Why Is My Air Conditioner Not Working, And What Can I Do?

April 26, 2023

Nothing is more frustrating than cranking up the air conditioner on a hot day only to have nothing happen. Or, to have your air conditioner running but not cooling. 

So why is your air conditioner not working?

There are many reasons why your air conditioner may not be working, ranging from simple issues to more complex problems. The most common culprits include malfunctioning thermostats, clogged or dirty air filters, and issues with the compressor or refrigerant.

What To Check First

There are three simple items worth checking yourself when AC issues arise:

  1. Look at the thermostat. Ensure the batteries are charged, the settings are normal, and nothing appears out of the ordinary.
  2. Check the air filters. Filters are common instigators of AC problems, so verify they are clean, unobstructed, and properly in place.
  3. Search for water buildup or leaks. As you do so, notice any odd smells in the system and listen for unusual AC noises. Your AC should not sound like it’s working too hard.

AC Questions And Answers

When experiencing a malfunction, don’t automatically assume the worst. Ask yourself the questions below to better understand the issue at hand. If these aren’t easily answered, it’s time to call an experienced AC professional near you.

Why Is My AC Running But Not Cooling?

If your AC is running but not cooling, check the air filters to see if they are clogged or dirty. Resetting the thermostat can sometimes help as well. If neither resolves the issue, there is probably an issue with the condenser coil. Your local AC pro can help with this.

Why Would An Air Conditioner Suddenly Shut Down?

There are several reasons your air conditioner can suddenly stop working. In addition to the usual suspects of clogged filters or faulty thermostats, your AC may have blown a fuse or tripped the circuit. Inspect your electrical box for fuse switches no longer in the “On” position. As with anything electrical, be cautious.

Why Is Air Conditioning Working Downstairs But Not Upstairs?

Basic thermodynamics causes hot air to rise and cool air to sink—making it easier for your AC to keep the downstairs cool. Small temperature differences between levels are normal, but large differences are not. If your upstairs isn’t cooling, ensure upstairs vents are fully open. Then check the filters as described above. If the issue isn’t identified, the source is likely the coil or compressor, requiring a professional.

Why Is The AC Blowing Warm Air?

If your AC is running but blowing warm air, that is likely a refrigerant issue. The unit could simply be low and need refilling, or there could be a refrigerant leak.

Where Is The AC Reset Button?

The reset button for an air conditioner is typically on the exterior of the unit—it’s usually a red button located near the ground.

Should I Turn Off The AC If It’s Not Cooling?

If you have checked the above issues and still can’t find the culprit, you can turn off your AC.

What To Do If These Don’t Work

If the steps above do not bring resolution, a larger problem is likely in play. There are several telltale signs your air conditioner is suffering serious issues, such as:

  • Running more frequent cycles
  • Running without cooling
  • Making loud or suspect noises
  • Water or fluid leaks
  • Bad smells in the system

If you still can’t get your AC to work—or you find one or more of the symptoms above—it’s time to call a professional AC repair company. The experienced technicians at Yes! will inspect your AC, and help you and yours get cool again!

To prevent your AC from going out in the first place, contact us today to schedule an AC tune-up.


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Last Updated: May 25, 2023