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AC Acting Up? | Learn How to Reset AC

How to reset AC: In the sweltering heat of summer, a malfunctioning air conditioner can rapidly transform your living space into an inhospitable environment. When your AC fails to function properly, a straightforward reset can frequently resolve the issue. In this comprehensive guide, presented by Bob Tusky’s Best Appliance, we will resolve your question “how to reset AC” unit, enabling it to once again dispense cool and revitalizing air.

How to reset AC

How to Reset AC | Understanding Common AC Issues

Before diving into the resetting process, it’s essential to identify the problem. Is the AC not turning on? Is it blowing warm air? Identifying the issue will help you determine if a reset is the right solution.

Identifying the Problem

If your AC is unresponsive, it could be due to a tripped circuit breaker, a malfunctioning thermostat, a faulty contactor, or the aftermath of a power outage. By understanding the problem, you can proceed with the appropriate troubleshooting steps.

The Importance of Proper Resetting

Resetting your AC system is like giving it a fresh start. It clears any temporary glitches and allows the system to recalibrate itself. However, it’s crucial to follow the correct procedure to avoid further complications.

How to Reset AC Circuit Breaker

If your air conditioner suddenly stops working, a tripped circuit breaker could be the culprit. Follow these steps to reset the circuit breaker and get your AC up and running again.

Locate Your Circuit Breaker Box

Find the Box: The circuit breaker box is usually located in areas like the basement, utility room, or garage. Look for a metal box with a door.

Open the Door: Gently open the door of the circuit breaker box. Be cautious, as there might be exposed wires inside.

Identify the Tripped Breaker

Inspect the Breakers: Inside the box, you’ll see a series of switches, also known as breakers. Take a look at the position of each breaker. A tripped breaker is often in the “off” position or in between “off” and “on.”

Resetting the AC Circuit Breaker

Turn Off: If you identify a tripped breaker, push it firmly to the “off” position. This ensures that you’re starting with a clean slate.

Turn On: Now, push the breaker back to the “on” position. You should feel a bit of resistance before it clicks into place.

Check the AC: Head to your air conditioning unit and turn it on. If the circuit breaker was indeed the issue, your AC should now start working again.

Safety Precautions

  • If the breaker trips again immediately after resetting, there might be an underlying electrical issue. It’s best to contact a professional technician in such cases.
  • Avoid overloading the circuit by plugging too many devices into the same outlets.
  • If you’re not comfortable working with electrical components, it’s safer to call a professional technician to handle the reset.

How To Reset AC Thermostate

A misconfigured thermostat can lead to cooling issues. Follow these steps to reset it.

Checking the thermostat settings

Before resetting the thermostat, make sure it’s set to “cool” mode and the temperature is lower than the current room temperature.

Soft Reset vs. Hard Reset

Thermostats usually have two types of resets: soft and hard. A soft reset retains your settings, while a hard reset resets all settings to default.

Step-by-Step Thermostat Reset Process

  • Remove the thermostat cover.
  • Locate the reset button; it’s often small and recessed.
  • Press and hold the reset button for a few seconds.
  • Release the button when the screen blinks.
  • Wait for the thermostat to reboot and reconfigure the settings.

How To Reset AC Contactor

The contactor is responsible for sending power to the AC’s components. If it’s malfunctioning, here’s how to reset it.

What is an AC Contactor?

The contactor is an electrical switch that controls the power flow to various parts of the AC unit. If it’s not working correctly, the AC won’t function.

Signs of a Faulty Contactor

  • AC not turning on.
  • Unusual buzzing sounds.
  • Inconsistent cooling.

Resetting the AC Contactor

  • Locate the contactor – it’s a black box-like component.
  • Turn off the AC’s power from the circuit breaker.
  • Use an insulated screwdriver to gently push the contactor’s center.
  • Turn the power back on. The contactor should engage

Restoring AC after Power Outage

Power outages can disrupt the functioning of your air conditioning unit. Here’s how you can safely restore your AC’s operation after a power outage.

Safety Measures Before Restoring:

Before you proceed with restoring your AC after a power outage, it’s important to take some safety measures to prevent any potential electrical issues.

Check Stability: 

Ensure that the power supply has stabilized after the outage. Sudden power surges can damage electronic components.

Inspect Wiring: 

Visually inspect the wiring around your AC unit for any visible damage or loose connections. If you notice any issues, refrain from restoring power and seek professional help.

Power Restoration and AC Startup

After a power outage, it’s important to take the right steps to safely restore your air conditioning system’s operation. Here’s a guide on how to do it effectively.

Give It Time: 

Once the power is back on, don’t rush to turn on your AC immediately. Allow a few minutes for the power supply to stabilize. Sudden power surges can potentially harm your AC’s components.

Thermostat Check: 

Before you proceed, make sure your thermostat is set to the “off” position or at a higher temperature than the current room temperature.

Select the Cooling Mode: 

Set your thermostat to the cooling mode. This ensures that the AC will start the cooling process when you turn it on.

Gradual Startup: 

Switch on the AC from the thermostat or control panel. Don’t expect instant cooling; your AC needs some time to resume its normal functioning.

Allow Stabilization: 

Once your AC is turned on, give it some time to stabilize. It might take a while before you start feeling the cool air. During this time, the system is recalibrating and preparing to cool your space.

Listen and Observe: 

As your AC runs, pay attention to any unusual sounds or smells. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, turn off the AC immediately and seek professional help.

Final Thoughts

Restoring your AC’s operation after a power outage requires patience and attention to detail. By allowing the system to stabilize and taking note of any potential issues, you can ensure that your air conditioning system works smoothly and efficiently, keeping your living space comfortable even after a disruption in power.

When to Seek Professional Help

While many AC problems can be resolved through simple troubleshooting, there are instances when it’s best to call in a professional technician. Here’s when you should consider seeking expert help:

Recurring Issues: 

If you find yourself repeatedly resetting your AC due to the same problem, there might be an underlying issue that requires professional diagnosis and repair.

Electrical Problems:

If you suspect or observe electrical issues like sparks, burnt smells, or visible damage around your AC unit, it’s crucial to call a professional technician immediately. Working with electrical components can be dangerous if you’re not trained.

Unusual Noises:

Strange and loud noises coming from your AC, such as grinding, screeching, or rattling, could indicate mechanical problems that need professional attention.

Cooling Inefficiency: 

If your AC isn’t cooling your space effectively even after resetting or if it takes an unusually long time to reach the desired temperature, a professional assessment is necessary.

Freon Leaks: 

If you suspect a refrigerant leak, it’s essential to have a professional address it. Refrigerant handling requires specialized knowledge and proper equipment.

Complex Repairs: 

Any repair that involves intricate components or requires disassembling parts of the AC unit should be handled by a trained technician.

Safety Concerns: 

If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe performing a reset or troubleshooting steps, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and contact a professional.

Warranty Considerations: 

If your AC unit is still under warranty, attempting DIY repairs might void the warranty. It’s best to consult with a professional authorized by the manufacturer.

Preventive Maintenance: 

Regular maintenance by a professional technician can prevent future issues and extend the lifespan of your AC.

Health and Allergy Concerns: 

If your AC’s performance is affecting indoor air quality, causing allergies, or worsening respiratory conditions, a professional can identify and rectify the issue.

Remember, AC systems are complex, and attempting complicated repairs without proper knowledge can lead to further damage or safety hazards. When in doubt, it’s always wise to seek professional help to ensure your AC is functioning optimally and your home remains comfortable and safe.

Expert Tips for AC Maintenance

Proper AC maintenance can prevent frequent issues and prolong the life of your unit. Here are some tips from Bob Tusky’s Best Appliance experts:

Regular Cleaning: Clean or replace filters every 1-2 months to ensure efficient airflow and prevent dust buildup.

Annual Checkup: Schedule a professional inspection and maintenance at least once a year to identify and fix potential problems early.

Clear Surroundings: Keep the area around your outdoor AC unit free from debris, plants, and obstructions to ensure optimal performance.


Resetting your AC can be a simple yet effective way to troubleshoot common issues and restore optimal performance. By following the step-by-step guide provided by Bob Tusky’s Best Appliance, you can confidently reset your AC and enjoy a cool and comfortable living space once again. Remember, while resetting can solve many problems, consistent maintenance and professional inspections are key to keeping your AC running smoothly for years to come. Contact us.


Can I reset my AC without turning off the power?

Yes, it’s possible to reset some AC units without turning off the power. However, for safety reasons, it’s recommended to switch off the power before attempting a reset.

How often should I reset my AC?

Resetting your AC should be a troubleshooting step rather than a regular routine. If you find yourself needing to reset it frequently, it’s best to consult a professional technician to identify the underlying issue.

My AC still isn’t working after a reset. What should I do?

If your AC doesn’t resume proper functioning after a reset, it might be indicative of a more complex problem. It’s advisable to contact a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and repair the issue.

Is it normal for my AC to make noise after a reset?

Some noise is normal, especially when your AC is restarting. However, if you notice unusual or loud noises persisting, it could indicate a mechanical issue that requires attention.

Can I perform a reset on a window AC unit?

Yes, you can perform a reset on a window AC unit using similar steps mentioned earlier. Look for a reset button or follow the power-related steps to initiate the reset.

How long should I wait before plugging in my AC unit again?

Waiting for about 3-5 minutes after pressing the reset button allows time for the internal components to reset properly. This short waiting period ensures a more effective reset.

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