Only when both the indoor and outdoor unit of your split AC work does your home achieve the desired temperature. When either of the units shut down, your air conditioner will fail to do its job.
In winters maybe this will not cause you much trepidation but in summers it will jangle your nerves and set you on tenterhooks. In most cases, you will see that the outside AC unit is not running but inside is. When this happens, the air that blows into your home is not cool, just normal room temperature air.
How To Know Outside AC Unit Not Running
There are two indicators which point towards something being wrong with the outside unit of your split AC. These are –
1. No Sound At All – No matter how silently your AC operates, there is still a little hum that it produces, especially when the compressor kicks in. If your AC fails to produce any sound at all, even when the compressor is supposed to start, it means that something may be wrong with the unit that is installed outside.
2. Warm Air Blowing Into The Room – If in summers, the air that blows into the room is warm or at room temperature, it could indicate a problem with the outdoor AC unit. Typically, in warm weather, your AC should blow air, which is cool to lower the temperature and make it pleasant.
Reasons Why Outside AC Unit Nor Running But Inside Is
There could be a couple of reasons behind why the outside AC unit is not running but inside is. Some of these can indeed be addressed by the homeowner themselves, and for others, a trained AC technician is the only answer.
1. Accidentally Unit Switched Off – Typically, near the outdoor AC unit, there is an on and off switch. Somebody may have accidentally turned it to off position. When this happens, the outdoor unit will not work because the power supply to it is switched off. You just need to bring the switch back to on position.
2.Tripped Circuit Breaker – For this, you will have to open the circuit box to check if the circuit breaker for the outside unit has tripped. In case it has, you need to flip it back to on. However, if the breaker keeps on tripping frequently, the problem needs to be checked thoroughly so that your AC does not suffer any major damage.
3. Incorrect Thermostat Setting – The thermostat setting could go wrong for two reasons. The first being, somebody set the temperature higher than the room temperature. In this scenario, the outdoor unit will not start since the compressor is not needed for cooling the room. The second situation is when the thermostat develops a fault. If this is the problem, you will first have to ask the AC technician to confirm your diagnosis. Once he agrees, the thermostat will need to be replaced with a new one.
4. Clogged Drain Line – As a safety feature, the outdoor unit of some air conditioners stop working if their drain line is clogged. To remedy the problem unclog the drain pipe. Either you can do this yourself your you can ask your AC technician to do the same for you.
5. Broken Compressor – Only a trained HVAC technician can tell you if the compressor of your AC is broken. If it’s a minor issue, he may carry out repairs as deemed fit. In extreme cases, he will advise you to either buy a new compressor or a new outdoor unit. In either of the extreme cases, ask for a second opinion from a trained professional to confirm the problem.
6. Old AC – An AC which is more than 10 to 12 years old may develop faults due to massive wear and tear. In old air conditioners, it is not advisable to carry out repairs as they will just give temporary relief until the next problem crops up. Outside AC unit not running but inside is may be how the problem has manifested itself in your aged air conditioner. It’s time to retire it and buy a new one.
Try Resetting Your Air Conditioner
Your AC is but a machine which may decide to act weird at times. Outside AC unit not running but inside is may possibly be one way in which it decides to act up. A simple way to test this theory is by resetting your air conditioner. In some air conditioners, there is a “reset switch”. This switch is usually close to the outdoor unit. Try pushing this reset button; it may possibly start your outdoor unit. However, if your AC does not have this “reset” button, you can try turning off your AC at the thermostat. After turning it off, wait for at least 5 minutes and turn it back on again. If even then the outdoor unit fails to start, call for a professional AC maintenance specialist.
What We Think
Time and again, through various blog posts, we have laid stress on the point that not all of us have the basic know-how to repair air conditioners. Moreover, an AC is a piece of expensive machinery without which life is unthinkable these days. So, why take chances with it. If there is a problem, it is best to call a person who is trained and equipped to handle it. Your half baked knowledge may land you in more financial trouble than you thought.
In The End
Outside AC unit not running does not mean the death of your AC. It is an indication that a problem exists. If you want a complete analysis of the problem book an appointment with your local HVAC company. If you reside in Palm Springs, Florida, look us up. We are trained professionals who deal with all kinds of HVAC problems and provide 24/7 emergency services.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
When your outside AC unit has broken down, but the inside unit still runs, it means you are dealing with a malfunctioning compressor. If you are lucky, the problem could be small (like a faulty relay or a burnt contactor) and easy to repair. But, if the luck is not on your side, it could mean a fried compressor, in which case replacement is the only option.
The outside AC unit may not be working because it is not switched on, its circuit breaker is tripped, or the thermostat settings are incorrect. The other possibility is that the compressor is broken and hence, not working.
First off, ensure the thermostat is set to cool. Next, check that the power supply to the outdoor unit is on and has not been shut accidentally. Finally, check the circuit breaker has not tripped. If everything seems okay, call the HVAC technician because if you are dealing with a faulty compressor, only they are experienced enough to troubleshoot and take corrective action.
If the outdoor unit of your AC is running, but the inside blower is not spinning, it could be because of any one of the following reasons:
1. A bad capacitor.
2. A faulty motor.
3. Contactor issues.
4. Broken fan belt.
5. Broken fan blades.
There are several reasons why despite the air conditioner running, the house is not cooling. Some obvious reasons are:
1. The thermostat is set incorrectly.
2. Your air filters are clogged.
3. There is a refrigerant leak in your system.
4. The AC coils are dirty.
5. The area around the condenser unit is overgrown, preventing the free movement of air.