What to Do When Your Air Conditioner Stops Working?

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The heat is oppressive, the sweat is dripping from your brow – your air conditioner is not working. A cool, air-conditioned home is one of life’s joys; a haven from the blistering heat. Discovering yours is faulty can leave you hot under the collar and other places. Staying cool is important to avoid heat exhaustion.

While many problems with your air conditioner will require the services of an air conditioning expert, there are some basic fixes you can do on your own.

5 quick actions if your AC breaks down

  • Check and clean dirty filters
  • Check and reset the thermostat
  • Check circuit breakers and replace a blown fuse
  • Remove any dirt, debris or dust from the outdoor unit
  • Make sure the drain pipe is clear from blockages.

If the system is still not working, call a professional AC repairer.

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Common Air Conditioning Problems

Air conditioning problems include dirty filters, clogged drains, no cold air, failure to turn on, strange noises, dripping water and hot air. In this handy troubleshooting guide, we highlight some of the most common reasons why air conditioners stop working and the simple fixes you can apply. 

Problem 1: The air conditioner won’t turn on

The first thing to do is check if the thermostat is working. Set it to cool so that the temperature is low enough to switch on the unit. Sometimes, lowering it by 5 to 10 degrees will fix the problem. If that doesn’t work, check the circuit breaker for a blown fuse or tripped circuit.  

Problem 2: The air conditioner is not cooling the air 

There could be several reasons why your AC is not cooling the air, including blocked filters or dirty air condensers. Sometimes, the fix could be as simple as cleaning your air conditioner. Check the outside unit and remove any debris such as weeds. And look at the filters to make sure they’re clean. The filters play an important role in keeping the airflow free of dust, mould, fungal spores and other small particulate matter. 

When clogged by dirt, filters decrease the efficiency of air conditioning systems and reduce their ability to cool the air effectively. You’d be surprised at just how much more efficient your air conditioner will run if you clean your filters regularly.

If your AC is running but still not blowing cold air, the culprits could be the compressor or refrigerant, which will require the help of an expert.

Problem 3: The air conditioner is blowing hot air 

The last thing you want on a scorching summer day is an extra blast of heat. If you’re only getting hot air from your AC unit, check the filters first. Then make sure the coils on the outside unit aren’t dirty.

Another cause could be improper airflow through the ducts. If there’s a tear in the ductwork, cool air can escape inside the walls rather than flowing through your home. Inspect your ducts and, if necessary, cover tears with duct tape. Note that this is a temporary solution.

You will need to call a technician for a permanent fix. 

Problem 4: The air conditioner is leaking water 

Air conditioners produce condensation while they’re cooling homes, and typically, the water will collect in a drip pan and flow through a drainage pipe to the outdoors. However, over time the pipe can become blocked with debris such as impurities in the water and algae growth, which impede water flow. 

To see if this is the cause, shut off your air conditioning unit and look under the hood. Empty the drip pan and locate the pipe. You may be able to blow it clear and eliminate any clogs with a portable air compressor. Alternatively, you can use an appropriately sized pipe cleaning brush.

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When should you call an Air Conditioning repairer?

During summers, air conditioning repair companies can be quite busy, so it’s important to get support as soon as possible to avoid delays. In the event that you’re unable to get an air conditioning repairer to your property immediately, it’s worth considering hiring a portable air conditioner. There are a variety of air conditioners you can hire to keep you cool while you wait for repairs and they typically don’t cost that much to hire for a week or two.


If you have tried all these fixes and your air conditioner is still not working, there could be something more complicated going on. That’s when you need to call in a licenced air conditioning technician like Lakeside HVAC to correctly diagnose the issue and resolve it. 

If you need AC repairs for your home in Pakenham and surrounding areas, call us today for a free quote.

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