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9 Signs Your Air Conditioner Isn't Working

Living in the Charleston Lowcountry, your home’s air conditioning system is necessary to your general comfort. For many, including older family members and babies, it can also be very important to their total health and well being.

That’s why, when you notice your AC won’t turn on or is not cooling, it’s understandable to switch into panic mode and begin to feel stressed; especially during the “dog days of summer.” No need to freak out, however. Check out these quick and easy steps you can follow to understand why your system may be having problems and what to do should any of these occur.

1. thermostat not working

AC Won't Turn On Charleston SC

While it may sound obvious, check your thermostat to see if it indeed has power. Also, make sure it is set in the "COOL" mode and the temperature is set below the current room temperature.

Your thermostat may be improperly calibrated, which indicates your AC isn’t receiving the correct instructions from the control system, especially if you still have the old dial-type thermostats. This issue is relatively easy to solve by swapping out or recalibrating your thermostats.

Every so often, new programmable thermostats are difficult to program and could be set incorrectly. Check the instructions from the manual to make certain your thermostat’s settings are correct.

2. How To Tell If AC Fuse Is Blown

Next, you will need to check whether your fuses are working correctly. You will need to run a continuity test on both fuses with a multimeter. Your fuses are functioning properly if the multimeter beeps. If one does not beep, you can buy a replacement at a hardware store.

3. A Tripped Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers are built to shut off when they’re getting an electrical overload.

This is very important as it safeguards your home from fires.

Breakers trip oftentimes when too many appliances are used at once, or if an appliance is too old and uses too much electricity.

No matter what, if the breaker that delivers power to your air conditioning unit trips, the AC will not turn on. Look to see if you should reset a breaker.

4. Clogged Air Filter

How often do you check your HVAC air filter? When your air filter becomes clogged, it can

cause your AC system to turn off or even freeze up. Clean air filters guarantee proper airflow. When they become covered with dust and debris, air is blocked.

Under normal situations, an air conditioner would take in humidity from your home. A condensation tray would collect the water droplets that fall and would drain outside through drain lines.

But, when you have dirty air filters, the water droplets will freeze, coating the coils with layers of ice.

Make sure to replace your air filters with new filters a minimum of every three months.

5. Dirty Evaporator Coils

For the most part, your AC is complete with components that are susceptible to debris build up. Dirt, dust, dander along with other allergens from our everyday lives can accumulate on the inside of your air conditioner’s evaporator coils, condenser, or filter. When debris establishes on several components of your AC, it makes your system less efficient and can eventually lead to a complete breakdown. Regular AC maintenance will help keep this accumulation from happening.

6. Dirty AC Condenser Coils

Part of the outdoor unit is your condenser coils, which get rid of the heat eliminated from the air by forcing it outside the house. The condenser coil will not work effectively when it becomes layered with dirt and grime.

This is a very common problem in the Charleston area with all the pollen and other allergens in the air.

Heat transfer is blocked when it happens and your AC unit must operate harder to do an effective job, causing more wear on the parts and possibly system failure.

7. You may have a Refrigerant Leak

The refrigerant is the coolant that your air conditioner consumes to get rid of the heat and humidity from the air in your home or business. If your system gets leaks in the refrigerant lines, it can result in not having enough refrigerant to efficiently cool the air. Fixing this AC issue properly, however, is not just an issue of replacing the refrigerant. A reputable HVAC repair professional has to discover the leaks and fix any holes in the lines that many times can be a long and expensive process, mainly when there is more than one leak.


By continually removing moisture from the inside air, there has to be a place where that moisture from your air conditioner goes. It’s meant to be taken away from the space via a drain line, into a pan and lastly down a drain. If the pan gets full or drain gets clogged, the water can back up and damage your system. In addition, you could end up with water leaks that damage your furnishings, walls, and ceilings. If left unseen, you’ll sooner or later have mold growth.

9. Leaking Ducts

Your walls and ceilings have ductwork that runs through them and transports the cooled air from the air conditioner all the way through your home. But, if there are holes or splits in the ducts (oftentimes caused by squirrels or other rodents, or negligent workers), that expensive cooled air ends up being wasted inside your walls where no one gets to enjoy. In addition, this situation makes your air conditioner work harder and go up your energy bills.

Emergency AC Repair Services in charleston

At ClimateMakers, your comfort is our business. When your AC is not working, it is essential to not risk your safety and pass on the difficult jobs to a professional. If your air conditioning unit chooses to stop or breakdown during the worst times, our experienced technicians are ready to get you feeling cool again, fast. Contact ClimateMakers at (843) 552-9024 or online to schedule your service when your AC is not working.


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