Why Won’t My Outside AC Unit Turn On?

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hvac contractors waxahachie tx

When the Texas summer hits, you want to make sure your AC is pumping cool air. If you adjust the thermostat and notice no cold air coming from the registers, what are you going to do? If your outside AC unit isn’t turning on, it can cause your whole HVAC system to stop completely.

If you want to learn why your outside AC unit isn’t working, read on!

No matter what your AC woes are, Dial One offers the services you need to get your HVAC system up and running. If you are searching for reliable air conditioning repair in Waxahachie, reach out today by phone at 469-557-2703.

Common Areas to Troubleshoot

When cool air isn’t coming from your vents, there could be several issues to check. Understanding where to look first can save you money and time. While you should leave most HVAC repairs to the professionals, there are some things you can inspect on your own when your outside unit fails to turn on.

Remember to always be careful when working on your HVAC unit. Not only can you damage expensive components, but things like refrigerants can be dangerous when mishandled.

Below you’ll find some common factors that could be causing your AC trouble.


This one is pretty easy to troubleshoot. Check your thermostat: is it working? Is the display providing up-to-date and accurate information? If not, it could be the reason your outside AC unit isn’t turning on.

If this is the problem, it’s a pretty easy fix. A broken thermostat means your outside unit isn’t getting the command to turn on your system. It also means that you aren’t dealing with a more serious issue that could require an emergency visit from an HVAC technician.

Another factor to consider is thermostat placement. If it’s in a cold area, it might be giving your system an inaccurate reading. Likewise, if it’s in direct sunlight, it could mean your AC unit is working overtime.

Check your Breaker Box

Another easy to fix issue is a tripped breaker. While overworked circuits could mean something is draining your power, sometimes a circuit is bad and needs replacing.

The first thing you will want to do is flip the breaker back on. If this fixes the issue, then you are good to go. If not, it could mean you need to replace the circuit. Additionally, there may be something causing the power surge.

This could be a faulty air compressor or fan. If changing out the circuit doesn’t fix the issue, this is something you will want to get checked out. Circuitry issues are a fire hazard. You need to take your electrical system seriously. When in doubt, call an electrician.

On/Off Switches

This may seem like an obvious one, but is the unit on? Most outside AC units will have an on/off switch next to them. Make sure yours is in the on position.

There is also an on/off switch on the inside portion of your HVAC system. Usually, you can find the switch on the air handler. Make sure you have the switch in the on position as well. This can be troublesome because if the inside switch is off, it will also turn off the outside unit. This might cause you to think your outside unit is faulty.

Clear the Condensate Line

Underneath your outside unit is a condensate pan. This simple piece of equipment has the job of catching the water coming off the condensation coils for draining. A little tube attaches to the pan, giving the water a place to flow.

If this line has a clog, it can set off a switch that will shut off the entire system. You will probably know if your condensate line has an obstruction, as the excess water will start to go moldy. If the smell doesn’t alert you, then the visible water collecting on the bottom side of your unit will.

Pressure Switch

Your AC’s pressure switch is in charge of monitoring the pressure of the refrigerant. If your unit is low, this means the pressure switch will trip. When this happens, your unit will shut off for safety. Running a unit with low refrigerant can cause issues.

Low refrigerant could mean you just need to add some more. If the problem persists, it might be time to have an inspection of your HVAC system. Leaks and cracks in your refrigerant lines could be the culprit. If left untreated, you could face more random shut-offs and damage to your AC compressor.

What to do if Your Outside Unit Turning On and Off

If your outside AC unit only works sometimes, it could be indicative of another issue. If this is the case, your HVAC system might be stuck in a dangerous state called short-cycling.

Short-cycling is when your AC is stuck in the start-up cycle. It will turn on and off rapidly without completing a full cooling cycle. If your AC is short-cycling, it can mean less than stellar performance and untold damage to components like your compressor.

Usually, short-cycling eventually causes a complete shutdown. Proper maintenance is essential to avoiding short-cycling and other preventable HVAC issues. 

Proper Maintenance is Key to Keeping Your Outside Unit Healthy

HVAC maintenance is an important part of keeping your home cool. You can take some simple steps to make sure your AC unit is working well all summer long.

Here are some tips for proper HVAC maintenance:

  • Change your air filter regularly
  • Clean the condenser coils on the outside unit
  • Check for refrigerant leaks
  • Make sure your condensation pan isn’t full or clogged
  • Listen for off noises or even the lack of noise from operating components

These are just a few easy steps you can follow to prevent outside AC unit failures in the future. Enlisting the help of HVAC contractors in Waxahachie, TX, can be a great strategy to keep on top of maintenance. 

Not only will you benefit from the regular appointments, but if there is a more significant issue, you should have an HVAC professional handle it.

Finding Affordable HVAC Contractors in Waxahachie, TX

If you’ve checked all your components and still are getting hot air from your vents, Dial One can help you get back to your perfectly cooled home. When it comes to air conditioning repair in Waxahachie, there is no better team.

If you need emergency repairs or regular maintenance, reach out online to schedule an appointment today.


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