Air Conditioner Condenser Not Turning On Troubleshooting Guide

Last Updated on May 4, 2023 by Kimberly Crawford

An air conditioner condenser is an integral part of the cooling system in many households. It helps to cool and dehumidify the hot, humid air inside a home or building by using heat exchange technology.

The condenser then releases this cooler, drier air back into the living space. If your condenser fails to turn on, it can create uncomfortable living conditions in the home and could be a sign of more serious problems.

Knowing how to troubleshoot your condenser and repair any issues is key for keeping your AC system running smoothly. This guide will provide an overview of what causes a condenser to fail to turn on, as well as instructions for testing and diagnosing the issue.  

By understanding the basics of your air conditioner condenser, you can avoid more costly repairs in the future.

DIY Troubleshooting Tips

air conditioner condenser

Check the Thermostat Settings

Verify that the thermostat is set to “cool” mode, and check that the temperature setting is appropriate for cooling your home. If all settings are correct, try adjusting them slightly to see if this helps kickstart the condenser unit.

Check the Power Supply

Check the circuit breaker and fuse to ensure they are both in good working order. If all looks good, locate the power switch near the outdoor unit and make sure it is in the “on” position.

Ensure The Outdoor Unit Is Clean

The condenser needs adequate air flow to function properly – remove any debris surrounding the unit, such as leaves and branches, and clean the condenser coils to remove any dirt or blockage.

Potential Causes and Solutions

Tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse

1. To reset the circuit breaker, switch it off and then on again. This will restore power to your air conditioner.

2. A blown fuse is usually easy to identify – it will look burned out or discolored compared to the other fuses in the box. To replace it, use a fuse of the same amperage rating as the one you are replacing.

Faulty capacitor or contactor

1. A failing capacitor may cause your condenser to fail to turn on – signs of a faulty capacitor include rattling noises coming from the unit, slow fan motor speed, and circuit breaker trips.

2. Testing and replacing the contactor is a more complex process, but can be done with a few tools. First, remove the power to the unit and disconnect any cables attached to the contactor before removing it from the unit. Next, use an ohmmeter to test for continuity between each pole of the contactor – if there is no continuity, the contactor has failed and needs to be replaced.

Refrigerant leak or low refrigerant level

1. Leaks can usually be identified by listening for hissing sounds coming from the unit, or by feeling for cold air around any fittings and pipes on the condenser.

2. To repair the leak, follow all safety precautions and use a refrigerant detection system to pinpoint the source of the leak. Once located, clean and seal around the area before recharging the system with fresh refrigerant.

Damaged or worn-out fan motor

1. Signs of a failing fan motor include rattling noises coming from the condenser unit and a fan that is slower or noisier than usual.

2. Replacing the fan motor requires removing the entire condenser unit from its mountings, removing any wires connected to it, and accessing the fan motor itself. To install a new one, reverse these steps – be sure to use a compatible replacement part.

How to reset AC condenser.

If you’re trying to reset your AC condenser unit, the process can be done with a few quick steps.

First, turn off power to the unit at the breaker box. Next, locate the disconnect switch if one is present. Typically located in a metal or plastic box near the unit itself, this switch will shut off all power to the condenser.

Once the power is off, press and hold the reset button on the side of the unit for two to three seconds.

This should cause a clicking sound or light flashes from within the unit. Release the reset button, then turn on power to the unit again.

Preventative Measures and Regular Maintenance 

Routine inspections and assessments of the system are important for catching potential problems early. During these inspections, any areas of concern should be addressed quickly in order to prevent significant damage or costly repairs.

Additionally, scheduling professional maintenance and tune-ups can help to ensure your air conditioner is running efficiently and safely. Suggested intervals for this type of service are usually every 6-12 months, depending on the age and condition of your unit.

Lastly, proper cleaning and care for the outdoor condenser unit is important to ensure optimal performance – this includes removing any debris from around the unit and regularly cleaning the coils to remove any dirt or blockage.

When to Contact a Professional

Recognizing the limits of DIY troubleshooting

DIY troubleshooting is an effective way of identifying and remedying minor issues with your condenser unit, but there are certain situations in which professional assistance should be sought.

These include complex problems such as refrigerant leaks or a failing fan motor, as well as any electrical work that involves disconnecting power to the unit.

Importance of relying on expert advice and service

When it comes to air conditioner repairs, relying on an expert is always the best option. Professional technicians are knowledgeable and experienced in dealing with complex problems and can diagnose even the most challenging issues quickly and efficiently.

Additionally, they will be able to provide advice and information on preventive measures like regular maintenance that can help reduce costly repairs in the future.

How to choose a reliable HVAC professional

When selecting an HVAC professional, it is important to choose one that is reliable and reputable. Check their licenses, certifications, and customer reviews before making your decision – this will ensure you get quality service from a qualified technician.

Additionally, look for a company or contractor that offers warranties on parts and labor and ask for an estimate of the cost of repairs before any work is done.

Central air conditioner condenser not turning on.

If your central air conditioner condenser is not turning on, it’s likely due to a mechanical or electrical issue. To diagnose the issue:

1. Check that the power supply to the unit is turned on and all connections are properly secured. If there is no power, you may need to check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.

2. If the power supply is on, check the fan motor to make sure it’s not obstructed or stuck. If you notice any blockage, remove it and reset the unit.

3. Check that all air filters are clean and clear of debris to ensure proper airflow through the system. Clogged or dirty air filters can cause the condenser to overheat and shut off.

4. Check the coolant levels and make sure they are topped off if necessary. Low refrigerant levels can prevent the unit from properly cooling your home.

Window air conditioner condenser not turning on.

If your window air conditioner’s condenser isn’t turning on, the culprit could be a number of things. Start by checking to make sure the unit is plugged in and that the circuit breaker or fuse controlling it hasn’t tripped.

If everything appears to be working properly but still no luck, you may need to check the thermostat. If it is set too low, the condenser will not turn on. Make sure it’s at least at room temperature and try again.

If everything appears to be in working order but the condenser still isn’t turning on, you may need to clean or replace its filter. Over time, the filter can accumulate dust and other particles which will impede air flow to the condenser. Cleaning or replacing it can help restore proper airflow and get your unit working again.

Related: Window Air Conditioner Control Panel Not Working? (Causes and Solutions)

Portable air conditioner condenser not turning on.

If your portable air conditioner condenser doesn’t seem to be turning on, the first step is to check the power source. Make sure that it is connected correctly and that all power cords are plugged in securely. If there is still no response, you may want to try resetting the breaker box or replacing a blown fuse.

If the power source seems to be working properly, you may have an issue with the thermistor or compressor. The thermistor is responsible for controlling the temperature inside your air conditioner and it can become faulty due to wear and tear over time.

If this is the case, then you will need to replace it before your unit will work properly. Similarly, the compressor is responsible for cooling the air and it can become damaged due to a lack of lubrication or other factors. If the compressor needs to be replaced, you should contact a qualified technician to handle the job.

Related: LG Portable Air Conditioner Not Cooling: Troubleshooting and Solutions

Hisense air conditioner condenser not turning on.

If you’ve determined that your Hisense air conditioner condenser is not turning on, there are a few simple steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue. Before calling for professional help, try these easy solutions to get your unit working again as soon as possible.

First, check the power source and make sure it’s in good working order. Ensure that the circuit breaker is flipped to “On” and that the fuse has not blown. Confirm that the air conditioner cord is plugged into a working wall outlet. If these connections are fine, unplug them from their sources and then plug back in after five minutes.

If this doesn’t work, inspect the condenser itself. Ensure that the outdoor fan is firmly in place and not blocked by debris or foliage. If everything appears to be functioning correctly, replace any broken parts (if applicable) and clean the air filter.

Finally, try resetting your air conditioner’s control panel. Hold down the “Reset” button for 3 to 5 seconds, then turn off the power and wait a few minutes before turning it back on. This should help kickstart the condenser’s operation cycle.


What could be the possible reasons for my air conditioner condenser not turning on?

Possible reasons include inadequate power supply, tripped breakers in the circuit, faulty wiring, and a malfunctioning compressor.

How do I know if my ac condenser is working properly?

You can tell if your AC condenser is working properly by checking the thermostat, ensuring that the compressor and fan are running, and inspecting for any signs of wear or damage.

What should I do if my air conditioner’s condenser isn’t turning on?

If your air conditioner’s condenser isn’t turning on, you should first check to ensure that the power supply is adequate and the circuit breakers haven’t tripped. If these are not the problem, try inspecting for any wiring or system malfunctions or damage. You may want to call a professional HVAC technician to diagnose the issue.

How can I prevent my air conditioner’s condenser from not turning on?

To help prevent your air conditioner’s condenser from not turning on, be sure to keep up with regular maintenance like changing the filter, cleaning the coils, and checking for any signs of wear or damage. Additionally, you should keep an eye on the thermostat and be sure to call a professional if your system starts to act up.


All in all, an air conditioner condenser not turning on can be a frustrating experience. Fortunately, by following these steps and taking the necessary precautionary measures, you should be able to find the source of the problem and get your AC working again.

Remember that regular maintenance is key in keeping your AC running smoothly and efficiently – so don’t forget to have it serviced every year.

If all else fails, don’t hesitate to call a professional for help. With the right set of tools and knowledge, they should be able to get your air conditioner condenser back up and running in no time.

Happy cooling!