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Why Won't My Outside AC Unit Turn On?

You turn on the air and notice that it's not getting any cooler inside. A quick glance outside shows the outside AC unit isn't running. What's going on?

Before you call for an air conditioning repair, there are a few things you need to check.

Check the Thermostat

It should be set to cool. Set the temperature to 5 degrees below the inside temperature and see if the outside unit comes on.

Look for a Tripped Breaker

Check the electrical panel to see if the breaker is tripped. Reset it if it is. Then see if the outside unit comes on. If the breaker trips again, let a professional handle it.

Check the Shut-off Switch

Outside AC units have an electrical switch next to them which allows the power to be cut from the exterior. Make sure the switch is in the on position.

Check the Inside Shut-off Switch

The air handler unit inside the house also has a power switch near it. Make sure that is in the on position. If it is shut off, neither the inside nor the outside units will turn on.

Make Sure the Condensate Line Is Clear

The internal AC unit has a pan beneath that catches condensate run-off. That pan usually has a drain line attached to it that allows the water out of the house. If that line gets clogged, it can trip a switch that shuts everything off.

Try the Reset Button

If your unit has a reset button, push it and see if it helps. If it doesn't have one, you can turn off the AC at the thermostat and turn it back on in 5 to 10 minutes.

If the outside unit still isn't running after you try these steps, contact Rescue Air Heating and Cooling immediately. We offer 24/7 emergency service throughout the DFW Metroplex.