Trouble With GE Air Conditioners


After selling its central heating and air conditioning division to the Trane Corporation in 1982, General Electric (GE) (, now sells only room air conditioners that you place inside a window. The GE website offers troubleshooting advice for a list of problems that may commonly occur with the appliance.

Insufficient Cooling

  • One problem that you may encounter with a GE air conditioner is when the appliance won't put out cool enough air. There can be several reasons behind this trouble, and a small bit of simple troubleshooting should find the culprit. Be aware that if the temperature outside is extremely hot, such as temperatures over 100 degrees F, the air conditioner will only cool the room temperature by approximately 15 to 20 degrees. If the outside temperature is lower than 60 degrees, the unit's cooling capacity becomes limited. Beyond that, ensure that nothing like curtains or furniture is blocking the front of the air conditioner and that nothing is blocking the unit's rear grille. Check that the air filter is clean and the thermostat is set on the correct setting.

Unpleasant Odors

  • Persons with extra-sensitive noses may be turned off by a plastic smell that emanates from the unit shortly after turning a new GE air conditioner on. This smell is normal and should dissipate with time, normally after a few weeks, according to GE. Units that utilize electric heat will burn off dust that has collected on the appliance's heating element when they are used at the beginning of the hot season, causing a burning odor to be released into the air. This odor will also disappear quickly.

Drips or Spits Water Inside

  • Although the GE air conditioner drips water from the back of the unit to the outside, normal operating procedure doesn't include it dripping or spitting water inside the room. If the unit drips water into the room, ensure that it is properly slanted down towards the outside about 1/4 inch. Also clean the filter inside the unit, and keep it clean. If the air conditioner is spitting water, see that the drip tray and condensation drain are not clogged up.

Doesn't Run

  • The troubleshooting advice that GE offers for an air conditioner unit that is not running at all, without any sounds coming from it, are simple and straightforward steps. Check that the air conditioner is plugged into a wall outlet, and, if it is, ensure that the circuit breaker corresponding to the unit is not tripped or that a fuse is not blown. Check the setting of the thermostat, and make certain that the unit's selector switch is on.

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