What Should You Do if Your Louisville Cooling System Stops Working?

On hot days in Louisville, the thermostat in your home may be pushed to the limit. Summertime temperatures can be hard on your air conditioning system, especially if your unit isn’t operating at peak capacity. Age, wear, and thermostat mistakes can be hard on heat pumps, central air conditioning units, and mechanical cooling systems, which is why it’s important to schedule system maintenance each spring and call for repairs as soon as you spot any trouble with your cooling system.

While it can be hard to spot issues, being able to troubleshoot cooling problems could help you resolve issues with your fan, thermostat, battery, power components, or switches early on, so you can avoid air conditioning shutdowns when the temperature is climbing outdoors. If your cooling system won’t turn on, try these helpful troubleshooting steps to keep heat from building inside your home. By addressing issues with your cooling system, you may be able to protect your comfort and save money on HVAC repair services.

What Would Make an AC Unit Not Turn On?

There’s a reason air conditioning problems sometimes require professional repairs. Since heat pumps and air conditioners have several moving parts, it can be difficult for homeowners to find and resolve the problem on their own. However, by checking a few simple issues, you may be able to resolve cooling problems before having a team of HVAC experts dispatched to your home. Here are a few elements of your HVAC system you should check before placing an AC repair service call when your cooling system won’t turn on.

  • Not Receiving Power
  • Improper Thermostat Settings
  • Clogged Filters
  • Block Condensate Drainage Line

What Can I Do to Start My Broken Air Conditioner?

While our HVAC professionals here at Jarboe’s can fix just about anything, we recommend taking care of a little troubleshooting before submitting a service call to save time and money. Check these troubleshooting steps off of your list before you give us a call, as you may be able to fix your problem sooner than you think.

Power Issues That Could Cause AC Problems

Oftentimes, simple power supply problems can be the cause of a non-functional mechanical cooling system. Before you make any other changes, check to see if your air conditioner is receiving power by inspecting all of the switches and electrical breakers that control your equipment. Here are three places to check for power problems:

  • Thermostat: Many thermostats are designed to run off of battery power. Look for a low battery alert on your thermostat or a lack of digital display that could indicate a lack of power. Replace the batteries inside your thermostat to see if that restores power to the unit so it is able to trigger your air conditioner to start a cooling cycle.

  • Main Electrical Panel: Look inside your home’s electrical panel to check for circuit breakers that may be tripped. Tripped switches are flipped to the OFF position and the switch needs to be reset. Sometimes, the switch may be very slightly out of place, so flip them the other way, and then turn them to the ON position to reset it.

  • Indoor and Outdoor Unit: Both your indoor air handler and your outdoor air conditioning unit or heat pump have an ON/OFF switch or circuit breaker either on the unit or affixed to the exterior wall. Ensure that the switch is in the ON position.

Thermostat Problems That Could Prevent Proper AC Function

Oftentimes, homeowners have their thermostats set in ways that prevent air conditioning systems from operating properly. Since your thermostat is the device that gauges ambient air temperature and communicates with the rest of your cooling equipment, issues could prevent your thermostat from triggering the cooling response. If your air conditioner doesn’t start up when your home is warm, check your thermostat for these problems.

  • Set to “COOL”: Inspect your thermostat, and make sure the device is set to COOL instead of HEAT. Some smart thermostats also have a third setting, which is HEAT AND COOL. Make sure your thermostat is set to either COOL or HEAT AND COOL so the system will trigger the air conditioning response.

  • Current Settings: Check to make sure that the settings on your air conditioner are a few degrees lower than the current room temperature so a cooling cycle would trigger. Oftentimes, air conditioners don’t turn on simply because the room temperature hasn’t reached a low enough setpoint to prompt the system to send the appropriate signal to cool your household. To you, it may feel warm enough for cooling but the actual temperature has not yet reached the setpoint, leading you to believe the air conditioning won’t turn on.

  • Dust Buildup: Anytime dust and debris build up on wiring connections and sensors inside your thermostat, your air conditioner may not turn on when it should. This occurs because dirt can interfere with appropriate signal communication between your thermostat and the air conditioner. If your air conditioner isn’t turning on, remove the face place and dust off the internal connections before reattaching it. Always make sure your faceplate sits flush and level, so the connections are properly seated.

  • Replacement: Since thermostats are handled frequently, they may need to be replaced before the rest of your HVAC equipment. If your air conditioner isn’t turning on and your thermostat is many years old, it may be time to replace the device. HVAC specialists can test your thermostat to ensure that it is sending the proper signals.

Old, Clogged Air Filters

Modern HVAC systems help combat many household problems, including indoor air pollution. Filters trap fine particulates and allergens, such as pollen, smoke, and pet dander. Over time, your air conditioning filter will become clogged with contaminants, which forces the HVAC system to work harder than it would otherwise to pull fresh air into the system. Impeded airflow can trigger your air conditioner to shut down temporarily due to overheating, so check your air filters routinely to ensure that they are clean and make sure they are replaced as needed.

  • Locate the HVAC filter. Typically, filters are situated inside a compartment where the return air duct meets the furnace or air handler in your home.

  • Look it over and inspect the filter. If the surface is covered in particles and no clean media is left, it is time to replace it. If you are unsure, shine a flashlight through the filter or hold it up to a lamp and see if you detect any light coming through. If no light is visible, the filter should be replaced.

  • When filters are replaced into the filter cabinet, follow the marks on the frame so the filter is positioned properly for correct airflow.

To avoid problems, keep a close eye on your HVAC filters. Check the surface of your filters routinely, at least once every month. In addition to keeping your indoor air cleaner, you can reduce the strain on your HVAC system and prevent unnecessary service calls. Furthermore, clogged air filters can prevent carefully cooled air from filling your home and making your space comfortable.

Condensate Drainage Clogs

As your air conditioner pulls air over cooling coils, condensate forms and drips into a pan underneath the unit. This dehumidification helps air conditioners generate that crisp, cool feeling inside of homes, but it also relies on proper drainage from your system.

As water falls into the condensate pan, it will collect in the bottom and move into a condensate drain line, allowing the liquid to drain from your home. Sometimes, drain lines can become clogged, which can allow water to build up in the pan. If the water level gets high enough, it can trigger a float switch that halts your air conditioner until the clog is removed and the system is appropriately drained. Before placing a service call, check your condensate drain line.

  • Inspect the drip pan. If the pan is full of water, your unit is not draining.

  • If you suspect a clog, turn off the power to the air conditioner by shutting off the power switch on the unit and the main breaker controlling electrical power to your air conditioning system.

  • Remove excess water using a wet/dry vacuum. Try to suction out the drip pan exit to free clogs near the upper portion of the drain line. Plumbers’ snakes can also be guided down the line to clear blockages.

  • Check the exit of the drain line. Look for obstructions and suction out the exterior of the line. You can also insert a plumber’s snake from this side to free the clog.

  • Check the drain line for signs of damage, such as cracks in the line. Have the line professionally replaced if you suspect damage.

What if Your Air Conditioner Still Won’t Start?

Air conditioning trouble might seem overwhelming, but when you live in Louisville, our NATE-certified HVAC technicians are only a call away. Here at Jarboe’s, we take every issue seriously, and we have a team ready to help at all hours of the day and night. Whether your air conditioner won’t turn on or your heat pump isn’t generating the kind of cooling power you need inside your home, we can assist you. We keep a large inventory of replacement parts on hand for quick repairs. Give us a call today to get the ball rolling on your HVAC repair.

Keep your home the perfect temperature all summer long by considering an HVAC upgrade. Here at Jarboe’s, we specialize in HVAC issues, regardless of whether you rely on a heat pump, a ductless air conditioner, or central air conditioning system. As a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, we have the high-end products you need to upgrade your cooling unit the right way.

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