How To Fix An Air Conditioner Not Heating – Troubleshooting Guide

When the weather turns cold, we rely on our air conditioners to keep our homes warm and cozy. However, it can be frustrating when your air conditioner fails to provide the desired heat.

I also had the same problem and I did not know how to get out of it. An expert guided me due to which I was able to solve it. Now, I am an expert mysefl. If you’re facing the issue of an air conditioner not heating, don’t worry! This comprehensive troubleshooting guide will walk you through various steps to help you identify and fix the problem.

Common Causes of an Air Conditioner Not Heating

Thermostat Malfunction

One of the most common reasons for an air conditioner not heating is a malfunctioning thermostat. Here’s what you can do to completely address this issue:

  1. Ensure the thermostat is set to the heat mode and the temperature is higher than the current room temperature.
  2. Replace the batteries in your thermostat to rule out any power-related issues.
  3. If you have a programmable thermostat, double-check the programming to ensure it’s set correctly.

Furnace problem

ٰIt suggests that when facing an issue with an air conditioner not heating, it is crucial to investigate and eliminate any potential problems associated with the furnace. While the focus of the troubleshooting guide is on fixing the air conditioner, it is essential to consider the furnace as well, as it plays a vital role in the heating process.

The purpose of this section is to emphasize the importance of checking the furnace before solely attributing the heating problem to the air conditioner. By ensuring that the furnace is functioning properly, you can eliminate any potential issues originating from it and narrow down the possible causes of the heating problem.

Clogged Air Filters

Dirty or clogged air filters can hinder airflow and affect the heating performance of your air conditioner. Follow the steps at the bottom to fix this issue:

  1. Locate the air filters in your air conditioner. They are typically found behind a vent cover or near the air handler.
  2. Remove the filters and inspect them for dirt and debris. If they appear dirty, clean or replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Regularly clean or replace air filters every few months to maintain optimal airflow and heating efficiency.

Gas or Fuel Supply Issues

If your air conditioner uses gas or fuel for heating, ensure that the supply is not interrupted. Consider the following steps:

  1. Check if the gas valve is open and the supply line is not obstructed.
  2. If you use propane or oil, verify the fuel levels and refill if necessary.
  3. If you suspect a gas leak, immediately turn off the gas supply and contact a professional technician for assistance.

Advanced Troubleshooting Steps for an Air Conditioner Not Heating

Ductwork Issues

Poorly insulated or damaged ductwork can cause heat loss and prevent your air conditioner from effectively heating your home. Take the following steps to address this problem:

  1. Inspect the ductwork for any visible signs of damage, such as holes, loose connections, or disconnected sections.
  2. Seal any gaps or leaks in the ductwork using foil tape or mastic sealant.
  3. Consider insulating the ducts to minimize heat loss during transit.

Faulty Heating Elements

If your air conditioner has electric heating elements, a malfunctioning element can result in no heat production. Consider the following actions:

  1. Locate the heating elements within your air conditioner and inspect them for signs of damage or wear.
  2. If you notice any issues, such as burnt-out elements, contact a professional technician to replace them.

Check the circuit breaker or fuse box

Sometimes, a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse can disrupt the power supply to the air conditioner, resulting in heating issues. Follow these steps to check the circuit breaker or fuse box:

  1. Locate the circuit breaker panel or fuse box in your home.
  2. Inspect the breaker corresponding to the air conditioner and ensure it is in the “On” position. If it has tripped, switch it off and then back on.
  3. If your home has fuses, check if the one connected to the air conditioner is intact. Replace it with a new fuse of the same rating if necessary.

Examine the outdoor unit

The outdoor unit of your air conditioner can also contribute to heating problems. Perform the following checks:

  1. Inspect the outdoor unit for any visible signs of damage, such as bent or damaged fins, debris buildup, or ice formation.
  2. Clear away any debris, leaves, or vegetation that may be obstructing the unit’s airflow.
  3. If you notice ice formation, it could indicate a refrigerant leak or insufficient airflow. In such cases, it is best to contact a professional HVAC technician for assistance.

Reset the system

Resetting your air conditioner can sometimes resolve minor glitches and restore proper heating functionality. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Locate the power switch or circuit breaker that supplies electricity to the air conditioner.
  2. Turn off the power switch or flip the circuit breaker to the “Off” position.
  3. Wait for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Restore power by turning the switch back on or resetting the circuit breaker to the “On” position.
  5. Test the air conditioner to see if it now provides heat.

Inspect the air ducts

Leaky or poorly insulated air ducts can lead to heat loss and uneven heating distribution. Perform the following steps to examine the air ducts:

  1. Visually inspect the air ducts for any visible leaks, gaps, or disconnected sections.
  2. Seal any leaks or gaps using duct sealant or aluminum foil tape.
  3. Ensure that all duct connections are secure and properly attached.
  4. Consider adding insulation to the ductwork, especially in areas where it is exposed or passing through unconditioned spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Why is my air conditioner blowing cold air instead of heat?

A: There could be several reasons for this issue, such as a faulty thermostat, a malfunctioning reversing valve, or low refrigerant levels. Refer to the respective troubleshooting steps mentioned earlier to identify and resolve the problem.

Q: Can I fix an air conditioner not heating issue on my own?

A: While some troubleshooting steps can be performed by homeowners, it is recommended to consult a professional HVAC technician for complex issues or if you are unsure about the repairs.

Q: Why is my air conditioner not heating the entire house?

A: Insufficient heating throughout the entire house could be due to various reasons. Some possible causes include inadequate insulation, an improperly sized heating system, leaky ductwork, or uneven distribution of heat.

It’s recommended to have an HVAC professional assess your home’s heating system to determine the exact cause and provide appropriate solutions.

Q: What should I do if my air conditioner emits strange odors when attempting to heat?

A: If your air conditioner emits unusual odors when in heating mode, it could indicate a potential problem. The odors could be caused by dust accumulation, mold growth, or even a malfunctioning component.

It’s advisable to turn off the unit and consult a professional technician to inspect and rectify the issue to prevent any potential hazards and restore proper heating performance.

Q: Why does my air conditioner not heat consistently?

A: Inconsistent heating performance can be attributed to various factors. It could be due to a faulty thermostat, improper cycling of the heating system, or issues with temperature calibration.

Ensure that the thermostat is set correctly and functioning properly. If the problem persists, it’s best to consult an HVAC professional who can diagnose and address the underlying causes.

Q: Can a dirty air conditioner coil affect heating performance?

A: Yes, a dirty air conditioner coil can negatively impact the heating performance of your system. Accumulated dirt and debris on the coil can obstruct airflow and reduce the efficiency of heat transfer. Regular maintenance, including cleaning the coils, can help improve heating performance and ensure optimal operation of your air conditioner.

Q: Should I attempt to repair my air conditioner’s heating issues myself?

A: While some troubleshooting steps mentioned earlier can be performed by homeowners, it is recommended to consult a professional HVAC technician for complex issues or if you lack experience in HVAC repairs.

Attempting repairs without proper knowledge and expertise may lead to further damage or pose safety risks. It’s always best to rely on qualified professionals to ensure accurate diagnoses and effective solutions.

Q: How often should I have my air conditioner serviced to prevent heating problems?

A: Regular maintenance is essential to prevent heating problems and ensure the efficient operation of your air conditioner. It’s generally recommended to schedule annual maintenance with a qualified HVAC technician. This includes inspections, cleaning, and tune-ups to identify any potential issues early on and keep your system in optimal condition throughout the year.

Q: Can a power outage affect my air conditioner’s heating capability?

A: Yes, a power outage can impact your air conditioner’s heating capability, especially if it’s an electric heat pump system. When power is restored, it may take some time for the system to regain optimal heating performance.

If your air conditioner does not resume normal heating after a power outage, it’s advisable to check the thermostat settings and consult a professional if the problem persists.

Q: Are there any energy-saving tips for heating with an air conditioner?

A: Absolutely! To optimize energy efficiency while heating with your air conditioner, consider the following tips:

  • Set your thermostat to the desired temperature without overheating your space.
  • After that, lose doors and windows to prevent heat loss.
  • Insulate your home properly to minimize heat transfer.
  • Keep the air filters clean to ensure adequate airflow.
  • Use curtains or blinds to trap heat inside during colder periods.
  • Consider using a programmable thermostat to adjust temperature settings based on your schedule and reduce energy consumption.

Also read: How To Fix Air Conditioner Leaking Water Outside? A Step By Step Guide


Experiencing an air conditioner not heating when you need warmth can be frustrating. By following the troubleshooting steps mentioned above, you can identify and resolve the underlying issues causing the problem.

Remember, if you’re unsure or the problem persists, it’s always best to seek assistance from a qualified HVAC technician to ensure proper repairs and to maintain the longevity of your air conditioning system. Stay warm and comfortable throughout the seasons!

Talha Hanjra

Hi! I'm Talha Hanjra. I have a natural affinity for cutting-edge technological devices, and I enjoy finding solutions to their difficulties. I'll tell you how to fix various outdated gadgets and where to buy the best products. My research and experience will be of tremendous use to you.

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