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Powers On, Won't Run - Portable Air Conditioner

Troubleshooting Air Conditioners Last Updated 04/19/2018
Powers On, Won't Run - Portable Air Conditioner

If the air conditioner power on but does not run, possible causes are; circuit breaker type, currently running mode, or issues with the power supply. For other related power power issues, please visit Power Issues - Room Air Conditioner content.

  1. Is the unit powered on a dedicated circuit breaker?


    How to check - Method 1

    If you know what breaker the unit is powered from, you can trip the breaker at the breaker box. If other devices are WITHOUT power besides the air conditioner, then the unit is not on a dedicated circuit breaker.

    How to check - Method 2

    Turn off all other electrical devices in the room besides the air conditioner. If the unit runs fine with other devices turned off, then likely the unit is not on a dedicated circuit breaker.***

  2. Since the unit is on a dedicated breaker, we need to check the unit for adequate power supply.

    Proceed to Power Supply
  3. If the unit is not on a dedicated circuit breaker, the unit may power ON but not run. The reason is that the unit does not require as much power to display the settings, or even run the fan, but it does to turn on and run the compressor.

Portable air condition must be plugged into a grounded 60Hz, 120VAC, outlet protected by a 15amp time delay fuse or circuit breaker.

The outlet must be rated to provide the proper power level to the unit. If you only changed the outlet to match the power cord plug, but did not have the outlet rewired, then the unit will not be receiving the correct power.

Proceed to Mode Setting
  1. Let's check the control panel to verify that the unit is on the right setting.

    What mode is the unit currently running?

    COOL and TEMP setting set lower than ambient temperatureNot set to COOL mode
  2. Did this occur while you were trying to use the TIMER function?

    Timer was set but unit didn't power on at the designated timeTimer was not used
  3. Press the MODE key repeatedly until COOL mode is indicated on the control panel.

    • Unplug the power cord from the outlet.

    • Allow the unit to sit without power for 3 minutes before plugging it back in.

    • Press the POWER button and set the timer function to occur again. If the issue occurs again the unit may require a repair service. Please visit our Request a Repair page.

  4. Does the LED light on the display panel flicker continuously?

  5. This may be a sign that your unit requires a repair service. Please visit our Request a Repair page.

  6. We need to proceed to the next section of this article to check the unit's responsiveness or not cooling options.

    Proceed to Active Cooling

  1. Is the unit completely unresponsive?

    Completely unresponsive, even with correct outlet and power supplyFan runs, but the unit is not cooling?
  2. The unit will require a technician for further troubleshooting, please visit our Request a Repair page.

  3. This is a not cooling issue, please refer to our Not Cooling article.

Author - Sanmi Ajanaku

Sanmi is a Home Appliance expert and author of this help library article. Please leave him feedback below about the page.

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