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Why Is My AC Not Turning On?

Two outdoor HVAC systems side-by-side, one with a tool bag sitting on top.


In the middle of a hot and humid summer, the last thing anyone wants to deal with is an air conditioner that won’t turn on. The good news is you might not need expert help to repair it.

AC failures can occur for several reasons, but there are troubleshooting steps you can take before calling a professional. In this blog, you’ll learn the possible causes of your AC problems, how to troubleshoot them, and how to prevent them from happening again.

Common Reasons Your AC Won’t Turn On

When your AC is working one minute and won’t turn on the next, it can be hard to know what caused the issue. Here are a few of the most common and easy-to-fix reasons your AC isn’t turning on:

  • Dirty air filters
  • Dead thermostat batteries
  • Clogged drain line
  • Tripped circuit breaker

While there are other possible causes, many can be dangerous if you attempt to DIY any repairs without the proper expertise or tools. However, the reasons above are relatively easy to handle without professional assistance.

Troubleshooting & Preventative Maintenance Tips for Your AC System

Even if you’re not an HVAC technician, troubleshooting and preventative maintenance for your AC is easier than you think. Here are some ways you can easily troubleshoot your AC issues and prevent future problems:

  • Check & replace your air filters: Aside from gunk and debris, air filter blockage can cause coils to freeze, which, if the icy layers thicken over time, can cause your AC to not turn on.
  • Check thermostat & replace dying batteries: If you use central AC, a faulty thermostat can lead to inaccurate readings or complete thermostat failure. Replacing its batteries can be an easy fix for getting your AC back up and running.
  • Check & clean drain line: A clogged condensate drain pipe can get overloaded with moisture and cause AC failure. Pour boiling water down your pipe once a month to remedy this.
  • Check & reset circuit breaker: If you have older electrical wiring in your home or were using too many electrical appliances at once, it’s possible that a power surge could’ve occurred, leading to a tripped circuit breaker. A simple off/on reset can fix that.

Schedule AC Repair in Greenville or Nearby

If you’ve tried the easy troubleshooting options and your AC isn’t turning on, or you noticed more severe issues with your AC, schedule a repair with a professional HVAC technician. Waldrop Plumbing — Heating — Air has served the Greenville and Spartanburg County areas for over 50 years with our highly trained and NATE-certified HVAC experts.

Call Waldrop today at (864) 536-0887 or contact us online.

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Greenville, SC

Five stars

Waldrop has taken care of our HVAC since our house was built (2006). We get maintenance twice a year – spring and fall. This year, Kevin suggested the Phenomenal Aire unit. It cleans the air

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Marietta, SC

Five stars

Had the best experience with Waldrop, we will forever be in their debt. Not only the most professional group of men but the most honest, stand by your word company! I would recommend Waldrop to

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Five stars

A friend recommended Waldrop after he had a visit last week. Our A/C was not cooling as well as it should, and the Split “Smart” thermostat was doing crazy things on the first and 2nd


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