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Turning On Your AC After a Power Outage

Turning On Your AC After a Power Outage

We are in the middle of storm season in Northern Virginia, and that means many of us could wind up without power as soon as lightning strikes or trees fall on power lines. Unless you have a generator, there’s not much you can do to stay cool in the house without electricity, so as soon as you get power back, you’ll want the AC to kick on ASAP.

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But sometimes, that won’t happen. Inside AC unit not turning on may require more steps to restore your air conditioning system.

Go to the thermostat and turn off your AC.

This will stop your thermostat from registering that it needs to start cooling, so you can safely reset the circuit breaker.

Find the circuit breaker box

The power surge from the storm most likely overloaded the AC’s circuit, causing the circuit breaker to “trip.” The breaker box (a grey metallic box) will probably be located in the basement, garage, laundry room or a closet.

Reset the circuit breaker for your AC

Open the circuit breaker box and find the circuit that has an air conditioner/HVAC label next to it. If there is no label, look for a switch that is moved to the neutral position. To reset the circuit breaker, turn it to the “off” position (right), then the “on” position (left).

Wait 30 minutes

Your air conditioner needs time to reset its internal circuit breaker.

Turn the thermostat back on

Set your thermostat to at least 5 degrees below the room temperature. Hopefully, you’ll hear the AC kick on and you’ll be on your way to being cool and comfortable again.


Did your circuit breaker trip again?

If your circuit breaker trips again even after following the steps above, give Snell Heating and Air Conditioning a call. There could be a bigger problem going on, and the safest bet is for us to take a look.