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Question Corner: Why Isn’t My Air Conditioner Starting?

Topics: AC Maintenance, Air Conditioner, HVAC System

It’s a frequent problem we hear: my air conditioner isn’t working. If you find yourself without a functioning air conditioner in the heat of summer, you need an answer — fast.

In order to identify why your air conditioner isn’t starting, there are a few things you can do before calling in a professional.

  1. Make sure the thermostat is set to COOL.

Okay, this is a little bit like the computer repair technician asking if you’ve restarted your computer. Chances are, it is set to COOL, but it’s best to be sure, right? While you’re checking, make sure the thermostat is set a few degrees below the indoor temperature.

  1. Look for blown fuses or tripped circuits.

Just like when you try to use the microwave and kettle at the same time, there could have been a power surge that is blocking electricity from getting to your air conditioner. Check your home’s main circuit panel (or fuse box if you’re in an older house) and if the circuit is tripped, flip it back on.

Note: if the problem is that a circuit was tripped, but it keeps happening, call in an A/C repair professional. It could mean that your air conditioning unit is pulling too much electricity, overheating, or short circuiting.

  1. Look for an emergency or shut-off switch.

Many air conditioning units have a shut-off switch near the outside unit. It may have been left in the “off” position by accident. There could also be a power switch on the inside unit near your furnace. It normally looks like a light switch and can be easy to accidentally flip to the “off” position.

Some units also have a reset switch. If yours does, you can turn off your unit at the thermostat, wait five minutes, then turn it back on. Again, if it fixes the problem but only temporarily, there’s likely a bigger issue and you’ll need to call in a professional.

  1. Check the drain line.

If condensation clogs your air conditioner’s drain line, that could cause a problem. It may be possible to unclog the drain line using a wet/dry vacuum, or you can call in a professional. If you have a drain pump and that pump breaks, it could also cause problems.

  1. Call in a professional.

If you’ve tried these steps and your air conditioner still isn’t working, it’s time to call in an HVAC professional. If your unit is older, it could have reached the end of its lifespan or there could be a mechanical issue inside that only a technician can fix. Either way, it’s time to get outside help.

You don’t have to do your HVAC troubleshooting alone. If your air conditioner isn’t working, HomeBridge Canada’s qualified comfort consultants can help you identify the issue.

We offer heating and air conditioning services across Barrie, Orillia, Innisfil, Midland, Coldwater, Bradford, Horseshoe Valley, Alliston, and more.

Contact us today: call 1-866-876-9986 or visit www.homebridgecanada.com.