When Your Outside AC Unit is Not Running but Your Inside Is

Outside HVAC unit

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The temperatures are climbing, so you’ve turned on your air conditioning unit for a little relief. But instead of a nice, cool, refreshing home, your vents are blowing warm air. Obviously something is happening, but it’s definitely not what you anticipated. The issues could be that you outside AC unit is not running but your inside is. Before you panic at the expense and hassle of replacing your entire AC unit, bear in mind that there could be a few easy solutions to this problem!

How Do I Know the Outside Air Conditioning Unit Isn’t Running?

The first symptom of a split system malfunction is warm air coming out of your vents, rather than cool air. You’ll also notice that no matter how long the air blows, you can’t hear the distinctive hum or whirring noise that your system makes. Like all of the mechanical systems in your home, you’ll hear the AC system kick on when the compressor starts. If you feel nothing and hear nothing, it’s time to investigate a little further.

Steps You Can Take When Your Outside AC Unit Is Not Running but Your Inside Is

A stubborn outside air conditioning unit can be a symptom of a big problem, but there are a few things you can check yourself before calling a repair person.

  1. Check the thermostat – In multiple-person households, it’s inevitable that someone will adjust the thermostat without telling everyone. Double-check that the thermostat is set on “Cool,” and that the temperature setting is lower than the current outside conditions. The compressor will not kick on until the room temperature is higher than the thermostat setting, so if someone cranked up the settings during a chilly night, you’ll need to reset to a more comfortable daytime temperature.
  2. Double-check the circuit breaker – There are several reasons the circuit breaker to the outside AC unit may have tripped, so take a moment to glance into the circuit box to make sure the breaker is in the “On” position.
  3. Give the outside unit a once-over – Depending on the layout of your home and the location of your outside unit, an environmental factor may be at play. Make sure the air conditioning equipment is free from debris. If there’s an “On/Off” switch on or near the unit, make sure it’s toggled to the “On” position. If you have access to the drain line, check for clogs.

When to Call the Professionals

If the thermostat appears to be correctly set, the circuit breaker is in the correct position, and everything appears to be in good working order outside, it’s time to call in a trained professional. Issues such as a faulty thermostat, a damaged outside AC unit, or a unit that is constantly tripping the circuit breaker should be addressed by an AC technician, as there may be more severe underlying issues.

An AC technician can also double-check your drain lines, and inspect the compressor for any outstanding issues. Many of these can be repaired, but a full replacement may be the best option, depending on the damage.

As warm weather moves in, more and more of us will turn on our air conditioners for the first time in several months. If you find your AC unit is warm and silent, call 844-962-2681 to speak to an AC professional in your local area. These HVAC professionals are available for consultation and can help you determine whether your AC unit is in trouble, or just needs troubleshooting.

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