Why Won’t my AC Run?

No one wants their air conditioner to break down on a hot day, and this seems to often be when they will. The following lists some common reasons why your AC may not be working. Included are potential remedies, and when you need to contact your Metro Express Service technician for air conditioning repair.

Check the Thermostat

Dead batteries can quickly render your air conditioner inoperable. Check the display screen, if it’s blank or a battery symbol is flashing replace them. Check to ensure the settings are on COOL and the fan is on AUTO. Otherwise, you may be running the heat or just the fan. Thermostats rarely go bad and will require replacing when they do. Metro Express Service can assist you with your thermostat issues.

Check for a Tripped Breaker

Check your home’s electrical panel for a tripped breaker. It should be labeled HVAC or AC Unit. Power surges and an overloaded circuit can trip a breaker. Typically, the air conditioner/HVAC unit has a dedicated circuit. For this reason, repeated tripping of the breaker can indicate an electrical issue with the unit. Reset the breaker and try the air conditioner again. If it trips once more call Metro Express Service for a diagnostic and air conditioning repair. Electrical issues can result in a fire, so leave the breaker off if it continues to trip and call for service promptly.

The Coils are Dirty

When your air conditioner is serviced annually you won’t experience this problem. Your Metro Express Service technician will let you know during the annual checkup if the coils need cleaning. The type of system your home has determines where the coils are located. In a split system, you have coils both indoors and in the outdoor component. In a package unit, both are located in the outside unit. Dirty coils prevent the heat exchange from occurring and result in hot air blowing from your vents.

A Clogged Condensate Drain Tube

clogged condensate drain can result in the pan overflowing with potential damage to your home. It can also inhibit the air conditioner’s ability to effectively cool your home. As a part of annual maintenance, it’s yet another reason the annual  AC tune-up is so important. A clogged drain tube can also cause mold and mildew a health risk no one wants.

A Tripped Disconnect Switch

A disconnect switch can be located indoors, out or both depending on your specific air conditioner. When they switch off, your unit will blow hot air or not operate at all. With a split system, it may look like a light switch on the indoor condenser, outdoors it will be located in a box near the outdoor unit. Ensure your air filter is clean. An excessively dirty air filter can cause the unit to overheat and shut off. Otherwise, contact your HVAC technician.

A Refrigerant Leak

A refrigerant leak is a common cause of the AC blowing hot air or even shutting off when the safety valve actuates. Most newer units have this switch, and it can save the compressor. Other signs of low refrigerant include iced-over coils. When this occurs, shut the unit off if it’s running, and call for service promptly. Providing a timely AC repair can prevent additional damage and expense. This problem requires an HVAC technician. The leak will require repair before refrigerant can be added.

In addition to iced coils other signs of a refrigerant leak may include the following:

  • A hissing sound
  • High electrical bills

Most of these problems can all be prevented with annual maintenance and an AC tune-up, changing your air filters as recommended, and replacing thermostat batteries.

Energy Tips to Save You Money

Some tips to help you save energy and money:

  • Fans help you to stay cool by evaporating moisture on your skin. Using a fan can enable you to turn the thermostat up. However, they don’t cool the room down, so turn them off when you leave the room.
  • Close the drapes and blinds on sun-facing windows.
  • Check the weather stripping around doors and caulking on windows. Replace it as necessary to prevent the loss of conditioned air.
  • Use the oven early in the morning to prevent heat gain inside your home. Use the microwave when possible rather than the oven.
  • Operate the dishwasher early in the morning. Turn off the dishwashers heated dry function and allow dishes to air dry.
  • Use a programmable thermostat for automatically adjusted temperature programmed around your schedule. This component can be a part of your change to smart home technology, and additional savings on your electrical bill.
  • Use the bathroom ventilation fan with showering or bathing to remove heat and humidity.
  • Use LED light bulbs to save energy and reduce heat.

Metro Express Service can help you if your air conditioner is not keeping you cool. We understand problems occur at the worst times. We offer 24/7 emergency air conditioner service. Call us today to schedule AC repair.


Randy Murphy

Randy Murphy has been building his knowledge of the air conditioning and heating business for several years now. He first started applying his knowledge while working for his father’s HVAC company. Later, in 1987, Randy started his own business: Metro Express Service. He has been a top 10 Trane & Amana dealer for over eight years. When it comes to heating and cooling, Randy knows the business better than anyone.
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