Frustrated by an air conditioner that won’t start?

There’s not much that’s worse than when you need to use your air conditioner and it won’t start.

Whether it’s the first time you’ve used it all year, or you just know you’ll need it more and more as the temperatures rise, it’s frustrating to find that your air conditioning system isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do.

There are four main things you can check yourself (if you’re comfortable doing so!) before calling anyone out and paying a service fee.

These are relatively common reasons for air conditioning issues, and you can save yourself time and money if you’re able to identify and resolve the issue in your home.

1. Is your thermostat set to cool?

I know it sounds silly, but if you have anyone at all living with you, it’s worth checking. Particularly when the weather is very temperate, it’s common for people to simply turn their AC off entirely to enjoy the nice weather. This is one of the first things we look into when we receive calls for air conditioning issues.

2. Do you have a tripped circuit breaker?

Now of course, it’s possible this was simply turned off for some reason (maybe you had someone out to do work on your home or your property). But if you notice that your circuit breaker is tripping repeatedly, there may be an underlying problem.

You should definitely check the main circuit breaker for your home, but there should also be a breaker box by your condenser (the outside part of your air conditioning system) according to building code. That’s usually helpful when you’re getting your HVAC system serviced, but as the home owner, you’re certainly free to check and see if it’s tripped.

3. Is your indoor unit draining properly?

The indoor part of your HVAC system is often in a closet or in your attic. There’s an evaporator coil that collects condensation, and a drain pan underneath it that should have a safety precaution to shut off the unit when the system isn’t draining properly.

If your air conditioner isn’t working, it may be shut off for safety purposes for something like this (to prevent water damage from leaks). Notice a clog? If you can get it safely unclogged, your system should begin draining properly, the safety feature will turn off, and your air conditioner will get back to work!

4. What’s the blower doing?

If the outside part of your unit appears to be working properly, but the inside isn’t getting any airflow, it’s possible that there’s an issue with your blower. Typically, your blower is near your furnace.

You can check for a tripped circuit, and if that’s the issue, flipping the switch back to “on” should help. It’s also possible that the blower motor isn’t functioning properly. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to call in a professional.

One cause I didn’t include: a broken thermostat. It’s entirely possible that your thermostat is broken if you aren’t getting any cool air, but our technicians have found that to be the issue on very few of their site visits.

If you aren’t comfortable checking for one of these four reasons—or the issue is something other than these four—or you’re just tired of sweating and want someone to fix it, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.

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