AC Not Working: Here’s What’s Causing Your AC Problems

air conditioning

Your heating and air conditioning units serve as your lifeline, especially in harsher weather like winter or summer. Imagine how uncomfortable you and your family will be if your AC started malfunctioning and wouldn’t turn on during summertime. Without your AC, how are you going to survive the stifling Alabama heat and humidity? If your AC refuses to turn on, here are some probable causes to help you fix the issue as soon as possible.

Dirty Evaporator Coils

An air conditioner’s evaporator coil is designed to hold the chilled refrigerant that cools the air supply. Over time, the coil can accumulate dust and debris due to extensive usage. That buildup of dust, if not cleaned, could cause some problems to your air conditioning unit. For one, it can greatly decrease the effectiveness of your AC and could eventually lead to it breaking down and not turning on. 

Clogged Filter

An AC’s air filter is perhaps the part of the unit that’s most vulnerable to dust buildup. That’s mainly because the filter is responsible for catching all the dust and debris from the air. When an air filter becomes clogged, that’s when various problems start to arise. The worst-case scenario is the AC’s performance could be weakened or even stalled. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to replace your air filters regularly.

Condenser Lines Need Cleaning

Aside from filters and evaporator coils, an AC’s condenser line could also become dirty over time. What’s worse is having some mold and algae growth on them. Try to look for your air conditioning unit’s condenser outside your home for some cleaning. Lift the lid and use a wet/dry vac along with some distilled white vinegar to get rid of all the debris inside. Remember to turn off the power first before doing this.

Faulty Motor

The problem could also be just a faulty motor. If your AC is a bit old and has been working nonstop for many years, then a faulty motor might be the likely cause of your problem. An AC fan motor is designed to circulate cool air evenly throughout your home. Even if your AC is producing cool air, without the motor, your fan won’t be able to distribute it all around the house. When a faulty motor prevents your AC from turning on or working properly, it’s time to call an AC repair specialist.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers are designed to protect you from fires, electrical surges, and more. Despite all that, circuit breakers aren’t immune to tripping. When that happens, it can be very frustrating and confusing, especially if you don’t know what’s causing it. Every time your circuit breaker trips while connected to your AC, it’s quite likely that your air conditioner is very old and is using too much electricity, which is what’s causing the tripping.

Electrical Wiring Issues

If your circuit breaker isn’t the problem, then a wiring issue might be what’s preventing your AC from turning on. In fact, a constantly tripping circuit breaker could be caused by an electrical wiring issue. Flickering lights, discoloration on the outlets, and other electrical issues are usually signs of a wiring problem. You may want to call in an electrician and have the wires fixed or replaced.


There are many problems that could be the cause as to why your air conditioner isn’t turning on. This list should give you an idea of what those problems are and how you can identify and fix them. However, the best solution to most of these problems is to ask for help from a professional.

Mainline Heating and Air provides quality products and complete HVAC repair services to clients in the greater Birmingham area. Since 1989, our team has served the community with our repair, installation, and maintenance work for all types of heating and cooling systems. Whenever you need emergency air conditioning service in Alabaster, AL, give us a call.

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