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When temperatures are too hot outside in Georgia, you rely on your home’s air conditioner for indoor comfort. Unfortunately, these systems can malfunction at any time for many reasons, and some situations benefit from a simple system reset. Don’t worry; if you don’t know how to reset air conditioner breakers, you’re in the right place.
Georgia Air Cooling & Heating’s qualified technicians provide professional AC repair in Pooler, GA, and the surrounding communities. Some air conditioning problems that cause the system to stop working require professional intervention, but a reset is always a great starting point. Read on for a handy guide on how to complete this reset process safely.
When Is an Air Conditioner Reset Necessary?
One of the most common reasons for an air conditioner to suddenly stop working is a power outage. Though it’s reasonable to expect your system not to work without electricity, a power outage affects the equipment after the electricity comes back on, too.
Your air conditioner most likely has two circuit breakers on your home’s electrical panel (for indoor and outdoor use). Breakers are electrical safety switches that make appliances shut down if they detect a circuit overload. The clever design prevents damage to the machine, electrical fires, and explosions.
However, sometimes, a power outage will cause a surge in electrical voltage, which causes the breaker to shut down any affected appliances. In this case, your air conditioner might not resume its normal operations once you turn the breaker back on. It might even blow warm air despite the correct thermostat settings.
Knowing how to reset air conditioner breakers manually will help alleviate these issues. As with other electronics and appliances, a hard reset is sometimes enough to get things back on track.
Benefits of Resetting Your Air Conditioner
You don’t have to wait until your air conditioner fails after an electrical outage to reset its breaker. In fact, regularly resetting an air conditioning unit offers several benefits, including those listed below.
Longer Equipment Lifespan
The average lifespan of an air conditioner is 15 to 20 years if the system routinely undergoes maintenance and repairs. Part of your routine HVAC maintenance schedule should be hard resets to the system. This is especially beneficial for a Georgia resident who uses an air conditioner for several months each year due to the region’s hot and humid climate.
Resetting your equipment improves your system’s performance long-term. If you combine these resets with practicing good maintenance habits, you’ll have a longer-lasting, higher-performing cooling system overall. For example, consider replacing dirty filters every month, cleaning the outdoor condenser unit regularly, and scheduling annual tune-ups.
Less Air Conditioning Maintenance
Though you should never delay your air conditioner’s maintenance sessions, hard resets on cooling systems could save you time with that long maintenance checklist you have to get through. For one thing, resetting your air conditioner’s breaker often resolves minor performance problems without any help from a professional HVAC technician. You’ll spend less time without a functioning unit and save on repair costs at the same time.
Reduced Energy Consumption and Costs
When your air conditioner runs at peak performance, it will consume less energy. On the surface, that means greater savings on your monthly electric bills. However, a more efficient system brings many other benefits, such as reducing the strain on the unit’s components to help them last longer.
Leaving your air conditioning unit to run for extended periods without a reset means it might not get the calibration it needs to work efficiently. The longer you wait to reset it, the less efficient it will become. If the equipment has to overwork to maintain the thermostat’s temperature setting, it will need more repair work and use more energy, raising your costs on both services and utilities.
How To Reset Air Conditioner Breakers The Right Way
Now that you know the benefits involved, here’s more about how to reset air conditioner breakers for the best results.
Step 1: Turn Off the Cooling System
Powering down your cooling system is necessary for safety reasons. Open your home’s circuit breaker panel and flip the switches to your air conditioner’s indoor and outdoor components. You might find the panel in one of these places within your home:
- Utility room
- Laundry room
- Outside your house on an exterior wall
You should also put the thermostat in the “off” position. These precautions are essential to prevent electric shocks and other problems.
Step 2: Reset the Air Conditioning Unit
Not every air conditioning system is the same, so the reset process may vary. For example, if your air conditioner doesn’t have a separate “reset” switch or button directly on its casing, you’ll need to complete the reset process by turning off the breakers. Wait a minute before restoring the power.
A modern air conditioner will typically have an isolator switch or lever that you can use to reset the system. The isolator switch serves as an internal circuit breaker, turning the system off if it senses an electrical discharge. This handy isolator switch is usually on the outside of the air conditioner around its front cover, but feel free to check your owner’s manual for the exact location.
Other types of air conditioners may have reset buttons instead of isolator switches. You simply press this button to reset the system.
Step 3: Wait Long Enough
When you turn off your unit’s circuit breaker, leave it off for one full minute or longer to ensure the system resets properly. If you have an isolator switch, you should leave it off for 30 minutes. With a reset button, you’ll have to hold it down for about five seconds for the process to initiate.
Step 4: Turn the Thermostat Back On
After the reset, experts recommend waiting at least 30 minutes before turning the thermostat back on and setting it to “cool.” This period gives the system’s internal breaker time to recalibrate.
Step 5: Double-check That the AC Turns On
The last step in an air conditioner reset process is to ensure the system still works as normal. It might take a few moments for your air conditioner to kick on after resetting the breaker, isolator switch, or reset button. However, it shouldn’t take very long to adjust once you’ve set the thermostat to the “cool” position.
Take some time to set the thermostat to your desired temperature and monitor it. Within minutes, your vents should pump out chilled air, reducing your home’s indoor temperature to the setting on the thermostat. If not, there’s another issue, and it’s best to call for professional repairs.
Other Things to Know About Resetting Your Air Conditioner
Can You Reset a Window AC Unit?
Knowing how to reset air conditioner breakers using the process above works well for central air conditioner systems and ductless mini-splits. However, if you have a window AC unit, it won’t have a reset button or isolator switch.
To reset it after a power outage, you will have to unplug it and wait a few minutes. Let the electrical charge disperse, which is the same thing that happens when you reset an air conditioner breaker. Then, the equipment should resume its normal operations when you plug it back in.
What Happens If Your HVAC System Still Won’t Work?
Sometimes, the air conditioner still won’t work after a reset. Fixing this issue could be as simple as ensuring the condensate drain is free of debris. It could also signify a major problem that you can’t troubleshoot, and you’ll need to call a professional for help.
When To Contact an Air Conditioning Technician
Contact a professional air conditioning company if your system doesn’t turn on after a reset, continues blowing warm air, or trips the circuit breaker unexpectedly.
Routine air conditioner breaker resets help the system maintain its performance. However, doing resets back to back won’t fix a problematic cooling system and may cause irreversible damage.
It’s better to contact an HVAC technician like Georgia Air Cooling & Heating to properly inspect your air conditioning system and uncover the real problem. These technicians will help with several problems, such as:
- Filthy air filters
- Electrical problems
- Air conditioning compressor failure
- Broken fan motors
- Refrigerant leaks
Your air conditioner is complex and needs the expertise of a qualified HVAC professional if one reset doesn’t work. Also, don’t hesitate to seek professional help if your air conditioner has a loose electrical connection or exposed wiring—this could pose a serious fire hazard.
Reach Out to Georgia Air Cooling & Heating Today!
Knowing how to reset air conditioner breakers helps. However, if your air conditioner is overheating, won’t power on, or isn’t producing enough chilled air, you can rely on Georgia Air Cooling & Heating to restore your HVAC system’s functionality. As Pooler, GA’s go-to HVAC company, we offer comprehensive heating and cooling services, including 24/7 emergency HVAC repair services for situations that can’t wait.
Call Georgia Air Cooling & Heating at (912) 513-3724 today to schedule services with our top-rated air conditioning professionals!