Here's what to do if your AC is not working properly.
Here’s what to do if your AC isn’t working properly.

It’s very inconvenient to have your AC not working when you need it the most. The entire point of cooling and heating system is to make you as comfortable as possible, so when it stops working for whatever reason it really bogs your day down.

But the thing is, the inconvenience makes it seem like the problem is much bigger and more complicated than it actually is. In most cases, in fact, it’s pretty straightforward to solve.

If your AC is not working properly, look out for these possible causes:

Circuit breaker

If your AC is not turning on or flickering in any way, you might have a problem with the energy coming to it. Check your circuit breaker for any signs of a blown fuse, faulty wires, or if the switch is even on.

If you do however notice signs of faulty wiring, do not attempt to fix it yourself, it could be very dangerous. Instead, call a professional to assist you.

Insufficient coolant

The coolant is responsible for actually cooling the air that flows through the system (often also responsible for that familiar “air conditioner smell in certain places), and if the coolant is insufficient to cool the air, as expected, you will notice your AC won’t cool as it should. In this case, a professional can replace it in no time.

Faulty compressor:

The compressor is directly tied to main function your AC system. In short, it’s a motor that compresses the coolant and circulates it through the condenser coils and evaporator. And I know what you’re thinking:

“I don’t know what any of those words mean.

Basically, if the compressor is not working properly, this will create a cascade of things not working that results in your AC not cooling. The good news is that fixing the compressor solves everything.

Clogged air filter

Clogged air filter
Clogged air filters are a common issue with AC units.

Air filters need to be replaced regularly and sometimes we forget about that. Even then, debris from other sources can clog it up and prevent optimal air flow, which leads to the AC not working efficiently – and sometimes louder than usual too, like it’s “coughing.

In most cases you can check the state of the air filter yourself and immediately tell if that’s the problem. If it’s clogged or too dirty, simply replace it and it should work perfectly.


A very minor issue for sure but it happens more often than we think. If your AC is not responding to your inputs in the thermostat or the thermostat itself is not working, it might just have low batteries. Try replacing them if you can and that should fix the issue.

Undersized AC or low efficiency

Perhaps the reason your AC is not cooling properly is because it’s not powerful enough. If your AC focuses on a single room or area, for example, and that area is spacious with open doorways… the cooling system is going to struggle. Especially if we’re talking about a place that wasn’t properly insulated.

In this case, the AC is not at fault, it’s just not strong enough. We recommend either installing a more powerful system, or trying to optimize the area for more efficiency – like making sure doors and windows are closed and there are no air leaks fighting against your AC.

Dirty coils

This is a very common issue that happens to any AC that hasn’t been properly maintained. The coils are directly linked to the condenser (which we mentioned before) and is responsible for dissipating the heat outside of your home, leaving only the cool air in. But if the coils are dirty, it doesn’t dissipate heat effectively, and therefore makes it harder for your AC to let only the cool air in.

AC remote is not responding

Dirty coils
Sounds minor, but often your AC remote is the problem. Source: Gizmodo

Another minor problem that can go by unnoticed. If your AC remote is not responding or simply not responding as intended, try switching up the batteries or pressing the buttons on the AC itself or your thermostat. If it responds normally there, we can assume the problem is just on the remote, and that should be very easy to fix.

Need to fix an AC that stopped working? Call a cooling professional from your area and get free quotes today!

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