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How to Restart Your AC After a Power Outage

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With triple-digit temps stretching from the spring to fall months and wildfires burning across the state, households in Phoenix need to be ready for rolling blackouts. Going without air conditioning in Arizona heat is basically impossible and can be extremely dangerous.

You may think that you can return to the relief of your AC after the power outage ends, but what happens if your AC doesn’t kick back on? You’ll need to reset your system to get it running again.

What if you don’t know how to restart your AC after a power outage? It’s pretty simple, but you need to keep a few key things in mind. In this article, we’ll cover all of these issues and more, including:

Need help restarting your AC after a power outage?

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Steps for Restarting Your AC

Restarting your AC system after a blackout is straightforward and only takes a few minutes. However, you must do things correctly to avoid harming yourself or the equipment.

Turn Your Thermostat’s Cooling Mode OFF

Close up of a right hand adjusting a knob on a white thermostat.

Like anything device that uses electricity, you need to turn your AC off before doing any maintenance. This step is as simple as going to your thermostat and turning the cooling mode off. Some units may have a “system” switch that you can switch to the off position.

Doing this keeps your thermostat from connecting with the AC while you reset the circuit breaker, which will help protect you from potential shock.

Locate Your Circuit Breaker Box

Once you’ve turned your thermostat’s cooling mode off, you need to find your circuit breaker box. Depending on the layout of your home, you can usually find the large metal box in a garage, attic, hallway, laundry room, or basement. Occasionally, the circuit breaker may be on an exterior part of the home.

Reset Your AC’s Tripped Breaker

Closeup of a circuit breaker panel with labeled breakers and two red arrows pointing out circuit breakers

Open the breaker box’s door and look for the circuit with an air conditioner or HVAC label. If your breakers don’t have any labels, see if any of the switches are “tripped,” meaning they’ve moved into a neutral position.

To properly reset the breaker, move it to the “off” position. After doing this, you can turn the switch back to the “on” position.

Even though you’ve reset the AC at the breaker box, it doesn’t mean it will start working immediately. Many systems need about 30 minutes to reset the internal circuitry before you can turn it back on at the thermostat. While it may be challenging, wait about half an hour and flip your thermostat’s cooling mode back on.

If the unit didn’t receive any damage from the power outage, your system should kick on and begin cooling your house just like it always does.

When to Call in the AC Professionals

If you followed all the above steps but your AC still won’t turn back on, contact your local HVAC experts. After a power outage, the surge of electricity from power returning can fry and damage many different appliances, including your AC. There’s a good chance that the blackout damaged a part of your unit that only a specialist can identify and repair.

It’s also possible that your AC turns back on after you reset it, only for the unit to trip the breaker again. This signifies a major issue that could lead to electrical damage or fire.

Having a knowledgeable technician look at your unit can also benefit you in the long run. They can provide you with maintenance tips or equipment upgrades that could help keep your AC running even if there are power surges.

How Routine AC Maintenance Can Prevent Issues

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One of the best ways to keep your AC running even in the worst times is to have an expert perform regular maintenance. This includes everything from duct cleaning and filter changes to wire checks and component testing. Not only will this ensure that your AC continues to run optimally for many years, but it will also prevent significant issues like damage and fires.

Even a minor problem, like your AC not turning on or leaking water, can be extremely dangerous in the middle of an intense Arizona summer. Routine AC maintenance is your best tool for limiting potential problems. You can also enroll in a VIP maintenance plan for automatic tune-up reminders and other benefits like service discounts.

Did your AC kick the bucket after a power outage? Contact George Brazil HVAC!

A uniformed George Brazil technician working on an outdoor AC unit

Just turn to George Brazil. We’ve been the go-to experts in the Phoenix-Metro area since 1955, not just because of our skills but because we treat you like family. Homeowners rely on us for our high-quality workmanship, proven by our thousands of 5-star reviews.

We know the importance of getting your AC up and running ASAP, so we’ll complete your repair or tune-up in a single visit.

For fast and convenient scheduling, contact us today by calling (602) 842-0009 or booking below.

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