AC Not Working After Power Outage: How To Reset

Most power outages happen when there’s lightning or storms. Unfortunately, our ACs suffer more from that than other electric appliances at home.

Suppose your ac system isn’t working after a power outage. First, you should check the circuit breaker, capacitor, or compressor.

To make it easier for you. This article has spelled out possible reasons and remedies for an AC that won’t work after a power outage.

But if the issue persists, you allow an HVAC tech to service the system. By doing so, you’ll avoid extra damages.

Why isn’t my AC Working after Power Outage?

If a power outage strikes your air conditioning system and it fails to blow cold air, check:

  • The electrical panel
  • Circuit breaker
  • Circuits that run your AC’s cooling system components

Does Air Conditioner Need to be Reset After Power Outage?

An HVAC system needs time to reset the internal circuit breaker when a power outage happens. It may seem endless during the power outage period. During its 30-minute trial. The inner beaker in your air conditioning system tries to reset itself.

How to Reset AC After Power Outage

One of the greatest threats to you and your home when a severe storm happens is lightning. When it hits a service pole, it creates power surges that destroy the power connection to your home. Once you restore power, the chances are that your air conditioner or furnace won’t start.

In this part, I lay out several steps of resetting/restoring your ac system after a power outage. In most cases, you’ll only need to restart your appliances when a power line problem occurs.

Here are the five steps you can line up to reset your ac system when a power outage strikes:

Step 1: Switch off your AC

After power outages happen, you’ll have to turn the thermostat to the off position. When the thermostat is off, an air conditioner won’t accept power from the electricity points.

Also, reset the air conditioner battery pack to see if it resolves the thermostat issue.

Step 2: Resetting the Tripped Circuit Breaker

A tripped breaker can be dangerous, and you can blame it on a power surge due to a weather upset. If so, a simple ac unit reset might sort out the persistent issues. To some point, you may have placed the circuit breaker box in your attic, hallways, laundry room, or garage.

You can find the circuit breaker box within a tin box on your wall. If you’ve seen it, examine the switch that has a connection with the ac unit.

Shut the switch by twisting it to the right, then to its neutral position. All homes need a breaker to avoid fires, lightning strikes, and other disasters.

Step 3: Waiting Time (Half Hour)

After resetting the HVAC circuit breaker. Give it half an hour to restore its internal parts after a power outage. Also, you have to look at the thermostat in your air conditioning system to see if it’s off.

Step 4: Turning it on

After you’ve waited for half an hour or so, it’s now time to power on the ac system. First, switch the ac system thermostat in its quiet mode. The calm manner allows your air conditioning unit to run as usual after a power outage. Also, fix it at five units lower than your home’s temperature to boost cold or cool air.

Ring an HVAC professional

If the above steps don’t end your HVAC not blowing cold air problem, ring an HVAC professional. The HVAC pro will examine all the HVAC parts to prevent further damages.

Why AC is not Working After Power Outage

1. Tripped circuit breaker

A home’s air conditioner has two units:

  • Indoor air handler which houses both the evaporator coil and fan
  • Outdoor condenser unit

Now, both units connect to individual circuits on the internal breaker. Manufacturers designed the circuit breakers to oversee current flow. When the internal breaker senses electrical currents from a power surge, it trips. The thermostat shuts down to guard your air conditioner.

Sometimes, the circuit breaker in the outdoor unit trips but the one on the indoor unit doesn’t. So if the indifferent happens, it shows that the indoor unit (evaporator coil and fan) will run okay. But if the outdoor unit doesn’t kick in, the air conditioner won’t be blowing cold air anymore.

Your outdoor unit dispels heat from within your home. But if the unit’s circuit breaker trips, the heat will reverse towards your indoor air. For that reason, the AC vents will dispel warm air instead of cold air. In short, you’ll have an air conditioner with a faulty cooling system.

Here’s what you can do:

• Reach for the circuit breaker to see the one that regulates your air conditioner. Labels to check “Air handler,” “Indoor AC,” and “Condenser” “Outdoor AC.”

• If you notice a tripped compressor circuit (OFF position), reset it to see if it produces cool air after an hour. Ring an HVAC pro to test and work out the problem if it trips faster to the “OFF position” again.

Read on if you still can’t notice a tripped breaker and your ac unit doesn’t blow cool air.

2. Bad capacitor

The capacitor in your ac unit is a small silver-like gadget that stays in the compressor (outdoor unit). It helps an ac unit to start. Unfortunately, capacitors collapse after power outages. The collapse is due to its vulnerability to power surges from time to time. That is, after the AC powers on.

So, how does a faulty capacitor generate warm air in the air handler? If the AC capacitor becomes defective, the outdoor unit won’t start. Also, a faulty capacitor means your indoor air handler will still run but won’t dispel the warm air. Hence your home will have warm air instead of cold air.

If an AC capacitor is faulty, you can tell by looking at it since it will be bulgy on top and leaking oil. Since a capacitor is an electrical component, I recommend an HVAC pro examine it.

If you decide to explore the capacitor by yourself, brace for danger! Plus, you may end your AC warranty. If you need to replace the AC capacitor, they cost $90+.

3. Compressor Failure

The electrical surge can destroy your air conditioner compressor in the worst-case scenario.

The compressor sits in the outdoor unit, and it plays an immense role in your AC’s heat transfer system. Also, the compressor pumps the refrigerant (heat transfer substance) around the air handler.

So, a dead compressor means no refrigerant. When your cooling system has no refrigerant to absorb heat from your house, warm air rules.

Unfortunately, you’ll cough up $1,350+ depending on the compressor size and type you need. But, the new compressor should match the indoor unit.

Since it’s a high-priced repair, I’d tell you to get an HVAC professional’s opinion before replacing it with a fresh one. A reliable HVAC tech will point out your compressor’s problem.

Can a Power Outage Damage an Air Conditioner?

If you reset the AC breaker, but the problem is still persistent, it’s electrical damage. Try the following steps if your air conditioning unit has these symptoms:

Breaker won’t Reset

If more than one external circuit won’t restart after your unit has shut off, then there’s damage beyond the AC unit. For example, a power surge due to lightning may have caused the said problem. You’ll have to call an HVAC tech to correct the damage in such a case.

AC Breaker Trips

If the breaker trips without a stop, it’s a sign that your air conditioning unit has an electrical fault. But, if the tripping breaker is the only problem. Your air conditioning system overheats. When a cooling system overheats, it draws extra power.

Fault Indication due to Lack of Regular Maintenance

At first, you may notice your air conditioning unit runs without a stop. , it causes the evaporator coil to freeze. As a result, the unit may use more power which trips the circuit, causing water leaks.

If your air conditioning unit hasn’t had regular maintenance, problems pop up. You’ll have to schedule tune-up services with an HVAC pro right away.

Fault Indication due to AC Components

Refrigerant leaks: if the air conditioning system consumes extra power. A refrigerant may be the cause. The refrigerant overflows through the AC coils for your house to stay cool. If the refrigerant levels shoot down due to leakage, the cooling system will run longer but won’t cool the house.

Fan motor: if the unit’s fan is faulty or has a reduced speed, the system coils won’t cool. Moreover, the unit runs longer while at the same time it consumes more power.

Compressor failure: if the situation is complicated, blame it on a dead compressor since it’s the AC’s heart. Inquire about the services of an HVAC tech who will diagnose the capacitor.

AC Not Working After Power Outage FAQs

How do I Restart my Air Conditioner After a Power Outage?

  • Switch off your cooling system
  • Flip the ac circuit breaker
  • Revisit the circuit breaker
  • Wait for half an hour
  • Flip the thermostat to its correct position

Where is the Reset Button on my AC Unit?

First, look for it on the unit’s exterior part, on the bottom side, close to the base. If you don’t locate the reset button on the outdoor system, check it in the indoor unit’s service panel.

Air Conditioner Auto-Restart After Power Failure

Your system’s inner circuitry resets after some time when you turn it on. The reset job takes about half an hour, so relax and check it after 30 minutes. Turn the thermostat back on.

Can a Power Surge Mess up a Thermostat?

If the settings on the unit’s thermostat need attention to provide cooling. It will affect the following parts:

  • Heating system
  • Ventilation
  • Cooling system


 We’ve covered some reasons and remedies for an AC that isn’t blowing cold air after a power outage. But it’s useless when an ac system stops blowing cold air anymore. And I bet you wouldn’t sit down without doing anything about it, am I lying?

So if you are eager to root out your AC’s problem, this article has what you need. You only need to save a few minutes to do the job. It isn’t that complicated. I mean, it’s easy to check the thermostat’s batteries, plumbing system, vents, or heat pump. 

An AC inspection isn’t a tough job, but if you can’t do it, the source for HVAC services. 

Finally, why should you wait for a long time before you schedule maintenance services for your AC?