5 Reasons Why Your Air Conditioner Stopped Working


Diagnosing most AC problems is best left to a professional. Steve Debenport/Getty Images

It's strange to think that back in the mid-1960s, home air conditioning was such a luxury that only 10 percent of American homes were equipped with it. Some families in the South actually slept on their porches to cope with summer heat [source: Oremus].

Today, nearly everybody in the U.S. has it. Nine out of 10 American homes are now equipped with some type of air conditioning, and residential air conditioning accounts for an estimated 18 percent of U.S. annual household electricity use [source: EIA]. In 2013, Americans spent $7.2 billion installing or replacing central air conditioning units in their homes, according to federal census data. That was more than any other sort of home improvement, except for new kitchens and bathroom remodeling, according to the survey [source: Quint].

But now Americans are so accustomed to feeling chilled out that it's probably harder for them to cope with the heat when their home air conditioning systems stop working or only work partially. News reports suggest that air-conditioning repair services are continually busy fixing or replacing equipment for overheated homeowners. One Indianapolis-based repairman, for example, told a local TV station in May 2018 — a record-breaking hot month in that area — that he had been working six days a week, up to 14 hours a day, responding to calls for repairs [source: Houser].

Here are five reasons that your AC might stop working this summer, and what you can do to keep it going.

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