Fewer than 10% of Europeans own air conditioners. For most Americans, this seems unimaginable. Air conditioners help us get through the heat of summer, sleep more comfortably, and prevent the growth of mold indoors.

If you live in one of the 90% of American households that use AC, you understand the importance of keeping it running smoothly. And if you found this article because your AC won’t turn on, you’re likely frustrated and worried that repairing it will be a huge expense.

Don’t rush to conclusions just yet! There are AC troubleshooting steps to get to the bottom of the issue before hiring AC repair or considering a new AC installation. Keep reading for a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through this cooling crisis!

Check the Basics

The first rule of thumb is to start with the basics. Make sure your thermostat is correctly set to ‘cool’ mode and that the temperature is appropriately adjusted.

Additionally, ensure that the circuit breaker dedicated to your air conditioning unit is in the ON position. Sometimes, the solution can be as simple as a flick of a switch!

Dirty Filters

Clogged air filters can wreak havoc on your AC’s efficiency. They obstruct proper airflow, causing your system to work harder and potentially overheat. Even if it turns on, you may find that your AC isn’t cool.

To prevent this, replace or clean your air filters every 1-3 months, depending on the level of usage and the type of filter in use. This small task can significantly improve your AC’s performance and extend its lifespan.

Thermostat Glitch

Is your thermostat acting up? Often, a malfunctioning thermostat can be the root cause of AC trouble.

Ensure that the batteries are functional and replace them if needed. Additionally, consider resetting your thermostat to its factory settings and reprogramming it according to your cooling preferences.

Blown Capacitor or Fuse

Inspect the capacitors and fuses within your AC unit. If they appear burnt or damaged, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance for a replacement. Tampering with electrical components can lead to further complications if not handled correctly.

Check the Switches

Certain air conditioning units have power switches located near the indoor air handler or the outdoor condenser unit. Ensure that these switches are set to the ON position. Sometimes, these small switches can inadvertently be flipped off during cleaning or maintenance activities.

Condensate Drain Clog

Blocked condensate drains can result in water backing up and triggering a shut-off mechanism. If your AC has stopped working, a clogged drain line might be the culprit. Inspect and clear any blockages in the drain line to restore proper functionality.

Dirty Evaporator/Condenser Coils

Over time, the evaporator and condenser coils of your AC can accumulate dirt and debris. This hampers their ability to transfer heat efficiently. Gently clean these coils using a soft brush or a specialized coil cleaner to maintain optimal performance.


Don’t underestimate the power of regular maintenance. Scheduling an annual maintenance visit from a professional technician can uncover potential issues before they escalate into major HVAC problems. This proactive approach can save you time, money, and discomfort in the long run.

Call Air Design When Your AC Won’t Turn On

Confronting an AC that refuses to cooperate doesn’t always necessitate an immediate call for AC repair or installation. Often, by following these troubleshooting steps, you can diagnose and potentially resolve the issue without incurring significant expenses.

If your efforts prove unsuccessful, don’t hesitate to enlist the expertise of a qualified HVAC professional. With the right approach, you can ensure your comfort even in the hottest of weather.

If you live in Riverside County, CA, don’t hesitate to contact us at Design Air today!