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First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

How to Turn Off Your Air Conditioner (Without the Thermostat)

Your air conditioner is still going, and going, and there’s no sign of it stopping. Your thermostat says the temperature’s fine and it’s what you set it to, but for some reason, there’s a disconnection between that and the AC.

You need to know how to turn off your air conditioner before it burns itself out. Here’s a few ways you can do that. Keep in mind, this is for central AC systems.

Central Air Conditioning Circuit

Your AC cabinet is where the condenser is. While every AC manufacturer is different, you’ll be able to find some sort of switch near the condenser unit outside of your home. Go outside, and check for a flip-up cap near the cabinet. That should have a switch.

Flipping that switch should hard shut off your air conditioner, but it may take a second for you to hear it winding down. If it stops making noise, that means it’s likely working.

Go inside and check near the vents. If there’s no air coming out, that’s a good sign—you shut it down successfully. It’s important to not turn the AC back on with this switch, because at this point, a technician needs to find out what’s going on.

Shut Off the Breaker Switch

Your circuit breaker inside your home has a series of switches that normally either flick left or right. If your electrician did their job properly, these should be labeled. You’ll see one for your kitchen appliances, one of the washer and dryer hookup, and then there’s one for your air conditioner.

Turning this off will shut the unit down for sure. This cuts off the flow of electricity to your air conditioner that it needs to operate in the first place. When you call for repairs, make sure your air conditioner technician knows that if you turn this back on, it’ll keep running. They need to take proper safety precautions to prevent electrocution.

Should I Alter Wiring to Shut Down the AC?

If you find tutorials online telling you how to alter the wiring inside of your air conditioner to shut it down, ignore them and do not attempt this. If you aren’t a certified electrician or HVAC technician with the right equipment and experience, this is an unnecessary risk.

You should always have a technician who knows what they’re doing handle everything that has to do with the internal components of your AC. Especially the wiring. If for some reason these two options we’ve provided don’t work, leave it up to your technician to figure out and call them right away.

Now Call for Repairs

It’s off, but now you can’t turn it on without the same problem persisting. It’s time to get an HVAC technician in there to fix the problem for you as quickly as possible. The issue may be a little more complex than just checking for a loose wire in the thermostat; your technician will be able to figure out what it is.

Contact us today to schedule your air conditioner or thermostat repair as soon as possible.

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