Air Conditioner Turns On But…[Problems & Proven Solutions]

Issues with your air conditioner can be frustrating when they occur in hot weather. This article explains what to do if your air conditioner turns on but does not blow cold air as it should or has other issues.

air conditioner turns on but

Air Conditioner Turns On But No Cold Air – Fixed

The primary reason your air conditioner does not blow cold air is a drop in the refrigerant level. The refrigerant is the gas that turns into liquid during the cooling cycle and absorbs the heat from the air, leaving it cold. But if the refrigerant level in the air conditioner drops, the unit does not have enough to absorb the heat. Consequently, the air conditioner cannot produce cold air, although it may blow some air as the blower keeps working.

The air conditioning system should not lose any refrigerant because it runs through a looped or closed system. That means the system recycles it to keep using the same amount for as long as the air conditioner is in use. However, if there is a leak in the sealed system, the refrigerant can leak and compromise the system. Although you can attempt to fix the leaking pipes yourself by using a patch or sealant, it is recommended to contact the manufacturer or an HVAC technician for professional assistance. Ensure you turn off the air conditioner and create enough ventilation while waiting for help.

Other Possible Causes

Several other issues can cause an air conditioner to stop blowing cold air, although it is on and running. Ensure the air filter is not clogged with dirt. You may find that the filter has not been changed for many months, which means dirt restricts the flow of cold air from the air conditioner into the room. You may also check the evaporator coil; frozen coils trap the cold air since the refrigerant makes the air cold in the evaporator and must release the air from there.

Replace the filter if it is significantly dirty; do not clean and replace it, especially if you have used it for over three months. A dirty filter further pollutes the air, and it may adversely affect your health in the long run. You may have to turn off the air conditioner to allow the evaporator coil to thaw if frozen. Alternatively, use a hair dryer for a quicker solution. But you must clean the coil and ensure the filter is clean to prevent the evaporator coil from freezing again.

Additionally, check the thermostat. The mode of operation must be set to Cool, and the temperature must be a few degrees lower than the room’s temperature. The fan speed must also be set to the right point for the air conditioner to produce cold air. The air conditioner will not work well if the thermostat is wrongly set. The air conditioner’s functionality is compromised if the thermostat fails. 

Replace the batteries if the thermostat malfunctions, but you may need professional assistance if replacing the batteries does not solve the problem. Lastly, the air conditioner’s size may affect its cooling capacity. Although you may find it running all the time, it may start producing warm air or no air at all if the weather is hot and the air conditioner stops functioning optimally. You may have to replace the outdoor unit in such a case; consult with an HVAC expert for further assistance.

Note: These repair steps apply to all types of air conditioners, including central, window, and wall units.

Air Conditioner Turns On But No Air Comes Out – How to Fix

Check the evaporator coil; it may have an accumulation of ice, preventing the free flow of air from the air conditioner. This is especially true for hot and humid days when condensation builds and causes excessive freezing. Also, dirt on the evaporator coil keeps the cold air trapped and encourages freezing due to the lack of warmth and excess cold air.

Turn off the air conditioner and inspect the coil; too much ice on it means it is frozen and cannot produce air, even if the blower works. Leave the system off for a few hours so that the coil can thaw. Afterwards, clean it with a non-foaming and self-rinsing coil cleaner to remove any dirt causing the freezing issue. And replace the air filter if dirty; dirt on the filter contributes to freezing inside the air conditioner.

Ensure the blower works in the indoor unit; you can place one hand in front of the air vents as the air conditioner runs. If air comes out, the blower is good, and something else is causing the airflow issue. However, if the blower has failed, you will need to check if debris is obstructing it. Also, test the motor for continuity using a multimeter. Replace the blower motor or the entire blower if there is no continuity.

Furthermore, check the vents. All the air conditioner vents must be fully open for the unit to produce air. If there is any obstruction in the vents, it restricts airflow and may damage the air conditioner. Move any furniture close to the vents and clean them. Do the same for every room if you use a central air conditioner.

You may also want to check the ducts for leakages if your air conditioning system is ducted. If the ducts leak air, there will not be enough to convert to cold air for the room. As a result, the air conditioner becomes unable to produce any air. This repair may be beyond your skills, so you may need to contact the manufacturer or employ the services of an HVAC technician for further assistance.

A refrigerant leak is the last thing to check, and it may be the most probable cause. Such a leak causes the system to lose gas for producing cold air. Since the air conditioner cannot work without refrigerant, it may turn on but not produce any air over time. A total system service by a trained professional to determine whether or not there is a leak, ad the technician should fix it. Otherwise, the service should detect and repair other possible causes of the problem.

Note: You can follow these steps to fix any type of air conditioner that turns on but does not produce any cold air.

Air Conditioner Turns On But Fan Does Not – Solved

Several issues can cause an air conditioner fan to stop working, even when the air conditioner turns on and runs. As this article on an air conditioner fan not working explains, faults with the thermostat and fan motor should be the first points to check. The thermostat controls how the entire system functions and may keep the fan from turning on if it stops working. If the fan’s motor is defective, the fan stops working, even if other components are in good working condition.

Check the air filter if the motor and thermostat work well, but the fan does not turn on. A dirty filter in an air conditioner can cause huge problems in the system, including damaging the fan. You may find that the condenser fan and blower stop working when the filter is excessively dirty. Replacing the filter keeps the air in your home clean and extends the life and performance of the air conditioner.

The run capacitor may also be damaged and in need of a replacement. And the compressor may also be bad, especially if you find that it is not operating when the fan stops working. The disconnect for the outdoor unit may be off, or the capacitor may be faulty. Let a professional technician check possible faults, as listed in this article.

Notes: These repair steps apply to all air conditioner types, including window and split units. And if the air conditioner compressor turns on but the fan does not, replace the filter and ensure the thermostat works well. Replace the run capacitor if the fan has a separate one from the compressor, or check the fan motor and replace it if it is no longer working.

Air Conditioner Tries to Turn On But Does Not – Solution

The first thing to check is the power connection. Most air conditioners have a power cord that connects to a power outlet. Ensure the power cord is fully plugged into the outlet and is not damaged. Also, ensure the power outlet is on a separate circuit from other heavy appliances; it is recommended to connect heavy appliances such as air conditioners to a dedicated circuit due to the energy requirements.

The circuit breaker powering the system must be on without a damaged fuse. Otherwise, the breaker will not work, and the air conditioner cannot run. Have an electrician check the breaker if you are unsure or do not have the training to check for damaged fuses. However, check the condition of the air filter, thermostat settings, the condensing unit operations, and the capacitor for faults. A refrigerant leak, irregular usage, or age can also cause the air conditioner to have difficulty working. Check out this article to learn more about the solution to the problem.

Note: Follow the same steps in this section if an air conditioner turns on, but nothing happens.

Air Conditioner Comes On But Not Heater – Quick Fix

The heater must be connected to power and switched on before it can run. So, check its power connection to ensure it is in order. You may have to contact the manufacturer or the installation team to check the issue and fix possible problems if it is a new installation. 

But if the power connection is not the problem, check the following and fix the faulty ones if the heater or furnace fails to work:

1. Thermostat

The thermostat controls the air conditioner and heater. So, you may find the AC working fine, but the heater has problems if the thermostat is wrongly set or faulty. Start by checking the settings to ensure you selected the correct options. Adjust the settings to allow warm air instead of cold air into the space. If the problem persists, ensure the thermostat is not malfunctioning; replace the batteries or entire thermostat if it is faulty.

2. Condenser

The condensing unit must not be obstructed with dirt so that it can push cold air out when the indoor unit blows warm air. Without the condenser in perfect working condition, the heater will not work; it functions in the same way as the air conditioner. Therefore, remove debris and other things clogging it. Ensure the condenser fan, compressor, and capacitor are working while the heater is running.

3. Filter

The filter must not be clogged with dirt if the vents should produce warm air. If the heater does not work, ensure the filter is not restricting its operations. Remove the filter and clean it if you have not used it for more than two months. Otherwise, replace it with a compatible filter for your system. 

Proper maintenance ensures the heater works well. The same applies to the air conditioner. If the heater stops working all of a sudden, it may indicate the poor state of the component and only service from a qualified HVAC technician can fix the problem. Schedule a maintenance visit from a trusted technician to determine why the heater is not working.

Air Conditioner Fan Turns On But Compressor Does Not – Solved

The fan runs whenever the compressor on an air conditioner operates. So, it is not strange to see that the fan and compressor do not work at the same time. However, if the fan continues working while the compressor stops, it may indicate a power connection problem. That means the entire system may not work.

Also, check the condenser coil for dirt. Dirt on the coil prevents it from efficiently transferring heat out of the system into the atmosphere. The trapped heat affects the compressor and may cause it to wear out prematurely. The same applies if the air filter is dirty; air restriction strains the compressor. 

Eventually, it may stop working as it overheats from the extra work of maintaining the temperature. Additionally, the capacitor or relay may be defective. But you cannot be sure until you test it. While there are ways to test the capacitor, it is best to allow a professional to run the test. 

The reason is that the capacitor stores electricity or power like a battery, and touching it without first discharging it is dangerous. Finally, consider the compressor; it may have failed, especially if the air conditioner is old or there is no proper maintenance. You can read this article on an air conditioner compressor not turning on to find resources to fix these possible problems. Remember that replacing the entire air conditioning system may be more cost-effective than replacing just the compressor, especially if the system is old. So, consult with an experienced HVAC technician for the best solution if the compressor is the problem.

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