Find Out Why Your AC Won’t Turn On & What You Can Do About It

Whether you’re following the adventures of Columbo, Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes, it’s nearly impossible to resist a good mystery. Unfortunately, these heroic detectives never investigated one of the worst riddles homeowners face: Why won’t the air conditioner turn on? Though there is not usually a simple answer to this question, you can do some investigation on your own to figure out exactly what’s going on. 

Check the Drain Pan

The drain pan is located beneath the indoor portion of your air conditioning system. Be sure to check that it is not full or clogged. If there is too much water in the pan, a float switch located within your system will stop the AC unit from running to prevent any flooding. 


If you find that your AC has shut down, make sure to check that your thermostat settings are correct. Make sure that it has power and is set to cool mode. Appliances can be finicky, and if the settings on your thermostat are off, your AC unit will not be able to function correctly. 

Tripped Breaker

Always check your circuit breaker for your air conditioner to ensure the unit is getting power. Reset the breaker if it has been tripped, but call a repairman if you have to reset the breaker frequently. There are many reasons why your breaker may not be operating as it should, and if this is the case, your AC will certainly experience problems. 

Shutoff Switch

With summer fast approaching, company may be entering and exiting your home for barbeques and block parties. Be sure to keep an eye on your air conditioner’s ON/OFF switch. You never know if curious children will be tempted to push any buttons in sight or if a passing guest accidentally bumped into your unit. 

Air Filters

Over time, your air filters will become clogged and be unable to keep dirt and dust particles from entering your system. If too many particles get into your system, it may suffer a breakdown. Be sure to change your filters at least once every three months to prevent major issues with your system. If you do experience a system breakdown, contact a professional for diagnostics right away.

Neglecting Regular Maintenance

After multiple seasons without attention, your AC unit will become a lot less efficient. This will cause it to use more energy than it normally would to cool your home. This not only wastes loads of energy, but will add a significant amount to your utility bills! Be sure you’re getting regular maintenance to guarantee your unit will run smoothly for years to come.

If you have any questions regarding your air conditioning system or need help troubleshooting a system malfunction, give us a call at any of our three Chicago metro locations. J. Blanton would be happy to help in any way we can!