Why Your AC Won’t Turn On

You go to turn on the AC on a hot summer day, and nothing happens. You turn it off, turn it back on again, and still nothing. If your AC won't turn on, here are some common reasons why it might not be working and what you should do next.

Reasons Why Your AC Won’t Turn On

Check the Thermostat

Double-check your thermostat is set to cool. Check that the AC is on and put it five degrees below how cool you want it. Sometimes the thermostat won’t trigger the AC to turn on if it’s at the desired temperature, so setting it below that will hopefully start it. If not, check the thermostat batteries and replace them. If that still doesn’t kick your AC on, there may be an issue with the AC or the thermostat, and you’ll need an HVAC technician to diagnose the core issue.

Change the Air Filter

If your AC senses it can’t blow air through the filter, it may not turn on because it will be overworking to get through a dirty filter. Forgetting to change out the filter is easy to do, and dirty filters are one of the top reasons for AC problems. If you have a dirty filter in your system, turn off your AC and put in a fresh one. Give it about five minutes or so, then turn on the AC and see if it starts.

Look for a Tripped Circuit Breaker or Blown Fuse

A tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse in the house is known to be a head-scratcher for many homeowners who might not realize this can cause all sorts of appliances not to turn on. It’s often the last place they check when dealing with an AC that won’t turn on. Check your breaker box and see if there is a breaker that has been tripped.

Is the Emergency Shut-off Switch Tripped?

Outside, next to your air conditioning, should be a metal box connected to the unit. Check to see if the switch is off. While most people will never need to touch this, the technician may have forgotten to turn it back on again if a technician recently worked on your AC. Wait about five minutes after flipping it back on before turning on your AC.

Does Your AC Have an Inside Power Switch?

Some AC units have an indoor power switch as well where the unit is housed. Look for a light switch, flip it, wait a few minutes, then see if your AC kicks on.

Be on the Hunt for Ice

Check the outside unit for any signs of ice or frost. If you see ice, turn your AC off, but keep the fan on auto. Also, check your filter to see if it needs to be changed. Let the fan run and wait until the ice or frost is completely gone. Then you can try to turn on the AC and see if it starts working. If not, it’s time to call the professionals.

Call A.B. May When Your AC Won’t Turn On

If you’ve tried a handful of the above troubleshooting steps and still your AC won't turn on, chances are something bigger is happening. Call us or contact A.B. May today and let our team come out and inspect your air conditioning unit. Our expert technicians can determine why your AC won’t turn on and what to do next to get your home cool again.