3 Electrical Reasons Why Your AC Unit's Compressor Does Not Kick On

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How to Keep Your Cool When the Mercury is Rising

When the heat is rising to record-breaking levels, it can be really tough to stay cool. This summer, I found that my air conditioner had trouble keeping up with the temperatures. It wasn't that the AC wasn't working, it was just that I couldn't seem to get my house cooled down as much as I wanted. I worried that I would have to replace the whole AC system. Luckily, I have a good friend who works as an HVAC contractor. He took a look at my system and gave good news -- it didn't need to be replaced. Instead, he shared a lot of tips for helping my air conditioner work more efficiently, as well as some ideas to help supplement the AC and keep the house cooler. I'm using those tips to create this blog to share ways for all of us to keep cool on the hottest days.

3 Electrical Reasons Why Your AC Unit's Compressor Does Not Kick On

14 August 2017
 Categories: , Blog

After noticing that your house is not cooling down, you may have discovered that the AC's compressor is not kicking on. If so, there could be an electrical issue preventing the compressor from working. Below are three possible electrical reasons why your air conditioner's compressor does not kick on as it should.

Tripped Reset Button

As part of your central air conditioning unit's safety features, there is a reset button that turns the compressor off if an electrical surge is detected by the sensors.This button is typically found on the exterior of your unit near the electrical panel.

If you see that the button has been tripped after removing the panel, press it to see if the compressor comes back on. If it kicks on and stays on, the surge may have been a fluke. However, if the reset button trips again shortly after pushing it, there could be an electrical issue inside the unit that needs professional attention.

Burnt Thermostat Wires

Another potential reason why your compressor will not turn on is that the wires connecting the thermostat to the air conditioner have become burnt. When this happens, the thermostat is unable to signal the compressor when the temperature in your home has gone above the desired setting.

You may be able to see the wires if you detach the thermostat from the wall and look underneath it. However, since the wires may have become burnt because of a serious electrical issue with the thermostat or your AC unit, you should not try to fix this problem yourself.

Broken Control Module

Inside your central air conditioning unit is an electrical control module that controls when and how long the compressor stays on. If this module becomes broken because of physical damage or electrical surges, your unit's compressor will never receive the signals it requires to kick on.

Unless you are a professional, you probably will not be able to tell whether the problem lies within the control module or from the connecting wires. An experienced repair technician should look at the unit to determine which is causing the issue with your compressor.

With the exception of a tripped reset button, electrical issues with your AC unit should be handled by a professional. Contact an HVAC contractor who specializes in air conditioning repair to have them determine the problem with the compressor, so they can make the necessary repairs or replacements of faulty electrical components.