Are you looking for outdoor AC unit repair? HVAC Santa Clarita offers top not service!

Your cooling system has several parts, all of which have to function well. Many times, not the entire unit will malfunction. Sometimes, the outdoor unit does not work, while the indoor unit seems to be working perfectly.

So, what do you do when your outdoor unit is malfunctioning?

Or better still, can you replace the outdoor AC unit and retain the old indoor unit?

Keep reading as we dive deeper into outdoor AC unit repair.

call 661-888-0248

Contact us 24/7 for HVAC services!

Troubleshooting a Malfunctioning Outdoor AC Unit

The indoor and outdoor (condenser) units have to function well for proper cooling. First, if your outdoor unit is malfunctioning, the first telltale sign would be the system not cooling your house well.

Secondly, you may hear rattling noise from the outdoor unit.

Thirdly, if the electricity bills keep soaring, chances are you are experiencing issues with your outdoor air conditioning unit.

When you notice that your outdoor HVAC system has an issue, handle it there and then. Postponing it could result in:

  • more expensive repairs,
  • need for a costly replacement after the entire system fails.

We, therefore, give you some tips to troubleshoot your outdoor air conditioner as you prepare to call for professional AC repair.

Check the Circuit Box and Power Switches 

This may seem obvious, and people are usually quick to dismiss this. But is your outdoor AC unit on?

Before you take any other steps, ensure that your thermostat is set on ‘cool.’ Additionally, ensure that the temperature set on the thermostat is lower than the room temperature.

If all these are okay, you can move to check the power switches. Ensure that the power switch is plugged in and flipped on.

If all is not well, move to the circuit box. In case you find the outdoor unit circuit has been tripped, turn it off, wait a few minutes, and then switch it back on. If the circuit boxes and power switches were the issues, these simple steps should help.

However, if the circuit trips more than once, contact an electrician.

Look at the Float Switch

Another reason your outdoor AC is not working is a tripped float switch. This is another issue you can quickly solve without calling for your professional HVAC technician.

This switch typically turns off the AC system when water leaks into the house. If you find water under the indoor unit, it is a sign that the drain is blocked.

If you find water under the evaporator coil, empty the pan and flush the drain. This should fix the issue. If it doesn’t, the best bet would be to get a professional home air conditioning service 

Clear Debris from and Around the Outdoor Condenser Unit

Your AC outdoor unit may be malfunctioning due to debris accumulation. This can be in and outside the unit.

Dirt and debris can block and bend the coil fins of the outdoor HVAC system. For starters, this impedes proper airflow, a sure way to lower the system’s efficiency.

To solve this problem, remove any dirt, sticks, leaves and vegetation around and on the condenser system. Then, clear and dust from the condenser coils using a low-pressure stream of water.

Afterward, ensure you keep the area around the AC unit clear from obstructions and debris.

Check the Low Voltage Wires if they are well connected

Low voltage wires connect the outdoor AC unit to the indoor unit and thermostat. Depending on how your unit is installed, some of these wires may be partially exposed. If you can see these wires, verify that they’re intact and fully connected.

Damaged or disconnected wires will prevent the outdoor unit from turning on.

Check refrigerant Levels

Low refrigerant levels are another reason your outside air conditioner has operating issues.

So, how do you know there is a problem with refrigerant levels?

First, check the refrigerant lines. If they are not cool, they have an issue.

Also, listen carefully around the condenser. If you hear a hissing sound, that is the refrigerant leaking out. Also, spotting frost around the unit is a clear sign of a refrigerant leak.

If you notice these telltale signs of refrigerant leaks, switch off your cooling system and call a professional HVAC technician.

Remember that breathing and touching refrigerants (r 22 ) are dangerous for your health. This is why you should let professionals fix any issues concerning refrigerant leaks.

Outside AC Unit Making Weird 

Different noises can signify different issues with the outside condenser unit. Typically, the fan or the capacitor could be the issue. However, you need to know that different noises could mean different problems; it is not always the capacitor or the fan.

Watch out for these noises from your outside AC noises.

Clanging or Rattling

The issue is most likely the fan if you hear any rattling noises from the outdoor air conditioning unit.

The first action to take is to look if any debris, such as sticks, is stuck on the fan. If you find anything, remove it.

The rattling noise could also mean loose parts or screws in the system. These loose parts can easily damage the system if not dealt with quickly. If you discover any loose parts, tighten them.

Call for a professional HVAC repair technician if you cannot find any debris sticking on the fan or any loose parts.


An unusual humming sound from the outside unit often indicates an issue with the capacitor. Most homeowners ignore the humming sound as it is typically low and disturbing.

Remember that this is what starts the motor, and it is also what keeps it running.

If you hear a humming sound, you want to ensure that the capacitor works appropriately. To do this, slide a long stick through the fan grate. Then push the fan blade with the stick. If the fan starts running, the capacitor is not working well; call for AC repair services.

Outside AC Unit Repair Cost

Typically, outdoor HVAC repair will cost you a few hundred dollars. This will be majorly for the labor costs, as sometimes repairs may involve replacing some parts.

Remember, the cost will vary mainly depending on the extent of the problem. Sometimes, the origin of the problem is the outdoor air conditioner. Still, the issue has extended to affect the working of the air handler, evaporator coils or the whole AC system. We mean that the repair costs will depend on the issue at hand.

The inside AC is Running, but the Outside AC is Not

This is one of the common issues homeowners face; the outside unit is not running while the indoor unit seems to be running perfectly.

If you are facing this issue, it is evident that you need repair. And sometimes, you may need to replace the entire system depending on a few factors(1).

If the outside unit is not working, chances are you are having an issue with the compressor. In case you have a broken compressor, you will need immediate intervention from a professional HVAC technician.

If you keep working with a broken compressor, you risk:

  • reduced performance,
  • increased energy bills,
  • damaging other parts, such as the condensing coil.

Call for immediate help to bring your system back to working correctly.

Other than a damaged compressor, other reasons your outdoor unit could not be working while the indoor system is working include:

  • malfunctioning fans,
  • freezing coils,
  • issues with the refrigerant or the drain line,
  • electrical issues.

Fixing Your Outdoor Condenser

Some homeowners try to solve the issues of their outside air conditioner themselves.

This is why we gave you tips to troubleshoot your outdoor AC yourself. You can fix your air conditioner yourself, depending on what you find while troubleshooting. For instance, the issue could be flipped circuit breakers. You could quickly flip it back on.

Also, if it is debris accumulation, you could easily remove that.

However, the best solution for some issues is to call a professional HVAC technician. For instance, if you have a broken compressor, malfunctioning unit, or refrigerant leak, do not try to solve the issue yourself. You can mess up big time.

Contact us immediately if you notice issues with your outdoor unit, indoor unit or if you need mini split AC repair

Outdoor AC Unit Repair Frequently Asked Questions

We answer some FAQs to help ensure that we get exemplary service for the system. Feel free to reach out to us if your pressing question is not answered.

What do I do if my outdoor unit is not working?

If your outdoor AC system is not working, you want to do a simple troubleshoot. If it is simple issues such as debris on the fan or the fins, you can remove them. 

In case it is a flipped circuit breaker, you can also solve it.

However, if it is a malfunctioning AC compressor or a fan, get in touch with a certified HVAC technician.

What to do if AC Outdoor is not working?

If it is a simple DIY issue, go ahead and solve it. Otherwise, we recommend that you work with a professional technician for repairs. We are one of the air conditioning companies in Santa Clarita that can help solve issues with your entire AC unit.

Can just the outside AC unit be replaced?

It is possible to replace the outside unit and leave the old AC unit inside. However, we highly discourage you from doing this. First, you will have to match the outside unit to the inside unit. For instance, they will have to have the same SEER rating. And, getting a new unit with a SEER rating as that of old indoor units can be difficult.

Also, the R22 has to match the two systems.

Failing to replace the indoor unit often and focusing on the new is just like postponing the inevitable. Most of the time, you will have to replace the indoor system not long after.

 Replacing AC unit is usually a long-term solution to many AC  issues. 

What causes the outside AC unit not to come on?

Many times, the issue behind this is a tripped circuit breaker. When this happens, you must find the circuit breaker switch and switch it back on. If it does not solve the issue, call for professional repair.

Do outdoor AC units need to be serviced?

Yes, outdoor AC units need to be serviced just as much as indoor units. First, they are exposed to more debris and weather harshness. Failing to service them may easily lead to blockages, eventually leading to breakdowns.

Secondly, all parts must work correctly for an HVAC system to function well. If you do not service your outdoor unit, it will start malfunctioning, affecting the entire cooling process. When your HVAC  maintenance company comes over, they should service both the indoor and outdoor units. 

How do I get my outside AC unit to kick on?

If your air conditioning unit is not turning on, these steps may help solve the issue:

  • check your thermostat and ensure it is on “cool,”
  • check out for a tripped circuit breaker and switch it back on,
  • clean or change the air filters,
  • ensure the condensate or breaker line is clear,
  • try to entirely reset the system.

If all this does not help switch the system back on, there might be a severe issue with the condenser coil or other parts of the condenser unit. Contact your HVAC tech straight away.

Final Words on Outdoor AC Unit Repair

Often, homeowners overlook the outside unit and focus on the good of the indoor unit. For one reason or another, your outside AC unit may become defective. If you notice an issue with it, you want it solved immediately. If you buy time, it will spread to the other parts of the system or eventually cost you more.

In case you troubleshoot and find it is something you can solve, go ahead and give it a try. If it is beyond you, our AC repair in Santa Clarita would be glad to fix the issue for you.

call 661-888-0248

Contact us 24/7 for HVAC services!

Our Address is

HVAC Santa Clarita
26893 Bouquet Canyon Rd
Santa Clarita CA 91350

Opening hours

Monday 8 am – 8 pm

Tuesday 8 am – 8 pm

Wednesday 8 am – 8 pm

Thursday 8 am – 8 pm

Friday 8 am – 8 pm

Saturday 8 am – 8 pm

Sunday 9 am – 5 pm

Central Air Conditioner Covers for Outside Units >>>

How to Clean Outside AC Unit >>>

How to Clean AC Condenser Coils >>>

AC Condenser Repair >>>

Outside AC Unit Making Loud Noise >>>

Central AC Repair >>>

Leave a Comment