When it’s a steamy summer day, homeowners in Florida rely on their AC to kick on and keep their home cool through the soaring temperatures—but what happens if it doesn’t?
Before you call in the experts, we’ll walk you through some troubleshooting tips if your AC won’t turn on. Hopefully, this advice will solve your problem, but if all else fails, R.E. Long Services is here to help.
Before you start …
If you are unfamiliar with electrical work, we recommend that you hire a professional to diagnose your air conditioner. Please do not attempt to tackle electrical work if you are ill-prepared or inexperienced.
Why Won’t My AC Turn On?
First, we’ll go through a few possible reasons why your AC won’t turn on. Then we’ll walk you through some maintenance steps to keep this problem at bay.
Problem #1: Thermostat Trouble
The thermostat is responsible for maintaining a comfortable temperature, as well as turning on the AC when it’s needed. The thermostat contains a set of electronic circuits that control the temperature in your home and communicate with the cooling unit to turn the compressor on and off.
If your thermostat is working properly, the air-conditioning unit should turn on when the temperature reaches the preset thermostat setting. If the unit won’t turn on, check the temperature inside and outside. When the temperature inside is hotter than outside, the AC should kick on automatically. If the unit doesn’t turn on, you may have a thermostat problem.
What to do:
Your thermostat could be malfunctioning or it could simply be set incorrectly. This is surprisingly one of the most common reasons why an AC won’t turn on and luckily it’s the easiest to fix.
Be sure your thermostat is set to “cool” or “on,” and double-check that the temperature didn’t get bumped to an incorrect level. Too low of a temperature can result in a unit that runs continuously, which can wear it down prematurely. Too high of a setting can leave you sweating it out while you wait for it to kick on.
On average, most people set their thermostat somewhere between 70-75 degrees year-round but units typically have a range between 60 and 80 degrees to accommodate a wide array of individual preferences.
Check the temperature of the room where your thermostat is located. If that room is significantly warmer or cooler than the rest of the house it can affect how often the unit kicks on. Place your thermostat in a central location for the best results.
If your thermostat has a digital display that is not working properly there is usually a manual override switch on the back of the device that you can adjust manually.
Problem #2: Your Ac Unit Has A Break In The Power Cord
From time to time, you may need to check your connection at your electrical panel. Your AC unit is plugged into a breaker, which is a fuse box that protects your home from electrical damage.
You should check your power cord for any breaks, damage, or tears. Inspect your unit carefully, if the cord feels loose or your feel any warm spots on the AC unit, you may have a break in the power cord.
What to do:
If you have sufficient electrical experience you may be able to replace the power cord on your own, but for most people, it is best to call an electrician. Don’t risk a nasty shock or damaging your AC unit further, let the experts at R.E. Long Services replace your cord safely and easily.
Problem #3: Your AC Tripped the Circuit Breaker
If your AC won’t turn on, it might be because it tripped the circuit breaker. To check for this, locate the fuse box in your home and look for the switch associated with your AC unit. If the breaker is flipped to a different direction than the other switches, the circuit may have been tripped.
What to do:
If this is the case, simply try resetting the breaker to the correct position and attempt to turn on your AC. If it still doesn’t work or it becomes a recurring problem, contact R.E. Long Services and let our experts identify the problem.
Problem #4: AC Capacitator Died
What is an air conditioning capacitator? A capacitor is a device that stores electricity and releases it at a later time. It’s used in air conditioners to smooth out the power that comes from the electrical grid and provide a steady stream of power for the air conditioning unit.
If the AC capacitor stops working you may find that the AC compressor will repeatedly start running, and then stop, resetting every few minutes. In some cases, the AC may not turn on at all.
What to do:
You can test this capacitor by checking the AC voltage at the AC capacitor terminals using a multimeter. Be sure to shut off the power supply first and short the terminals with a screwdriver to avoid shock. If there’s no voltage detected, it may be time to replace the capacitor.
Before you buy a new capacitor, you can inspect the current one to see if it’s bad. Old capacitors may have bulged appearance or there may be an oily substance leaking from the top.
How to Maintain Your AC
Air conditioners have to work hard to cool your home, especially during the hottest days. Even when your air conditioner is working, you’ll need service maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape. It’s important to have your unit inspected by a professional, such as R.E.Long, at least once a year to address minor problems before they turn into costly repairs.
Lack of routine maintenance is one of the most common reasons why ACs fail, so what are the best ways to maintain your air conditioner?
1. Change the Air Filters
Scheduled air filter maintenance will help ensure that your air conditioner runs efficiently and lasts longer. Air filters need to be changed every 60-90 days, depending upon the quality of the air in your home, and they should be checked monthly to ensure they are performing at maximum capacity. If you have allergies, you may want to consider changing the air filter once every 30 days to keep allergens out of your air.
2. Check the Ductwork
Inspect your ductwork for leaks and clogs. Leaky or dirty ductwork can cause your AC to work too hard to cool the house even when the temperature is not that high. This can wear down your unit and drive your energy bill up. Consider having your ducts cleaned every 2-3 years to keep your system running smoothly.
3. Clear Away Outdoor Plants
Inspect your outdoor AC unit and remove any plants, leaves, or trash from around the unit condenser. Although they may not appear to interfere with the operation of your system, they can cause the compressor to work harder. This will result in higher energy bills and may cause the unit to break down earlier than it otherwise would.
4. Check the Drainage
It’s also important to check the drainage of the AC unit. You can do this by getting a garden hose and running it through the drainage line. Take a look at the drainage hole (not the drain) and make sure it’s not clogged. If it is, use a pipe cleaner to get rid of any debris.
5. Clean the evaporator and Condenser Coils
It is important to clean the evaporator and condenser coils regularly to ensure the proper functioning of the AC. The AC condenser coils are copper coils that are located on the backside of the outdoor unit under a protective grill. If the coils are not cleaned, they accumulate dust and other particles and this causes the air coming out of the blower to be very hot.
6. Check the Power Supply of the AC
Another important step for AC maintenance is to test the power supply. Always check the quality of the power supply before use. In case of any issues contact a professional to determine the next steps
AC Won’t Turn on? We Can Help
If you’re stuck in Florida with an AC that won’t turn on, please contact R.E.Long Services for help. We can get your AC in working order with repair and maintenance. Call us today to learn more!