In the heat of the summer, air conditioning units serve as an oasis of comfort in our homes and offices. They maintain a pleasant indoor temperature and ensure we stay cool despite the soaring temperatures outside. However, like any other machine, air conditioning units can falter, leaving us in a sweaty predicament. If your air conditioner is not turning on, there could be several reasons behind this. Understanding these potential issues can help you know when it’s time to call in the professionals.
Common Causes of Air Conditioner Failure
Here, we enumerate six common reasons why your AC might not be turning on.
- Dual Capacitor Failure: The dual capacitor provides an extra power boost to both the compressor and the fan motor. If it fails, the compressor or fan motor may not start or run inefficiently.
- Low Refrigerant or Refrigerant Leak: If your AC unit is low on refrigerant or has a leak, it cannot effectively cool air.
- Faulty Compressor: The compressor circulates refrigerant and cools the air. A faulty compressor means your AC won’t work properly.
- Electrical Issues: Problems with wiring, capacitors, or relays can lead to AC failure.
- Frozen Evaporator Coil: A frozen evaporator coil can hinder the cooling process by restricting airflow.
- Blocked or Dirty Condenser Unit: The condenser unit can become blocked or dirty, hindering heat transfer and causing the AC to malfunction.
Now, let’s delve deeper into these problems and learn why professional intervention is crucial in most cases.
The Role of the Dual Capacitor and Its Failure
The dual capacitor is a significant component of your AC unit. Its primary role is to provide a necessary power boost to both the compressor and the fan motor, kickstarting them into action. The dual capacitor stores extra energy, and when either the fan motor or the compressor needs an additional power jolt, this stored energy is released.
When a dual capacitor fails, it often results in the compressor or fan motor not starting or running inefficiently. Identifying a faulty capacitor requires knowledge of electrical systems. Additionally, replacing it involves dealing with high voltage electricity. This task requires professional training to prevent any electrical hazards.
Refrigerant Leaks – A Silent Menace
Refrigerant is the cooling agent that absorbs the heat from your indoor air and helps cool it down. When the refrigerant level drops, it significantly impacts the air conditioner’s ability to cool air effectively.
One common reason for a drop in refrigerant level is a leak. Detecting a refrigerant leak is not a task for the untrained eye. It requires specialized equipment and knowledge to locate and repair the leak. After fixing the leak, the system needs recharging with the correct amount of refrigerant, another task that requires professional training and expertise.
Faulty Compressor – The Heart of Your AC
The compressor is the heart of your AC system. It circulates refrigerant and is responsible for extracting heat from your indoor air and releasing it outdoors. A faulty compressor is akin to a heart not pumping blood efficiently in the body. It makes the AC unit dysfunctional.
The complexity involved in repairing or replacing a compressor requires it to be done by a professional. It is also worth noting that a faulty compressor is often a sign of an aging AC unit and might require you to consider getting a new system.
Electrical Issues: A Hidden Cause
Faulty wiring, failing capacitors, or defective relays often result in AC failure. Electrical issues are not only hard to diagnose without proper training but also hazardous. Poor connections can cause power surges, short circuits, and even fires. It’s always best to hire a professional HVAC technician to handle these issues.
The Chill of a Frozen Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil absorbs heat from the indoor air, a process that can lead to condensation. However, if the coil freezes, it can restrict airflow and hinder the cooling process. A professional HVAC technician can identify the root cause of this problem, whether it’s a dirty air filter, refrigerant leak, or malfunctioning blower motor, and perform the necessary repairs.
The Outdoors Matter: Blocked or Dirty Condenser Unit
The condenser unit, located outdoors, can become clogged with debris, dust, or dirt. This blockage hinders the heat transfer process, causing the AC to malfunction or not turn on at all. Cleaning or unclogging the unit involves dealing with high-pressure refrigerant lines and electrical components, requiring the expertise of a professional to ensure proper handling and prevent any damage.
What Should You Do if Your Air Conditioner Unit Stops Working?
The moment you realize your AC unit is not functioning can bring about a wave of frustration, especially during the hot summer months. However, it’s essential to stay calm and follow a few steps to prevent any further issues until professional help arrives.
Turn Off the AC Unit
First and foremost, if your AC unit is not turning on or not cooling your home, turn it off. Continuing to operate a malfunctioning air conditioner can lead to more severe problems, including damaging the compressor — the heart of the AC system. Remember, the cost to replace a compressor or buy a new AC unit can be substantial. Turning off the unit at the first sign of trouble can prevent more significant, more expensive issues down the line.
Keep the Air Circulating
Just because your AC is off doesn’t mean you can’t keep your home comfortable. You can continue to circulate air within your home by using your furnace fan. Turn on the fan setting on your thermostat to keep air moving throughout your home. This won’t cool your home, but it can help make the indoor environment more comfortable by preventing hot spots and maintaining more consistent indoor temperatures.
Check the Thermostat
Sometimes, the issue might be as simple as an incorrectly set thermostat. Ensure that it’s set to “cool” and that the desired temperature is lower than the current room temperature.
Clean Around Your Outdoor Unit
While waiting for professional help, you can also check around your outdoor unit. If there’s debris, like leaves or grass clippings, that’s blocking the air flow, carefully remove it. However, remember to avoid touching any electrical components or refrigerant lines.
Call a Professional
Once you’ve taken these preliminary steps, it’s crucial to reach out to a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and address the problem. While minor issues like a tripped circuit breaker or dirty filter can be addressed by most homeowners, many AC issues require professional expertise. Remember, attempting to fix complex AC problems on your own can lead to more extensive damage and higher repair costs.
A Simple Solution: Air Conditioner Repair in Oakland County, Michigan
Often, people’s first instinct when facing an AC issue is to go to Google and search for “AC repair near me.” If you’re in the Oakland County, Michigan area, you can skip this step. At Oakland Heating and Cooling, we have years of experience repairing AC units, with many issues resolved with same-day service.
Our team of skilled technicians can handle all the issues mentioned above, ensuring your AC unit is back to providing you with a comfortable environment as quickly as possible. But why wait for a breakdown? We also offer regular maintenance services to keep your AC unit in optimal condition and help you avoid any major issues down the line.
When it comes to keeping cool and comfortable, don’t leave it to chance. Contact us at Oakland Heating and Cooling today to ensure a hassle-free summer.