogged condensate drain, this will trigger a switch that will shut down the system. If this is the case, we recommend calling for professionals who can use compressed air to clear the drain line.
  • Find the AC shut-off switch: You might not know about this switch. It allows people to turn off the AC during colder weather so it won’t accidentally turn on during a brief warm spell. The switch is usually located under a lid near to the outside cabinet. It may have been switched on accidentally, especially if the switch is inside the home.

Leave the Rest to Us

There are many other reasons the AC may not be turning on: The compressor has failed. There is a problem with the electrical board. The thermostat has lost its connection to the unit. A motor has burned out. All of these problems must be left to HVAC professionals to repair. Amateur fix-it attempts can often make the problem worse and may void the system’s warranty.

Call on Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning for your AC repair needs. “Quality Is the Cornerstone of Our Success” since 1952.

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