We may have just had a bout of rain and highs in the 50s this past week in the Shenandoah Valley, but as we look at the forecast ahead, it looks like not even the rain can keep daytime temperatures down. With temperatures quickly rising into the 80s, you’re probably switching your thermostat into cooling mode if you haven’t already. But what if your air conditioner doesn’t run quite as you expected at the start of the warm weather season?
There are a number of reasons your air conditioning system might not turn on in the spring, and as trusted local AC experts in the Shenandoah Valley, we’re here to help you diagnose your AC problems. If your AC system won’t turn on this spring, here’s how you can troubleshoot your system before calling an AC repair expert, if needed.
Check Your Thermostat
It may sound like common sense, but you would be surprised at how often this is the issue behind a seemingly “broken” air conditioner. Make sure your thermostat is set to cooling mode (and not vacation mode) and that it has working batteries.
Look at Your Electrical Panel
If everything looks okay with your thermostat, head to your home’s fuse box or circuit panel. (Older homes tend to have fuse boxes while newer homes tend to have circuit panels.) If your home has a fuse box, look for a blown fuse and replace it if necessary. If your home has a circuit panel, look for a tripped circuit and switch it to the “off” position, then back to the “on” position if needed.
One important note here — you should only ever replace a fuse or switch a tripped circuit back on once. If doing so fixes the issue temporarily but then the problem persists, it’s time to call an HVAC technician to address the root cause.
Check the Shutoff Box Near the AC
Some models of air conditioners have a switch box which contains controls for the AC unit’s main energy supply. It’s typically located outside, near the AC unit. Check the breakers and fuses inside this box to ensure that nothing needs changing. (Note: If you are unsure about how to do this, or you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, be sure to call an air conditioning specialist who can do it for you. It’s better to be safe than risk shock or electrocution.)
Change Your Air Filters
Clogged air filters don’t always keep an air conditioner from running, but they can inhibit air flow significantly. Do you remember the last time you changed your air filters? Air filters should be checked about once a month and changed as soon as dust or dirt begins to accumulate. This keeps your system running smoothly and at peak efficiency.