How To Properly Reset Your Air Conditioner After A Power Outage

In Arkansas, homeowners are no strangers to extreme weather. From the icy grip of hail storms to the fierce howls of severe thunderstorms, lightning, and heavy rainfall, these conditions not only disrupt the flow of daily life but can also wreak havoc on homes, particularly power lines. 

Power outages are common after extreme storms, leaving households without electricity and air conditioning. How do you reset your air conditioner when the power kicks back on? 

Fortunately, we put together this guide to help you get the breaker panel sending power to your AC unit once again. Remember, electricity can be dangerous, so stay tuned to learn how to restore your comfort and stay safe while doing so.

If at any point you don’t feel confident, don’t hesitate to contact us — we’ll send a technician to help you out! 

How to restart your air conditioner after a power outage 

Here, we’ve outlined some steps to reset your AC unit following a power outage. 

Important note: The steps provided here are designed to ensure a safe and effective restart of your AC system. However, air conditioners can vary significantly in design and functionality. 

Remember to first refer to your owner’s manual. It may offer specific instructions tailored to your unit’s unique features, ensuring you don’t accidentally damage your system or void the warranty. 

#1. Switch off your AC system at the thermostat

The first critical step is to turn off your AC at the thermostat to ensure that when you’re working on the electrical panel and circuit breaker, the system won’t try to restart. This safety measure helps prevent potential damage to the wiring or the HVAC system itself.

#2. Turn off air conditioner “OFF” at the circuit breaker

Then, locate your home’s electrical panel and find the circuit breaker specifically labeled for the air conditioning system. Carefully switch it to the “OFF” position. This step is necessary to completely disconnect power to the AC unit, ensuring your safety and protecting the system’s internal components while fixing any issues.

#3. Turn the AC breaker back “ON”

After ensuring that the thermostat is still off and giving the system some time, return to the electrical panel and flip the air conditioner’s circuit breaker back to the “ON” position. This action begins the process of safely reenergizing the system’s electrical circuit without causing any sudden power surges that could damage the wiring or cause a fire.

#4. Wait half an hour for the electrical system to kick back up

Let your system power up for about 30 minutes before restarting your AC. This gives the system’s internal safety features time to reset, preventing damage to the HVAC system. 

It ensures that all components, especially the compressor, are not harmed by a rapid restart, which could occur due to pressure imbalances or electrical issues.

#5. Turn your AC back on at the thermostat

Finally, switch your AC system back on at the thermostat. Do this gently and refer to the manual for any specific instructions. 

Restarting the system via the thermostat allows it to begin operating safely under normal conditions, with all previous settings intact. This ensures efficient performance and prevents unnecessary stress on the system.

When to call a professional for help

While the above steps provide a solid foundation for resetting your air conditioner after a power outage, there are situations where it’s best to seek professional assistance. 

If, after following the reset process we’ve outlined or the one in your owner’s manual, you experience persistent issues—such as unusual noises, the system not cooling, frequent circuit breaker trips, or a broken fuse—call in the HVAC pros. 

Working with licensed professionals, like our technicians at Anderson Air, ensures that any bigger issues beyond simple troubleshooting are accurately identified and resolved quickly, reducing extensive repair costs.

This is especially important when dealing with electrical appliances, as attempting complex repairs without proper knowledge is a safety hazard. A professional electrician or HVAC technician can provide the necessary services to safely address and fix problems, protecting both your home’s electrical system and the longevity of your air conditioner. 

Opting for professional services guarantees that your system is not only functioning correctly but also efficiently, saving you from future headaches and potentially costly repairs.

Tips for preventing future AC power issues

While you can’t always prevent a power outage, you can protect your home and appliances from the negative effects. These tips can help protect both your AC and furnace during power surges.

For example, adding surge protectors and smart devices to your home’s cooling or heating system can drastically improve the safety and efficiency of your electrical appliances. 

Surge protectors 

Surge protectors act as a shield, guarding against sudden spikes in current that can cause electrocution or damage to your HVAC system and other electrical equipment. This protection is crucial, as it can prevent costly repairs or the need for replacements resulting from power surges. 

Smart devices

Furthermore, smart devices offer an additional layer of control and convenience. Features such as remote adjustments and monitoring energy usage allow homeowners to optimize their unit’s power draw, ensuring that the cooling or heating system only runs when needed. 

This not only extends the lifespan of the HVAC unit by preventing overuse but also contributes to a more energy-efficient and cost-effective climate for your living area. 


Overall, resetting your AC unit after an outage is fairly straightforward once you get the hang of it. Remember to heed the safety precautions written here and in your owner’s manual. If you have any questions or concerns about your system, feel free to give us a ring. 

At Anderson Air, we stand behind over ten decades of delivering premium AC installation and repair services to our community in Northwest Arkansas. We’re not just a company; we’re a reliable partner to our customers, ensuring every interaction demonstrates quality service and unparalleled expertise.

Our commitment to excellence, driven by a team of highly skilled technicians, guarantees not only the reliability of your HVAC systems through Arkansas’ diverse seasons but also your utmost satisfaction. For more information or help with your system, trust Anderson Air. 

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