AC Stop Working? DIY Troubleshooting Ideas

If your home’s air conditioner suddenly stops working, most folks immediately think the worst. However, it might be something as simple as a blown fuse, tripped circuit breaker or dirty air filter.

While many problems with your air conditioner will require a professional technician to repair the issue, homeowner’s might be able to fix simple problems with a little DIY troubleshooting.


Below are some troubleshooting ideas to help you address four of the most common problems you may encounter with your air conditioner. It is important to note that many common problems with air conditioners can be caused by lack of maintenence. To help avoid any future maintenence issues, Bunn’s & Bennett recommends you enroll in an annual maintenance plan for your home’s heating and cooling systems.

For more information about the maintenance plans we offer at Bunn’s & Bennett please click here

Your Air Conditioner Won’t Turn On

If your air conditioner won’t turn on, first check your outside unit to determine if the system is operating. Make sure your thermostat is set properly.

It sounds simple, but lower your thermostat 5 to 10 degrees and see if that causes your system to turn on. Also, and make sure your thermostat is set to cool. Then check to see if a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker is to blame.

If your air conditioner still will not turn on or your coil is frozen, you may have a problem with your motor or compressor. If this is the case you will need to contact a professional technician to repair your system.

Your Air Conditioner Is Not Cooling the Air

If your air conditioner will turn on, and your thermostat is set properly, but your system is not cooling you may have a dirty or blocked air condenser. Your first step is to check the outside unit and clean around and remove any debris or weeds that are blocking air circulation.

Next, check your filter and make sure it is clean. A dirty air filter can restrict the air to the evaporator coil causing the coil to freeze. If you have pets or run your system often, you may need to change your filter more frequently. An easy way to test for a clean/dirty filter is to hold it up to a light and check if you can see through it.

If your air conditioner is still not working properly, you may have a problem with your compressor or refrigerant and will need to contact a professional.

Your Air Conditioner Isn’t Adequately Cooling Your Home

If your air conditioner is on and set properly but is still not cooling your home to your standards, you may have a unit that is not sized appropriately for your home.

Keep in mind that your system should be sized to keep your home cool on the average summer day.

The average system should be able to maintain a 20-25 degree temperature difference between the outdoor and indoor temperature. In other words, your air conditioner is not designed to keep your home at 65 degrees when it is 95 degrees outside.

If it is a normal summer day and your air conditioner still can’t keep up, you may have a problem with the charge or a frozen evaporator coil. If you see icing on your outdoor unit, shut it off and call a professional.

Bunn’s & Bennett Heating and Air Conditioning is a licensed and insured HVAC contractor. We’ve been serving homeowner’s in Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley for more than 32 years.

If you have issues with your home’s comfort system, call us today or email us at [email protected].

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