Troubleshooting Your A/C That Won't Turn On.

Need Air Conditioning Repairs? Try Our A/C Troubleshooting Tips First

May 17, 2024

When your A/C system is on its last leg or in big-time repair trouble, you may be on the edge of needing a new unit. However, before you rush to schedule a replacement, there are some problems that are relatively minor and easy to fix that may lengthen the longevity of your unit. Here are ways to troubleshoot some of the more common A/C problems and what you can do to get the cool air flowing again.

Why Won’t My A/C Turn On?

When your air conditioner won't turn on, your main concern is likely to get it working again. There are a few simple steps to take to troubleshoot your A/C malfunction before calling a professional for help:

Change Your Air Conditioning Filter

The air filters in your HVAC system help keep your indoor air clean. They also help maintain the internal airflow that your air conditioner needs to work properly. If the filters get clogged and dirty, this airflow will be impeded and the A/C may not work. Try putting in a clean filter and see if the air conditioner can be turned on.

Check If Your Thermostat Is Not Working

Many programmable thermostats control both heating and cooling systems in your home. If the thermostat is set for heating when you want cooling, the air conditioner won't turn on. Check your thermostat to see that it has been set to the correct operational mode. Similarly, if the temperature settings at the thermostat are set too high, the A/C won't turn on. Change the temperature to something more appropriate for the season.

It’s also important to check your thermostat batteries if you are running into issues. When the batteries go dead, the thermostat won't work and the lack of signal prevents the air conditioner from turning on. If the screen on the thermostat is blank, put in new batteries and see if the A/C starts up. If the screen doesn't come on after installing fresh batteries, you may need to replace the entire thermostat.

See If Your A/C Is Leaking Refrigerant

Refrigerant is a liquid that flows through your air conditioner and is critical to the system's cooling function. When the A/C loses refrigerant through leaks, the air conditioner won't work correctly. If you believe you may have a refrigerant leak, we recommend calling a professional HVAC technician to check for and fix any leaks in the refrigerant lines and add more coolant to restore the air conditioning unit’s operation.

Common A/C Troubleshooting Questions & Answers

We’ve answered some of the most common questions we get about A/C problems; after over 120 years in the industry, we’ve got the insights you need to troubleshoot your A/C issues and determine if you need air conditioning repairs from our licensed HVAC technicians.

How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?

In general, an air conditioner should last 10 to 15 years, but this can vary according to a number of factors. With regular A/C tune-ups and preventative maintenance, your A/C can last 15 years or more. With neglect or overuse, an A/C may only last 10 years. When it’s time to invest in a new HVAC system, be sure to consider your home’s cooling needs, along with other factors like unit efficiency and budget priorities. Reach out to Lozier if you have questions about whether you should repair or replace your A/C.

Why Is My A/C Running But Not Blowing Cold Air?

If your A/C is blowing hot air, you may have a blocked or clogged condenser coil, low refrigerant, ice buildup or you may need to change your air conditioning filter. Some of these issues require a simple fix and some may be indicators of a bigger problem. It’s always a good idea to have an HVAC technician look at your A/C unit, help you diagnose your problem and offer repair recommendations.

Why Is My Air Conditioning Unit Making Loud Noise?

Your air conditioner will make some noise, but it should not make loud grinding, screeching or whirring noises. Unusual noises coming from your A/C unit could be caused by a faulty fan motor, a bad compressor or another electrical or mechanical issue in the A/C system. Here are some common reasons for the following unusual noises:

  • Grinding: Grinding noises indicate a failing blower motor. Turn off your A/C and contact your HVAC technician.
  • Squealing: Squealing may also indicate a blower problem, but more often it indicates a loose blower assembly. This problem doesn't require A/C replacement, but does require a visit from an HVAC professional.
  • Whirring: A whining, whirring or droning noise is indicative of a failing compressor — the heart of your A/C system. It’s likely time to start planning your A/C replacement.
  • Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

    If you see extra moisture or leaks around your A/C unit, there may be an issue with one or more parts of the refrigerant system. We recommend checking the condition of your air conditioner's condensate drain and pump, refrigerant levels, drain line and air filter.

    Why Is My A/C Cooling But Not Removing Humidity?

    When your A/C is working properly, it should remove humidity from your house. If your house is humid with your A/C running, it could be a problem with leaky ductwork or dirty evaporator coils — or you may need to replace your aging air conditioner. As an A/C unit ages, it becomes less effective at cooling your home and removing humidity from the air. A technician from Lozier Heating & Cooling will be able to help you understand why your house feels muggy with the A/C running.

    If You’re In Need Of Air Conditioning Repairs, Call The Experts At Lozier

    When it seems like repairs are never-ending, it’s time to retire your old A/C and invest in a new efficient system that will keep your home cool for years. If you suspect your A/C system is on its last leg, simply call Lozier at (515) 267-1000, text us at (515) 393-4262 or submit a service request online to schedule an appointment.