How Do You Fix an AC That Won’t Cool?


Few things are more frustrating than an air conditioner that refuses to cool your Mason, OH, home on a hot summer day. If you’re experiencing this problem, don’t worry. There are several common reasons why your AC might not be cooling and a number of steps you can take to resolve the issue.

Below, Robinson Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. helps you troubleshoot and fix minor problems with your air conditioning system so you can stay cool and comfortable. Before you contact our HVAC and indoor air quality experts for cooling services, try these tips and you may be able to save yourself the cost of an air conditioning repair call.


Step 1: Check the Thermostat Settings

Before diving into more complex cooling system fixes, start with the basics. Your thermostat is the brain of your HVAC systems, controlling when they turn on and off. Here’s what to check:

  1. Temperature Setting: Make sure the temperature is set lower than the current room temperature. If it’s not, your air conditioner won’t turn on, so adjust it to the desired level.
  2. Mode Setting: Ensure the thermostat is set to “Cool” and not “Heat”.
  3. Fan Setting: If the fan is set to “On” instead of “Auto,” it will run even when the air conditioner is off, which can make it feel like your HVAC system isn’t cooling. Make sure the fan is set to “Auto.”
  4. Battery Check: If your thermostat has batteries, replace them. A low battery can lead to incorrect readings or intermittent operation of your air conditioner.


Step 2: Verify the AC System Has Power

A common reason why air conditioners or heat pumps won’t cool is that they aren’t receiving power. A tripped breaker, a blown fuse, or a disconnected power source can all be culprits. To ensure the air conditioning system has power, follow these steps:

  1. Check the Circuit Breaker: Locate your home’s electrical panel and find the breaker associated with the air conditioning system. If the breaker is tripped, reset it by flipping it back to the “On” position. If it trips again, do not reset it—there might be a more serious electrical issue. In this case, contact a licensed electrician or HVAC technician.
  2. Inspect the Disconnect Switch: Outside, near the condenser unit, there is usually a disconnect switch or box. Open it to ensure the switch is set to “On.” If it’s off, turn it on, and then try running the AC again.
  3. Check the Indoor Unit: The power switch is often located on the air handler or home heating system itself or mounted nearby on a wall. It typically resembles a light switch, possibly with a red or orange cover. Once you’ve confirmed the switch is on or switched it back to the on position, give your air conditioning system a few minutes to start up.


Step 3: Inspect the Air Filter

A clogged or dirty air filter can restrict airflow, causing your AC to work harder and cool less effectively. Follow these steps to check and replace the filter:

  1. Locate the Filter: Most filters are found in the return air duct or near the blower in the air handler.
  2. Examine the Filter: If it’s dirty or clogged with dust, it’s time to replace it.
  3. Replace the Filter: Insert a new filter with the correct size and orientation. Aim to replace your filter every 1-3 months as part of your routine maintenance, depending on usage and air quality.


Step 4: Clear the Condenser Unit

The condenser unit, located outside, dissipates heat from your home. If it’s dirty or blocked, your air conditioning system won’t cool effectively. Here’s how to clean it:

  1. Turn Off the Power: Before you start cleaning, turn off the power to the condenser at the breaker box.
  2. Remove Debris: Clear away leaves, grass, and other debris from around the unit. Make sure there’s at least 2 feet of clearance on all sides.
  3. Straighten the Fins: Use a fin comb to straighten any bent fins and remove dirt. Be gentle to avoid damaging the fins.
  4. Clean the Coils: Spray the coils gently with a hose to rinse off debris. Be careful not to use high pressure, which could bend the fins.


Step 5: Ensure All Vents Are Open

Another common reason for an air conditioner that won’t cool properly is blocked or closed vents. This can disrupt airflow and prevent cool air from properly circulating throughout your home. To check your vents:

  1. Locate All Vents: Find the vents in each room, including floor, wall, and ceiling vents. Note that some rooms may have multiple vents.
  2. Check Positioning: Ensure each vent is fully open. Move the vent louvers to the open position if they are closed or partially closed.
  3. Remove Obstructions: Clear any furniture, curtains, or other objects that may be blocking the airflow. Keep at least a foot of clearance around each vent for optimal performance.
  4. Test the Airflow: With the air conditioning system running, place your hand near each vent to feel for airflow. If a vent has weak or no airflow, it could be due to an obstruction in the ductwork, a closed damper, or other issues. If this happens, consider contacting a professional to inspect your ducts.


When It’s Time to Call for Air Conditioning Services in Mason, OH

If you’ve gone through all the troubleshooting steps and your air conditioner still isn’t cooling, it’s time to call the cooling and heating services professionals at Robinson Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. for expert AC repair.

At this point, the HVAC system issue is likely more serious and requires specialized knowledge and equipment to diagnose and fix, such as:

  • Complex Electrical Problems: If your air conditioner isn’t receiving power or keeps tripping breakers, there could be an underlying electrical issue. These problems can be dangerous to tackle without the proper expertise and tools.
  • Refrigerant Leaks: Handling refrigerants requires EPA certification, and leaks pose environmental and health risks. A professional can locate and repair leaks, and then recharge the system safely.
  • Mechanical Failures: Components like compressors, capacitors, motors, or fan blades may need repair or replacement. Diagnosing and repairing these parts requires specialized training.
  • Warranty and Safety Considerations: Attempting DIY repairs can void your AC system’s warranty or create safety hazards. A certified HVAC technician ensures that the work is done correctly and complies with safety standards.

Robinson Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. has a team of experienced and licensed HVAC technicians who can diagnose and resolve even the most challenging AC issues. 

Whether it’s a major mechanical failure or a complex electrical problem, our mason heating and cooling pros are equipped to restore your air conditioner to optimal working condition.


Contact Us for Air Conditioner Repair in Mason, OH

For AC repair, Mason, OH, homeowners turn to the trusted HVAC contractors at Robinson Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. Contact us for fast, reliable repairs that will get your air conditioner up and running right away. We’re committed to providing high-quality HVAC services and ensuring your home stays cool and comfortable, no matter the temperature outside.