Ah, the end of winter: a favorite time of year for many Californians. The end of winter means breaking out your new swimwear (or your new beach body). It means making friends with ice cream again (although to be honest, some of us are chummy with ice cream all year ‘round). It means cranking up the AC so that you can always be comfortable indoors no matter how cold it becomes outside. However, what are you supposed to do if your AC won’t turn on? It might sound like the stuff of nightmares, but this situation happens to many California residents each year. We’re not trying to scare you—we want you to be prepared so that you know what to do in case such an emergency occurs.
There are several reasons why an AC might not turn on, but it isn’t always easy to tell what the nature of the problem is. Fortunately, knowing where to look for advice can help you out a lot, and we have plenty of perspectives to offer. Below is our guide to putting your air conditioner back in action if you’re experiencing an end of winter AC outage. Use what you learn in this article to stay chill all summer long.
Seven Reasons Your AC Won’t Turn On
The following problems account for most of the possible explanations why your AC won’t turn on. Study the list carefully so that you have an idea of what might be wrong with your system when it’s reluctant to start.
- A Circuit Breaker Has Been Tripped
If you’re using too many electrical appliances in your home at one time, it could overload your circuit breaker. When that happens, the breaker is designed to trip so that it can prevent a possible fire in your home. Once it has been tripped, you may experience power outages in numerous parts of your home. It is not uncommon for AC systems to be affected.
- A Fuse is Blown
When you have a blown fuse, you can’t supply power to your electrical systems. However, it can be difficult to know whether your fuse is blown without equipment such as a multimeter. Most licensed electricians and HVAC technicians have multimeters, but it’s also quite easy to purchase one at your local hardware store. As soon as you get your hands on one, test your fuses to see whether they’re the cause of your problem.
- An Air Filter is Clogged
Your air filters are responsible for keeping contaminants out of the air that flows through the ducts in your air conditioning system and into your home. However, many people neglect their filters, and over time they can become clogged due to negligence. When this occurs, it may obstruct the flow of air through your system, and you may no longer feel cool air blowing from your air conditioner. For best results, change your filters once every month.
- The Evaporator Coil is Dirty
If enough dirt or dust makes its way past your filter and into your air conditioning system, it often settles on the evaporator coil. Once the evaporator coil becomes dirty enough, your air conditioner may suffer from significant efficiency problems and even break down entirely.
- Your Motor is Faulty
Did you hear any strange sounds before your air conditioner gave up and called it quits? They might be the result of a problem with the blower motor. When your blower motor stops working, it can prevent any air from moving through the system at all. This can be an expensive problem to fix, so make sure to have a licensed professional give you a quote.
- The Wiring in Your Home is Damaged
Your AC is a mechanical system, but it relies upon electrical power. If the wires that supply that electricity are faulty, you may find yourself without consistent and reliable AC service. Check to see if other appliances or systems have also failed. If they have and your circuits/plugs are okay, then you may need to contact an electrician and have them check the state of the wiring in your home.
- Your Thermostat Needs Replacement
Sometimes the problem isn’t with the AC or the electrical systems that supply power to it. In some instances, your thermostat is simply broken (or even just turned off). Check the batteries, look at the manual to see that it’s set correctly, and then see if the problem goes away.
If Your AC Still Won’t Turn On, Call for Help
When your AC doesn’t turn on, you deserve to know why. Take a look at the above list and use it to gain a better idea of what might be happening. Then call a licensed pro for help if you haven’t managed to figure out what’s wrong. An experienced professional will be able to diagnose the problem with confidence and solve it decisively.