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ac not working

FAQ: My AC Isn’t Working. What Could Be Causing This?

Unlike some other home appliance issues, when you have an AC not working, you notice right away. After all, there’s nothing worse than suffering through the heat while your air conditioner sits there useless. That’s why you need to find the source of the problem quickly. 

Why Is My AC Not Working?

An AC not cooling or that’s stopped running altogether seems like a serious issue. It’s possible that major repair may be needed, in most cases, the problem can be diagnosed and even repaired by a novice.

#1 – Electrical Issues

Let’s start with the simplest explanation as to why you have an AC not working. The first thing you should do is check your home’s electrical breakers to see if it’s been tripped.

How to Diagnose

Find the breaker box that your AC is hooked up to and locate the correct breaker switch. They’re most commonly labeled as AC, Air Conditioner, or HVAC. Once you’ve found the right switches, turn them off, and then back on. Now you can test the AC again to see if that solved the problem.

ac not cooling
Image from Tool Source Direct

#2 – Poor Airflow

AC not cooling enough? Your HVAC system’s airflow may be insufficient, preventing cold air from making it into your home. You’ll need to test each direct airflow vent using a lighter.

How to Diagnose

Hold a lighter in front of an air vent at different distances. Start close to it and progressively move farther away while watching the flame. The air flow should have an effect on the flame, even across the room.

If the AC is weak or having no effect at all, check all of your filters to see if they need to be replaced. If the problem still persists, you may need to replace your AC fan or have your ducts cleaned.

ac not cold
Image from Angie’s List

#3 – Dirty Condenser Unit

Your air conditioner’s condenser unit is crucial when it comes to cooling. If you’re wondering, “Why is my AC not cold?” it may be due to a lack of proper condenser maintenance.

How to Diagnose

Go outside to your air conditioner and inspect the unit, as well as the surrounding area. Clear out any overgrown weeds, leaves, or other potential outdoor obstructions. Then, use a wire brush to clean the condenser coils.

Coil cleaning products are also available for purchase and are very effective along with using the wire brush. Regardless of whether this fixes your issue, you should maintain your AC by cleaning your condenser unit at least once per year.

air conditioner not working
Image from Halvorson House

#4 – Faulty Thermostat

It’s less common, but an AC not working can come down to a broken thermostat. This unit controls your HVAC system and usually runs on batteries.

How to Diagnose

Look to see if the thermostat display is blinking or showing an error or some kind. This can be a signal that something’s wrong. Change out the batteries and try running the system again.

Thermostat control boards do fail occasionally, so if the problem persists, you may need to call an HVAC repair professional.


air conditioner isn't cooling
Image from Lowes


If you find yourself needing air conditioner repair, come visit Caesar’s Appliance today for the best selection and the lowest prices in the area!