Window AC Compressor Not Turning On: 10 Easy Troubleshooting

Window AC compressor not turning on? This article will guide you through a detailed troubleshooting process on how to identify and fix problem.

Window AC Compressor Not Turning On
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Troubleshooting Window AC Compressor Not Turning On

Let’s roll up our sleeves and get down to business. Troubleshooting time!

Check for Electrical Problems

First things first, let’s start with electrical issues.

Inspect Circuit Breakers

Head over to your electrical panel and see if the breaker for your AC unit has tripped. If it has, flip it back on and see if your compressor comes back to life. Easy peasy, right?

Examine Wiring and Capacitors

Next, you can check the wiring and capacitors. This might be a bit trickier for the uninitiated, so if you’re unsure, it might be best to call in a professional. No shame in asking for help!

Inspect the Thermostat

Thermostat issues are also pretty straightforward to check. Remember, it’s the boss of your AC operation.

Check Thermostat Settings

First, make sure the settings are correct. The system should be set to “cool” and the temperature should be lower than the current room temperature. Simple, but you’d be surprised how often it’s overlooked!

Test Thermostat Functionality

If the settings are correct and the compressor still isn’t kicking in, you might need to test the thermostat itself. You could need a new boss!

Investigate Overheating Issues

Overheating can be a bit trickier to diagnose, but it’s an important step in our troubleshooting process.

Clean Coils

Check the coils for dirt or debris. If they look dirty, give them a gentle clean. It’s like giving your AC unit a spa day. Ah, refreshing!

Unblock Suction Lines

Also, take a look at the suction lines. If they’re blocked, you’ll need to clear them. It’s like unclogging a drain. Not the most glamorous job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Assess Refrigerant Levels and Check for Leaks

Refrigerant issues are next on the troubleshooting list. Remember, it’s like the lifeblood of your AC unit.

Check Refrigerant Levels

If you suspect the refrigerant levels are low, you might need a professional to check this. Messing with refrigerant isn’t a DIY job. Safety first, folks!

Identify and Seal Leaks

As for leaks, you can sometimes spot these as oily or dirty spots around the AC unit. If you find a leak, you’ll need a professional to seal it. It’s not a patch-it-with-duct-tape kind of situation.

Evaluate Compressor Motor

Finally, let’s consider the compressor motor. If the other troubleshooting steps haven’t solved the issue, the motor could be the culprit.

Look for Signs of Motor Failure

Listen for strange noises or check if the compressor is getting power but not starting. If it’s looking like a motor issue, it’s time to call in the pros.

Consult a Professional if Necessary

Remember, there’s no shame in asking for help. If you’re out of your depth, a professional can diagnose and fix the problem. And hey, you gave it a good shot!

When to Call a Professional

Speaking of professionals, let’s discuss when it’s time to wave the white flag and call in the experts.

Persistent Issues After Troubleshooting

If you’ve gone through our troubleshooting steps and your compressor still isn’t turning on, it’s time to call a professional. It’s like when you’ve tried to assemble that flat-pack furniture and there are still pieces left over. Time to call in someone who knows what they’re doing!

Suspected Compressor Motor Failure

If you suspect the compressor motor has failed, you’ll need a professional to confirm this and replace the motor if necessary. It’s not a job for your average Joe or Jane.

Refrigerant Leaks You Can’t Fix

And finally, if you’ve found a refrigerant leak, a professional will need to seal this. Remember, safety first!

Check out these other related articles…

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Common Reasons Why Your AC Compressor Won’t Turn On

Now, that we’ve shown you how to fix the issue, let’s turn our attention to the common reasons that might cause the compressor to stop working. Knowing these reasons can help you prevent the problem from recurring.

Electrical Problems

Like many appliances, your AC unit is susceptible to electrical issues.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

If your AC compressor isn’t turning on, it could be as simple as a tripped circuit breaker. This can happen if the unit draws more power than the circuit can handle. It’s the breaker’s job to trip and protect your electrical system.

Faulty or Loose Wiring

Wiring problems can also stop your compressor in its tracks. Over time, wires can become loose or even damaged. It’s like trying to sip a milkshake through a straw with a hole in it. Not much fun, right?

Failed Capacitor

The capacitor serves a crucial role by storing and releasing energy to either start the unit (start capacitor) or keep it running (run capacitor). If it fails, the compressor won’t have the kick it needs to get going.

Thermostat Issues

Another common culprit? Your thermostat. It’s like the boss of the operation, telling the compressor when to start and stop.

Incorrect Thermostat Settings

If the thermostat is set too high, the compressor might think it doesn’t need to work. It’s like telling your kids they don’t have to clean their room. They’re not gonna argue, are they?

Malfunctioning Thermostat

Or maybe the thermostat is kaput. If it’s not sending the correct signals to the compressor, then guess what? No cool air for you!


Like us on a scorching hot day, your AC compressor can also overheat. And when it does, it needs a time-out.

Dirty Coils

If the coils are dirty, they can’t effectively release heat. It’s like trying to breathe with a stuffy nose. Not very efficient, is it?

Blocked Suction Lines

Blocked suction lines can also cause overheating. It’s like running a marathon with a potato sack tied around your legs. Not the best idea, right?

Refrigerant Issues

Refrigerant issues can also play a big part in your AC compressor’s refusal to work. It’s the lifeblood of your AC unit after all!

Low Refrigerant Levels

If the refrigerant levels are too low, your compressor has to work overtime to try and cool your home. It’s like trying to bake a cake with half the ingredients. It just doesn’t work.

Refrigerant Leaks

Or maybe there’s a leak in the system. Like a punctured water balloon, it’s not going to hold water (or in this case, refrigerant).

Compressor Motor Failure

And finally, the issue could lie with the compressor motor itself. If the motor’s busted, your compressor is going nowhere fast.

Identifying Motor Failure

Motor failure can often be identified by strange noises or if the compressor doesn’t start despite having power. It’s like trying to start a car with a dead battery. All the will in the world won’t make it go.

Causes of Compressor Motor Failure

Causes for motor failure can range from wear and tear to overheating or electrical issues. It’s like a mystery novel where any character could be the culprit.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Compressor Issues

To wrap things up, let’s talk about how to avoid compressor issues in the first place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is key. This includes cleaning the coils, checking the wiring, and keeping an eye on refrigerant levels. It’s like taking your car for regular oil changes. It helps everything run smoothly.

Appropriate Use of the AC Unit

Using your AC unit appropriately can also help avoid issues. This means not cranking it up too high or running it continuously for long periods. Think of it like running a marathon every day. Even the best runners need a break!

Timely Repairs

Finally, if you notice any issues, address them promptly. Ignoring a small problem today could turn into a big problem tomorrow. Just like you wouldn’t ignore a leaky faucet, don’t ignore potential issues with your AC unit!

And there you have it! A comprehensive guide to understanding and solving the issue when your window AC compressor won’t turn on. Remember, it’s okay to call in a professional when needed. They’re like the superheroes of the AC world. Stay cool, folks!

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