Why is My Air Conditioner Not Turning On?

There’s nothing better than going into a comfortable, cooled home after a long, hot day. But what if you stepped in the door only to be greeted by a sauna? Worst nightmare, right? If you ever find yourself in this situation asking, “why is my air conditioner not turning on,” this blog is for you.

Your Condenser Won’t Turn On

Have you ever started up your system and your condenser itself won’t start or turn on at all? This could be a wiring or electrical issue. This happens when the rest of your system can start up just fine except the condenser. Oftentimes, this can be traced back to the circuit breaker. The simplest fix is to restart everything. Find the circuit breaker and reset it. When that doesn’t work, it’s on to the next step. The second thing you should check is the thermostat. Thermostats act as the remote control of your entire system. If something is wrong with it, your HVAC system doesn’t know what to do. Start by changing the batteries, then turning the thermostat off and then on again.

The AC Won’t Cool Evenly

Central air conditioning systems are set to cool specific zones of your home. Each zone has a different duct and different command. This ensures every room in your home is at an even temperature. Things feel a little off kilter when only parts of your home are cool. Some rooms feel like an oven while others feel like a freezer. Cool air is distributed through your home through pliable metal tubes called ducts or ductwork. When there is something wrong with your ductwork, it can cut the cool air to a room or zone. Dampers are another important part of ductwork. They control how much air is released into each zone. When dampers malfunction, they unevenly release air or may not release air at all.

The Air Conditioner is On, But Nothing is Coming Out

When your ac is on, but no cool air comes out, that’s a sign of refrigerant loss. Refrigerant is a vital part of an air conditioner’s job. It removes heat from outdoor air. Without refrigerant, you would have no cool air. Most of the time, a condenser will never need a top off or refill of refrigerant. But this changes when there’s a leak or break in the refrigerant line. At Moore Home Services, our technicians are trained and certified to handle refrigerant. It’s a dangerous chemical, therefore, we ask you to leave anything involving refrigerant to a professional.

The Condenser Turns on and Off

There are two reasons why your condenser repeatedly turns on and off. The first is shot cycling and the second is a safety trigger. When your AC short cycles, it means the condenser is working overtime. Either it’s too small to properly cool your home so it’s constantly cycling, and your home never reaches your preferred temperature. The other issue could be that your condenser is too big. When a condenser is too big, a cycle only lasts a fraction of what it should. Which means its constantly turning on and off. The second reason could be a safety issue. One of our favorite things about modern condensers is that they are outfitted with new and improved safety features. One important safety sensor detects pressure. When the pressure in your condenser drops below a certain level it’ll trigger the safety sensor and that will shut down the machine. When your condenser reaches the optimal pressure level again the machine will turn on and start cycling until the pressure drops too much. This is a whole cycle that repeats until you fix it.

Common AC Problems

No matter what it is, it can’t escape the affects of aging. This theory also applies to your condenser. Over time and with enough use, your condenser will start to show its wear and tear and signs of aging. One of the best things you can do to prolong the life of your unit is to schedule regular tune-ups. During an AC tune-up, one of our technicians will look over every part of your unit and give it a good cleaning. You should also be on the lookout for:
  • Wiring – All AC units have a lot of wires running through it. Nearly every component is wired together because it all needs electricity to work. During the summer, vibrations from the condenser can cause wiring to come loose. Your condenser is also an appealing place for bugs and other critters so some wiring could be frayed from bites. No matter what, a Moore Home Services tech will check the wiring during a tune-up.
  • Icy Build Up – The condenser is exposed to the elements. There’s not a lot protecting it. If the air filter were ever to get too full or too dirty, you run the risk of dirt, dust, and other debris coating the unit and the evaporator coils. When this happens, it can cause the unit to ice over. While this may sound nice on a hot day, that ice keeps the cold, none of those icy temperatures actually make it in the home.
  • Dirty Evaporator Coils, Filters, and Condensers – One of the big reasons we always tell homeowners to change their air filter is because this little filter has two big jobs. The first is to keep your indoor air nice and clean. The second is to pull dust, dander, and other debris from your system, keeping it clean.
  • Faulty Motors – Without the fan, air would have nowhere to go, it would just stay in your condenser. Air distribution is made possible by the fan motor. You could face whole system failure if it were to break. Anything that causes the fan motor to run at half-speed or ice over can put too much unnecessary strain on your system.
  • Faulty Compressors – Remember the refrigerant we talked about? That refrigerant does its job with the help of a compressor. The compressor is also something that is easy to fix and replace if something were to go wrong. So, it’s best to make sure it’s running well.
  • Faulty Thermostats – Most HVAC systems would simply cease to function without a working thermostat. A fault thermostat can throw a wrench into any well working system. Make sure your thermostat is working and updated to save time and money.

For the best AC Care, Call Moore Home Services

Moore Home Services offers the best HVAC service to our communities in Santa Rosa, Sacramento, and the North Bay. We believe in building long-lasting relationships with our clients based on trust, respect, and great communication. To schedule service and meet your HVAC expert, call the number at the top of the screen or click here to request an appointment online.