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Why Won’t My AC Turn On?


There’s no worse feeling than trying to turn on the air conditioner only to find that it won’t run. If you want to try troubleshooting the issues on your own first, here are some things to do before calling an HVAC company for help.

Check the Thermostat Setting

Make sure it’s set to “cool.” This is a simple user error that may resolve the problem immediately. For good measure, set the temperature 5 degrees below the current ambient temperature, and see if the AC kicks on.

Reset the Circuit Breaker

If there was a power surge, the circuit breaker might have tripped. Check the electrical panel, resetting any tripped breakers you find by first flipping them to the “off” position, then back “on.”

NOTE: If this fixes the problem but the breaker trips again shortly after, don’t keep resetting it. Your AC may be short circuiting, overheating, or pulling too much electricity, all of which are problematic. Contact a repair technician to come take a look at your system.

Change the Air Filter

The purpose of an air filter is to trap airborne particles and stop them from landing on the HVAC equipment. If it’s been a long time since you last changed the filter, it could be:

  • Clogged so severely that it’s restricting airflow
  • Causing the evaporator coil to freeze up or the blower motor to overheat and shut off

So, check the filter. If it appears dirty, replace it. Then, remember to check it once a month and replace it at least every three months.

Check the Indoor and Outdoor Power Switches

Most outdoor air conditioning units have an emergency shut-off switch in a metal box mounted to the side of the house. If someone recently performed a repair, they may have left the switch off by mistake. Check this switch to see if that’s why your AC won’t turn on.

Also, check for a switch near your furnace that shuts off power to the indoor blower. Since the air conditioner shares a fan with the furnace, no power at this switch could prevent the entire cooling system from coming on. Make sure the switch is in the “on” position, and try running the AC again.

Reset the Air Conditioner

Your AC may have a reset switch near the outdoor unit. Push this button to see if it helps. If you don’t see a reset button, try turning off the AC at the thermostat. Wait five minutes, and then turn it back on.

Inspect the Condensate Drain Line

Air conditioners have two functions:

  • They remove heat from indoor air.
  • They dehumidify the space.

Condensation from newly cooled air drips from the evaporator coil into the condensate pan and down a drain line. On particularly humid Florida afternoons, the condensate can accumulate rapidly. If the drain line is clogged, the pan could overflow and cause water damage.

Fortunately, a failsafe is in place to shut off your air conditioner if the pan starts to fill up or the condensate drain pump, a feature found in some homes, breaks down. Check the condensate drain pan for excess water, and clean the drain with a shop vac or special pump designed for this purpose.

Schedule AC Repair in Polk County

If you’re still having problems with your AC not turning on, it’s time to call an AC repair company in Orlando. Iceberg Cooling specializes in fast, reliable air conditioning repair that’s done right the first time around. We’re here for you day and night, weekend and holiday, to ensure your Florida home is always comfortable.

Call us today at (863) 223-1849 to schedule AC repair or to request emergency 24-hour services in Winter Haven, Lakewood, or anywhere in Polk County, FL!

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