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With warmer weather right around the corner, many people in and around the Boston area will turn on their air conditioner for the first time.
Upon doing so, it’s your hope that it fires up quickly and cools you down in a hurry.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. It’s possible that your AC won’t turn on, thus leaving you in a hot house with nothing but a bunch of questions.
Here are some of the more common reasons for an air conditioner that won’t turn on after a long winter:
Incorrect Thermostat Setting
This is the first thing you should check, as it’s often the culprit. And if it is, you’ll be glad to know that it won’t cost you anything to make things right.
Check to make sure that you switched your thermostat from “heat” to “cool.” If you didn’t do this, your air conditioner will not come on – no matter how hot your house gets.
Once you do that, set it approximately three to five degrees cooler than your current indoor temperature. This prompts the unit to turn on, while also giving you time to see if it’s working.
Note: start by checking the outdoor unit to ensure that the fan is spinning. From there, head back inside to see if cool air is coming from your vents.
Switches or Breakers are Turned Off
Depending on how you shut down your AC at the end of last season, it’s possible that a switch and/or breaker needs to be turned to the on position.
For example, many homeowners are in the habit of turning off the outdoor power switch before winter arrives. It’s okay to do this, but only if you remember to turn it back on in the spring.
Also, check the breaker for your AC in the panel box, as it should be in the on position.
If you don’t turn all applicable switches and breakers on, you could go on a “wild goose chase” for no reason.
Malfunctioning Motor
This is one of those problems you don’t want to have, but it’s actually a common occurrence (especially in older units).
There are many signs of a malfunctioning or broken motor, such as a fan that doesn’t spin or loud noises that appear when your unit turns on.[i]
Without a functioning motor, it goes without saying that your AC won’t produce cold air.
What Should You Do?
If your AC won’t turn on this spring, start by checking the thermostat, switches and breakers. Should you find something wrong with one or more of these, you can probably adjust it yourself and begin to enjoy a cool home.
However, if you run into a more serious issue, such as a malfunctioning motor or warm air coming from your vents, it’s time to contact a professional.
At Boston Standard Plumbing, we’re happy to visit your home to help start your air conditioner or diagnose and repair any problems you’re having. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

DIY Air Conditioning

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