Why is My AC Not Turning On?

One of the most unpleasant things we can think of is when your AC goes out on one of the days of summer. There are more than a few reasons you may ask yourself why is my AC not turning on?

Though it’s spring, we’re already starting to feel the warm temperatures and more people are starting up their central cooling for the first time in a season. At ASI, we recommend two HVAC tune-ups per year. Once in the spring and once in the fall.

However, some daredevils like to skip the maintenance all together. If you’re one of those people, here are some things to watch for if your AC will not turn on or if something feels just a little off.

The AC Unit or Condenser Won’t Turn On

Sometimes, when your outdoor condenser won’t start up, the circuit breaker could be to blame. There are times when something tripped it.

To test this theory, locate the circuit breaker panel and reset everything.

There are moments when resetting the circuit breaker won’t do anything. When this happens, your next step should be to check the thermostat.

The thermostat is like the tv remote to your entire system. When it’s not working, your system won’t work properly.

Sometimes, all it takes to fix this is to change the batteries. When that doesn’t work, it’s time to call the professionals. It could either be a wiring problem or an issue with the thermostat itself.

The AC Doesn’t Cool Evenly

When you have central AC, there are metal tubes that run though the inside of your walls called ducts or ductwork. They transport treated air from your HVAC system to the rest of your home. These tubes are sized to match every room of the home.

When one room is cool and comfortable while another feels like a sauna, that could be an indicator there’s a problem with your ductwork. With time and use small cracks and fissures can form in your ductwork which can potentially clog a duct. This is a reason your home isn’t being evenly cooled.

When installing ductwork, we make sure to install dampers. These are essentially the air traffic controllers for your HVAC system. Dampers tell air where to go and how much should be going to a specific location.

You could also be looking at issues with your dampers if the AC doesn’t evenly cool your home.

The AC Doesn’t Cool at All

It’s a whole different problem when the AC is on but no cool air is coming from any vents in your home. Oftentimes, this is a sign that the refrigerant in your system is running low or there is a leak somewhere.

When it comes to dealing with refrigerant, we’re asking you to please leave this to the professionals. Refrigerant is dangerous.

All the HVAC techs at ASI are EPA certified and know how to handle refrigerant.

The Condenser Repeatedly Turns on and Off

One of the great things about modern AC systems that they’re equipped with a lot of safety sensors. There are times when your AC will not turn on that it could be attributed to a safety switch being tripped.

When the pressure inside your condenser drops below a certain level, it triggers a safety alert and the whole system shuts down. The system starts up again when the pressure rises and the whole cycle just goes on and on.

This pressure can affect the temperature and refrigerant levels in your condenser. All of which can change the functionality of the condenser.

When this happens, an ASI HVAC tech will come out, look at your condenser, and see what is causing the safety triggers to go off.

Why is my AC Not Turning On? Common Causes of AC Problems

Just like almost every other thing, your air conditioner ages. And with that age comes a slow decline in functions and abilities. No air conditioner can escape the aging process. However, there are a few things you can do to expand its life. Here are some things to watch for and fix as soon as possible:

  • Wiring – Without electricity, your HVAC system wouldn’t work. It needs that electrical connection. Which means there are a bunch of wires to worry about. Some are behind walls while some are above ground. Critters, pests, and even the outside elements can cause wiring to break, erode, or be damaged in different ways.
  • Refrigerant Shortages – Refrigerant is the thing that pulls heat out of air. It’s essential to the whole cooling process. For the most part, it never needs to be refilled. The exception to this is that your refrigerant line can develop leaks. This causes refrigerant to drip out and contaminate the air supply.
  • Icy Build Up When something is not working properly in your AC unit, it can cause ice to build up on the evaporator coils, pipes or even outside the unit. Most of the time this can be attributed to a dirty air filter.You’ll know what’s going on because you won’t feel anything at all. The cold, icy air stays in your condenser and can’t make the journey to your home.
  • Short CyclingShort cycling happens when your HVAC system constantly turns on and off and is unable to complete a full cycle. It happens when your AC can’t reach the designated temperature or reaches that temperature too soon. Either way, your system is doing twice as much work for the same amount of air.
  • Dirty Evaporator Coils, Filters and Condensers – Other than scheduling regular tune-ups, the best thing you can do for your HVAC system is to frequently change your air filter.Not only does it improve the quality of air in your home, but it also helps keep dust and other debris out of your HVAC system. With enough buildup, this dust and debris can make it hard for your HVAC system to preform at peak efficiency.
  • Faulty Motors The blower motor is an essential part of your air conditioner. If the motor were it to run at half speed or freeze over it would put a lot of unnecessary stress and strain on the system. During a tune-up, a tech will let you know if there are any issues with your motor.
  • Faulty Compressors Your compressor has an important job. It’s responsible for pumping compressed refrigerant throughout the air conditioner system, essentially cooling air.The compressor is something that can be replaced. When it starts to go bad, it’s best to replace the compressor so you’re not stuck replacing your whole system.
  • Faulty Thermostats Thermostats are not being left behind in our “smart” revolution. There are now thermostats that can talk to your phone. When we see issues with thermostats, it’s usually in older models that need to be replaced.A newer thermostat will help San Diego homeowners save time, money, and trouble.

Call the White Glove Guys for the Best AC Care in San Diego

At ASI, we like to call ourselves the best in the business for a reason. We’ve been in the HVAC and plumbing industry for almost 70 years. Over that time, we’ve come to learn how to be leaders in our industry through trust, communication, and great customer service.

To schedule an appointment with our experts, call the number at the top of the screen or click here to request an appointment online.