Carrier Air Conditioner Turning On [Issues, Solutions & Guide]

A Carrier air conditioner turning on may sound like an ideal step, but not when you need it to stay off. This article explains possible causes and is a guide on how to fix them.

Carrier air conditioner turning on

Carrier Air Conditioner Turning On and Off – How to Fix

If your Carrier air conditioner turns on and off by itself, a few faulty components are causing it to short cycle. Check the following and fix faulty ones:

1. Thermostat

Sometimes, the thermostat may fail to read the temperature right and cause the unit to turn on and off. Your home may have hot and cold spots that the thermostat is picking, leading it to turn off the unit too often and turn it on again. So, check the batteries in the thermostat, especially if the component is flickering.

If replacing the batteries does nothing to fix the thermostat, it may be that it has bad contacts. That means you may need to rewire it or replace the thermostat. Otherwise, consider changing the location of the thermostat in your house. Placing it in the path of direct sunlight, under the unit’s vents, or in a part of the house with more hot air than others will affect its capacity to read the room temperature.

2. Condenser Coil

Clean the fins of the condenser, especially if the unit has been in use for a while and the condenser coil has never been cleaned. Typically, the coil should be cleaned every three months. In some cases, it should be cleaned more often because of the amount of dirt it accumulates.

The condenser does not do well with dirt because it is from that point the unit releases heat. If dirt coats the coil, it cannot transfer heat out of the air conditioner. As a result, the unit overheats and constantly cycles off. You can either clean the condenser yourself or hire a trusted HVAC technician for the job.

3. Air Filter

Checking and replacing the air filter in your air conditioner is probably one of the easiest tasks. Turn off the air conditioner and go to the air handler. Remove the front cover and lift out the filter. How you remove the filter will depend on the type of unit you are using. Follow the instructions in the user manual to remove it. 

The next step is to determine if your filter is disposable or reusable. If disposable, throw it out. Never wash to reuse it because it cannot be functional anymore. But if it is reusable, wash it with mild soap and water, allow it to dry, and put it back into the air handler. Repeat the process every two weeks and replace the filter after three months.

As minor as the filter seems to be, a dirty one can grind the air conditioner to a halt. As air flows through the filter into the unit, the filter sieves the dirt from the air. Over time, it becomes dirty and needs to either be washed or replaced. If you do not regularly, check and clean the filter, or replace it, the dirt clogs the evaporator coil and restricts airflow. This affects the air conditioner’s functionality and may cause it to short-cycle.

4. Evaporator Coil

Apart from a dirty air filter, low refrigerant can cause the coil to freeze. And if the evaporator coil becomes frozen, the unit turns off to allow the ice to melt. Then, the air conditioner turns on again. So, if the filter is not dirty, the refrigerant is the problem.

If the refrigerant lines have oil around them or you smell a chemical odor, the unit may be leaking refrigerant. Since the air conditioner works with a sealed system, it means the lines have a perforation. Several issues can lead to this problem, but the most important step is to find a solution. Turn off the air conditioner and get an HVAC technician to check the unit.

5. Air Conditioner Size

The size of the air conditioner can cause it to turn on and off too often. When an air conditioner is too big for a room or house, it quickly cools the space and turns off. But the temperature may rise too quickly and necessitate the air conditioner to turn on again. Air conditioners work by capacities, which are measured by their British Thermal Units (BTU). Before you buy one, you must use the square footage of your home to select the capacity.

It is also crucial to check the compressor for faults if the air conditioner keeps turning on and off. It may be overheating due to dirty condenser fins or a faulty condenser fan. Debris covering it also contributes to overheating, and the overload protector where there is one may be turning the air conditioner off.

In addition, check the condensate drain; if the condensate is not flowing out, it may overflow. As a result, it triggers the float switch to turn off the unit as a protective measure. Therefore, clean the drain line as instructed in the user manual to get the unit up and running again. If none of these measures fixes the air conditioner, contact the Carrier Service Center and report the issue.

Check out these other articles…

Carrier Air Conditioner Not Working [Proven Solutions]

Carrier Air Conditioner Turning Off [Issues, Solutions & Guide]

Carrier Air Conditioner Thermostat [Detailed Guide]

Carrier Air Conditioner Timer [Issues Solved]

How to Clean a Carrier Air Conditioner [Detailed Guide]

How to Service a Carrier Air Conditioner [Detailed Guide]

Carrier Air Conditioner Blowing Issues [Solutions]

Carrier Air Conditioner Fan Not Turning On – Fixed

If the fan in your Carrier air conditioner is not turning on, it may be that it is not receiving power to run. Check the electrical connections, run capacitor, fan motor, thermostat, and control board. If any of these parts is not working, replace them. Check out this article on Carrier air conditioner fan not working for steps to test and replace faulty parts. 

Also, ensure the fan is not obstructed by dirt; clean the blade and motor if that is the case. Dirt can prevent the fan from working, especially if there is a significant amount of debris on it. It is crucial to run maintenance checks on the condensing unit as regularly as possible with the help of an HVAC technician. That way, every part remains in good working condition.

Carrier Air Conditioner Compressor Not Turning On – Quick Fix

The compressor is an integral part of the air conditioning system. If it fails to run, the air conditioner cannot work. Therefore, check the thermostat, temperature control board, selector switch, contactor, thermistor, capacitor, overload protector, compressor, and main control board, as this article explains.

Carrier Air Conditioner Does Not Turn On – Solved

There may be electrical issues if your Carrier air conditioner does not turn on when you need it. Typically, the circuit breaker controls the power supply to the air conditioner. If it trips, especially if there is a voltage spike or power outage, the unit cannot work. So, the breaker should be your first stop. Ensure it is on; reset it if possible. Also, check the fuses; if any fuse is blown, the breaker stops working. You may need professional help to check these parts.

If the breaker is not the cause of the power issue, there may be other electrical issues that need professional attention. Check the power cord if applicable, and the wall outlet that supplies power to the unit. And if the breaker keeps tripping off, you should hire an electrician to test the wiring and determine what is causing the overload. 

The compressor may be malfunctioning, and without the compressor, the air conditioner does not turn on at all. Contact Carrier to report the issue and request service.

How to Turn On Carrier Air Conditioner Without Remote

Locate the power button at the bottom right of the air conditioner, a white button. You can turn the unit on or off using the button. However, note that the air conditioner will automatically run on Auto mode when you turn it on, so you may want to adjust the setting if desired.


If you have problems with your Carrier air conditioner turning on, it is crucial to fix them. Look for possible causes such as the compressor, thermostat, filter, condenser coil, and evaporator coil. Fix faulty ones and make an appointment with Carrier or an HVAC technician for servicing.

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