air conditioner isn't cooling

Common Reasons Your Air-Conditioning Isn’t Working

If your air-conditioning isn’t working properly, that’s not necessarily a sign of serious damage. There are actually many simple reasons it may not be working that wouldn’t require you call an HVAC contractor. However, identifying the cause of the problem may require a professional.

We serve San Diego County up to Riverside County. If you’re experiencing problems with your unit and you bring us out we’ll run a series of checks to determine the problem(s).

Sometimes there is more than one problem.

There are many complex reasons your air-conditioning may not be working. However, there are a few common reasons that are quite simple.

We made a list of the Top Five Reasons Common Reasons your A/C might not be working.


It can be as simple as the register not being open. If this is the case, it means your filter is clogged. If it gets dirty enough, it will stop the intake. Either the intake in your home or in the actual furnace.

Having a dirty filter is the equivalent to not putting oil in your car. It’ll blow the motor. It can actually cause more serious damage than just stopping the intake—because you might lose your motor, your furnace fan, outside fan, or maybe even the compressor itself.

At that point, it would be considered a major repair; the definition of which would be a repair over the cost of $500.

It’s at this point that you’d have to be asking yourself whether or not you should simply junk the old unit and buy a new one. If this turns out to be the case for you, we would provide you with multiple options to help you make the most informed decision.

For example, if your unit is malfunctioning because of small fixes that add up to hundreds of dollars and your unit is fifteen years old you might consider getting a new unit because, even after the fixes, there’s still a chance the compressor will die from overuse. We wouldn’t want you to waste your money on fixes when it’s likely the motor is going to die anyways within a year or so.

More than that, updating your system might be beneficial in terms of lowering your power consumption and therefore your electrical bill.

Newer systems will require less power and therefore will save you money in the long run.


Electrical - Circuit Breaker (Tripped)

Another common problem may have nothing to do with your A/C unit and everything to do with your electrical system. It may be as simple as your circuit breaker tripped and you need to go to your box and flip the switch back into its proper place.

If this is the case, you don’t need to sweat.

It’s a simple fix.


Oftentimes when people think their air isn’t working it’s actually not the unit that’s the problem, it’s the thermostat.

Common thermostat problems include dead batteries, which is a simple fix. Or, it’s likely that it’s not set properly. Often the thermostat will be on a set schedule—which would explain why it shuts off at 3am and you're waking up in the morning in a sweat.

If you want to keep the A/C going constantly, you’ll need to adjust your settings.

In other words, your air-conditioning problem might actually be a programming issue and not a hardware issue. It may be as simple as the thermostat’s internal programming overriding the system.

If you don’t have your manufacturer’s manual or if it’s too complicated for you to solve, feel free to give us a call and we can send out one of our technicians.

If you adjust your thermostat’s programming and you’re still having issues with your A/C, the problem probably lies somewhere else, in which case you will need an HVAC technician to run a series of checks.


It may be that your thermostat lacks power.

Thermostat power comes from the furnace. A/C power comes from outside. You'll need to check the connection to make sure your thermostat is receiving power.


The 5th and possibly most common problem of all problems is your unit hasn’t been serviced and that’s why you’re experiencing difficulties.

If this is the case, you’ll definitely need an experienced technician to identify the problem. Maybe the inside of the unit is just dirty and needs to be cleaned, or perhaps there is a freon leak.

Sometimes dirt or grime gets into the system and blocks the fan and all it takes to fix the problem is to clean up the hardware.

One thing you should be aware of is that many technicians will come in, identify one problem, fix it and leave.

Our company is of the persuasion that we don’t want you to have to call us back.

We want to take care of your maintenance needs and not have to come back for many, many years. Which is why we always run many checks to identify all issues or potential issues.

Basically, we want to provide you with multiple options and give you the pros and cons of each one. Air-conditioning units are machines, after all, that go through wear-and-tear and have a number of complex components.

These are the top 5 reasons your unit may not be working. Hopefully this article has been informative for you. If you have any questions, give us a call. We serve the Southern California area, from San Diego to Riverside County, including Temecula, Murrieta, Hemet, Menifee, Lake Elsinore and so on. Be sure to check out our service locations.

Have a great day!