Air Conditioner Lost Power? Check For These First


Has your air conditioner stopped working, but you don’t know why? Before calling Sunbeam Air or another professional, there are a few things that you can check for.

Low Freon

To begin with, check your coolant level. Without enough coolant (like Freon), your air conditioner is designed to shut itself off. The circuit breaker is tripped, preventing the air conditioner from overheating.

Checking the level is simple: feel the insulated copper line that is going into the house from the outside condenser unit.

Frayed or Disconnected Wire

Have enough coolant? Time for a visual inspection to make sure everything is connected. If you see frayed or exposed electric wire, your system could be shorting out. You need to call Sunbeam Air or an electrician right away; it’s never good to have exposed wire.

Other Problems

When you look over your system, check the condenser unit and the air handler. The condenser unit is the large fan unit that sits outside. Your air handler is the part of the AC that’s inside, typically in a closet, wall or garage.

Look for anything unusual or out of place. Standing water, disconnected electrical wires, leaking drain pipes, or blocked filters are all clues to help your identify the problem. Remember, if the problem isn’t obvious (like a blocked air filter), call a professional! But what if all these look ok?


dangerWhat do many people forget to check when troubleshooting their ac system? The breaker box. Not the main breaker box that’s in the house or condo, but the OTHER one. These can be outside by the condenser unit, attached near the main breaker box, or somewhere else.

Many ac units have a separate breaker just for the air conditioner – these provide an additional level of protection against power surges. Yes, these breakers can be tripped by the usual suspects as mentioned above, but before your open the box, read this.

Hidden Danger

Gently open the breaker box to see how it looks inside. Since the breaker is located outside, there is a chance that an animal snuck, crawled or slithered inside the box. Creatures making contact with the circuit can be electrocuted, tripping the breaker and cutting of the ac.

While some potential pests, like frogs, toads, lizards and beetles, are relatively benign, others, like snakes and spiders, can be deadly.


As you can see in the photo, this breaker was tripped because of a snake. From the looks of it, this was a pigmy rattlesnake that tripped the circuit. Pigmy rattlesnakes might be small, but their venom is deadlier than many other types of rattlesnakes, so be careful!

When the homeowner attempted to move it, the body disintegrated; it had been fried from the inside out.

If you can better identify the snake, or would like to share your own story, drop us a line!


Spiders like small areas, especially Black Widows, Brown Widows and the Brown Recluse. If you see spider webs when you open the box, take special care before removing them. The deadliest spider, the Brown Recluse, is aggressive and its venom can kill.


bad-for-acAnts can cause problems as well. Although they are not venomous, small sugar ants can gather on the copper plate, preventing the circuit from being made. New systems have been known to stop working because of these tiny creatures.

The Good News

While frightening, the best news about creatures stopping your air conditioner is that they are simple and inexpensive to get rid of. A good layer of caulk ($2.28 online) can prevent creatures from crawling in the box. Spider and scorpion killer ($4.47) can keep these pests away as well.

And if pests are the culprit? Call Sunbeam Air for a complete inspection.

We’ll get you system working in no time!

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