How To Reset AC Unit: Easy DIY Guide for Air Conditioners

Central air conditioning systems are home appliances that cool your home. They are easy-to-use appliances with multiple functions.

What if your AC unit stops working all of a sudden or isn’t cooling as expected? Resetting is one of the most effective and easiest ways to ensure your unit works properly and efficiently.

But where to find the reset button on the AC unit outside? Read on to know all about resetting your air conditioning system.

Why Do You Need To Reset Your Central AC?

Reset Central AC

Recent Power Outage

If the circuit is engaged and won’t allow the unit’s compressor to function correctly, you must reset it. Circuit breakers will snap if you experience a sudden blackout or brownout or an abrupt surge in the power supply.

It’s a crucial part that protects and prevents the unit from explosions and fires. So, if that’s the case, make sure to reset your AC system.

Thermostat Is Malfunctioning

A reset also works when your air conditioner blowing hot air and isn’t cooling as usual, despite the thermostat setting being ‘ cool.’

Though there are several reasons, your system blows hot air, and the most common one is a malfunctioning thermostat. Often, resetting your unit can address this issue.

Related Article Can I Reset My Thermostat?

Faulty Parts

Apart from that, you may also have to reset your air conditioning system if its internal part is either damaged or turned faulty, causing it to operate irregularly.

Where Is The Reset Button Found On Central AC Units?

If your air conditioning system comes with a reset switch on a condenser unit, press it, and it will do the job. But where is it located?

It is on the outside of the machine, on the lower side. The button is usually visible and red, so it’s pretty easy to locate it.

If you’re unable to find it on the exterior, chances are it may be located within the machine right behind the circuit panel. Make sure to cut off the power source to the AC system before going inside the unit to look for the ‘reset’ button.

Central AC Reset Button Location

How To Reset Your Central Air Conditioner Via The Reset Button

Via The Reset Button

Here’s how to reset the unit using the reset button:

Press it gently for 3-4 seconds continuously, and then leave it for some time. Then, repeat the same process and leave it for a while. Your air conditioning system will respond by making three beeps; this means your system is successfully reset.

Manually (Without Reset Button)

If your AC unit doesn’t come with a reset switch, you’ll have to reset manually. Resetting an air conditioning system manually is fast and straightforward. Here’s how to do it:

1. Shut Off The Power Source

You’ll find a shut-off panel next to the exterior compressor unit. Your air conditioning system’s wire is plugged into it. And under typical situations, it remains ‘switched on.’ Please turn it off and find the 240 voltage breaker in the house’s main power supply panel. Switch it off also. This way, you’ll be able to cut off all power to your AC unit. Make sure to unplug the system from the main feed as well.

2. Wait For 20-30 Minutes

Never reconnect the unit immediately after disconnecting it. 20 to 30-minutes is more than enough for your unit to reset entirely.

3. Plug It Back

Carefully plug the unit back to the grid.

4. Turn The Electricity Power Supply On

Once you’ve connected the system, head towards the main supply grid of the house and turn it on. After that, head back to the exterior compressor unit and switch on the plug. One thing to remember, before turning on the power back, ensure the thermostat is on the ‘cool’ setting.

Resetting Guide After A Power Outage

Turn Off The Thermostat

If you set thermostat settings to ‘off,’ it won’t ask your air conditioning system to cool down the room until you reset both external and internal breakers.

Some thermostats operate with batteries; therefore, you can seamlessly address the issue by changing their batteries. However, if your thermostat is non-programmable or programmable, follow the steps below.

Reset The ‘Circuit Breaker’

Typically placed in the basement, laundry room, garage, or outside your home, locate the breaker and find the HVAC/air conditioner label. However, if you cannot find the label, look for a button that’s neither ‘off’ nor ‘on.’

Turn that button to the ‘off’ (right) position and flip back to the ‘on’ (left) position! Then, wait for half an hour.

Turn Your Thermostat To Cool
Digital Thermostat

The moment 30-minutes are completed, turn back the thermostat settings to ‘cool,’ and it will kick your AC system back on. Make sure room temperature is at least 6 degrees up from the thermostat temperature so that it may ask your unit to cool down the room.

Resetting Guide After Changing The Filter

Looking for an effective and easy way to reset your AC unit after changing the filter? Follow the steps below to reset your unit:

  1. Press filter switch on your thermostat
  2. Then, push the down or up button to modify or reset

Here’s how to reset the most common AC brands after changing the filter:

  1. Press filter switch or ‘i’ key till ‘air’ is displayed
  2. Now, carefully press the ‘time’ up arrow-key for resetting your air conditioner

Related Article How To Change AC Filter

What To Do If Your Central AC Won’t Reset?

If your AC unit still won’t reset and work appropriately, you should call an HVAC professional.

Here are a few scenarios where it’s best to contact a professional rather than doing it yourself:

  • In case you’ve exposed wires, and the circuit breaker doesn’t have a protective covering
  • If the circuit keeps tripping now and then
  • Your air conditioning system is taking more time than usual to cool the room
  • If there are loose connections
  • If the unit lacks proper maintenance and care
  • If you haven’t checked your air conditioner for quite some time

People Also Ask (FAQ)

How do I reset my portable air conditioner?

Here’s how you can reset your portable air conditioning system:

  1. Turn off the unit and circuit breaker
  2. Firmly push the ‘reset’ switch and leave it for a couple of minutes
  3. Afterward, plug the breaker back and turn on the air conditioning unit

How long does it take for an AC unit to reset?

Though it varies from model to model, the average time an air conditioner takes to reset is about 30-minute. Once you unplug it, sit tight for at least half an hour.

How do I reset my AC thermostat?

Here’s how to reset your AC thermostat:

  1. First, switch off your thermostat
  2. Locate the circuit that powers the AC and switch it off
  3. Wait for 2-3 minutes. Then, turn on the circuit breaker
  4. Then, turn on your thermostat, and you’re done

What happens if you don’t reset your AC after the power outage?

It’s essential to reset your unit every time there’s a power outage; otherwise, it can cause severe damage to your unit, circuit breaker, etc. In addition, it trips or pops your breaker, which is essential to prevent fire or other explosions.


Air conditioning systems provide a quick, effective and efficient way to cool your home. They are perfect appliances that make your indoors comfortable even in the summer heat. However, if it stops working or fails to cool as expected, you can reset it using our comprehensive guide.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with DIY and improving my family home. HVAC topics can be tricky for homeowners so I decided to share my knowledge on the subject. When I am not working on DIY projects, you can find me at the beach or my local coffee shop.