How to Restart an AC Compressor


On occasion, a home air conditioning system will fail to come on at the beginning of the season or after a power outage. Before you call a professional, take a few minutes and follow a few simple steps to restart it yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Access to home thermostat and master circuit breaker box
  • Turn the control on the thermostat to "Off."

  • Locate the breakers for the air conditioning and heating circuits in the main circuit breaker box. Usually these breakers consist of connecting pairs, since they involve 240 volt circuits.

  • Pull the heating and air conditioning circuit breakers to the "Off" position. Leave them off for five minutes, and then turn them back to "On."

  • Adjust the temperature setting on the thermostat to at least four degrees warmer than the room temperature reading.

  • Turn the system back on by moving the thermostat switch to "Cool."

  • Move the temperature adjustment on the thermostat to four or more degrees cooler than the room temperature.

  • Wait three minutes, then place your hand near one of the vents. Hopefully you will feel cool air coming through the vent. If not, call a qualified repairman.

Tips & Warnings

  • Troubleshooting your heating system would be similar, except that you should start with a thermostat setting cooler than the room temperature.

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