What To Do If Your AC Stops Working Suddenly?

By: John Garcia | Date Posted: August 8, 2022

Coming home from work on a hot afternoon only to find that your AC unit is not working properly can be quite frustrating. It’s equally annoying when your AC “dies” on you during peak summer. The good news is that there are some quick fixes to certain AC problems. The bad news? It’s very likely that the issue would require professional repair. If that’s the case, you can call a professional Air Conditioner Repair Service provider and get your unit inspected and repaired.

In this article, we have outlined some common reasons why your AC might’ve stopped working, as well as what you should do if that happens.

Clogged Air Filter

Replacing air filters is AC maintenance 101. Clogged air filters are a common reason why air conditioner units run efficiently and, in some cases, can stop working altogether. It can obstruct the smooth airflow through the unit. If your AC had stopped working for you, it’s best to first turn to the usual suspect, the air filter, before crossing off other reasons from the list.

What to do?

The simple solution to this issue is to replace the air filter, which you should be doing regularly anyway.

Failed Compressor

There are some clear-cut signs of a failed compressor, such as the shaking of the unit, the unit blowing warm air instead of cool air, the unit frequently tripping the circuit breaker, or the unit making unusual noises while running. In extreme cases, the compressor could freeze or overheat.

What to do?

Issues with compressors should be dealt with by experienced technicians. If you think that the reason your AC stopped working is your compressor, then it’s best to let the professionals take over and avoid taking matters into your own hands.

Blocked Outdoor Condenser Unit

If the condenser coil of your AC is covered with leaves, dirt, and debris, then the heat transfer is obstructed, forcing the AC unit to work overtime, and running the risk of system failure. This usually happens when the homeowners become careless about their lawns or don’t pay attention to outdoor landscaping.

What to do?

The precautionary measure for this issue is to maintain your lawn well and allow adequate space for your outdoor condenser unit. It should be frequently cleaned as well. In case of system failure due to condenser, call professionals and let the experienced people take a look at the unit.

Dead Batteries In Thermostat

At times, your AC stops working because the batteries in your thermostat are dead. This happens more frequently than you think. Your first clue to the thermostat being the culprit is that the screen of the thermostat would stop displaying any content. That should be your cue to take corrective measures.

What to do?

The first and the most obvious thing when your thermostat goes blank is to replace the batteries since it’s the most likely cause for the thermostat to stop working. If replacing batteries doesn’t fix the issue, then you would have to call the professionals.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

An overloaded circuit could cause a breaker to trip. If the system stops working suddenly, you could check if any of the breakers have tripped.

What to do?

If the reason why the AC suddenly stopped working is a tripped circuit breaker, then the simple solution is to reset it and start the AC again. However, if the same thing happens again, then you should shut down other appliances that could be contributing to the issue. If you are still unsure why the problem could be recurring, calling a professional is recommended.

Blown Fuse

Your AC could also stop working if there is a blown fuse between your AC and the thermostat.

What to do?

Fixing this issue is beyond anyone who hasn’t received special training. To ensure that you don’t end up making things worse for yourself, it’s best to let the professionals take the wheel on this one. Call up a technician if you think that the issue is caused by a blown fuse.

Dirty Indoor Or Outdoor Coils

Dirty Indoor Or Outdoor Coils

Dirty coils can prevent your vents from blowing cool air, especially if the thermostat has been set to “cool.” The issue could be either with the indoor coils or the outdoor, either of which can get dirty if the unit does not get regular servicing. If the issue is not timely addressed, then the unit would not be able to remove the heat that is being circulated in your home efficiently. As a result, the air that will be circulated in your home would basically be of the same temperature.

What to do?

To deal with this issue, the dirty coils would need to be replaced. You can call professionals and let them inspect the unit for full-fledged diagnosis and repairs.

Refrigerant Shortage

Another common reason why ACs stop working is if the unit is low on refrigerant, which is essentially a cooling fluid that lives in the coils of an AC. The fluid is responsible for the cool air from the AC. The system could run low on fluid if there are leakages. These need to be fixed up if you want your AC to start working and begin blowing cool air.

What to do?

This is another of those instances where you would have to consult a professional who would check the levels of refrigerant, detect causes of leakage, and take corrective measures.

5 Tips To Maintain AC

Air conditioners are very expensive. The only way to ensure that you don’t feel the need to replace your AC for at least ten years is to maintain the AC unit. While the technical maintenance part can be taken care of by professionals, homeowners can take certain steps to help their AC run smoothly. Here are some helpful tips to abide by –

  • Change air filters regularly (ideally once a month)
  • Keep the indoor and outdoor coils clean
  • Inspect the fins and ensure that they are not bent
  • Ensure the condensate drain is working properly
  • Stick to your ACs maintenance schedule

You can easily prolong the AC’s life with proper maintenance and care. However, if it breaks down and you are unsure what to do, call in the professionals instead of a DIY solution.

Thank you for reading!


John is the founder and chief editor of Homienjoy. With over 15 years of experience in the home improvement industry, John is passionate about helping homeowners confidently tackle their projects. Holding a civil engineering degree and working as a contractor, project manager, and consultant, John brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Homienjoy community.

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