It’s 34 degrees outside, and about 30 degrees inside—why isn’t your air conditioner working?!?

Here are a few things you can check before calling in an expert.


First you need to differentiate between not running at all, or not blowing cool air. If it’s not doing anything at all, your first check is any breakers or resets at the electrical panel and on the air conditioner itself.


The next thing to check is to ensure that you have selected “cool,” and to what you have your room temperature set. Set the temperature lower, and see if the furnace fan kicks on to blow cold air throughout your house. If the furnace fan does not come on, try resetting the furnace breaker. If it still doesn’t come on, your next step is to call a repairperson.

Condensate Overflow Switch

Your next check is the condensate overflow switch (a switch located near your drain pan, designed to shut off the unit if there is too much water building up). If there is a lot of water building up, the switch will shut off the air conditioner until the water has been drained out.

Contactor and Capacitor

Last is a check of the contactor and capacitor in the compressor. If the contactor has failed: the compressor clicks when the air conditioner fan tries to turn on, but you don’t hear a buzz.

If the capacitor has failed: you hear a click and a buzz from the motor. The motor is trying to run, but the capacitor has failed.

If either the contactor or the capacitor in the compressor have failed, this repair is beyond the scope of simple, unskilled repair troubleshooting.

Cleaning Build-up

If the air conditioner is running but not blowing cool air, first turn off the power, then clean or change the filter. Check the coils to see if you have some ice build-up on them. If you have ice on the coils, turn the power back on and the fan should melt it.

Next you would clean the condensate drain.

The last step is checking and cleaning the outside condenser unit. You should be able to hear the fan and compressor and fan running. If they aren’t running, it’s time to bring in the professionals.

If None of That Works…

These are a few things you can check and fix easily before calling a repair person if your air conditioner isn’t running properly; once you get beyond the scope of these easy checks, though, it’s probably time to call a company like 4 Seasons Home Comfort.

Contact 4 Seasons Home Comfort to discuss service options for your air conditioner or visit our showroom at 3620 9th Ave North in Lethbridge.