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A Guide to GE Air Conditioner Troubleshooting

GE Air Conditioner Troubleshooting

Established in 1907, General Electric, widely recognized as GE, has firmly cemented its position as a leading manufacturer of household appliances.

Within their extensive product portfolio, GE’s air conditioners have garnered acclaim for their outstanding qualities, which include excellence, durability, efficiency, and affordability.

Nonetheless, similar to all household appliances, GE air conditioners may encounter issues such as failure to initiate, inadequate cooling or heating, problems with control panels, unresponsive touchscreens and thermostats, frequent cycling on and off, water leakage, or the display of flashing lights, error codes and audible alarms.

Interestingly, as I’ve discussed in my blog, many of these problems can be resolved through DIY methods. Nevertheless, certain issues may require the expertise of an HVAC technician.

Glance at GE Air Conditioner Troubleshooting

Before we delve into the specifics of each issue and its corresponding solution, here’s a summary to save you time if you prefer not to go through the detailed explanations.

ProblemPossible Causes and Solutions
1. GE AC Not StartingTry resetting by unplugging and replugging. Ensure ‘COOL MODE.’ Replace remote batteries. Have an HVAC specialist inspect if needed.
2. Control Panel Not WorkingWait for a 3-minute protective delay. Adjust heat selection. Clean filter. Remove obstructions. Limit window/door openings.
3. AC Won’t Heat (Heat Mode Issues)Try resetting it by unplugging for 2-3 minutes. Check thermostat settings.
4. AC Won’t CoolRemove obstructions. Clean filter. Seal openings. Adjust thermostat. Ensure proper AC size.
5. Touchpad Not WorkingClean/replace filter. Clean coils. Remove blockages in the drain line. Thaw frozen coils. Check compressor.
6. Thermostat Not Working ProperlyCheck temperature conditions. Replace if needed.
7. AC Turns On/Off RepeatedlyClean/replace filter. Clean coils. Remove blockages in drain line. Thaw frozen coils. Check compressor.
8. AC Leaking WaterReinstall AC for proper tilt. Clean air filter.
9. All Lights Flashing and BeepingInspect for electrical faults after power interruption. Check internal components for faults.
10. Not Responding to Remote ControlReplace remote batteries. Ensure no obstructions. Verify remote settings.
11. Making Loud NoisesInspect and tighten loose components. Contact technician for persistent noise.

GE Air Conditioner Troubleshooting Explained

Now let’s dive into each problem and its solution in detail,

1. GE AC Not Starting

It can be frustrating when your General Electric air conditioner refuses to start, especially during hot weather.

Interstingly, several common issues can prevent your AC from turning on.

Begin by confirming that the power plug for the GE AC is securely inserted into the outlet.

Next, examine your electrical panel for any tripped circuit breakers that might be causing a power interruption.

Some GE AC models have a current interrupter on the power cord, so ensure it hasn’t tripped due to electrical problems.

Lastly, investigate the potential of a blown house fuse within the AC circuit as another source of power disruption.

To fix the issue,

  1. Secure the power plug: Double-check and firmly plug the GE AC into the outlet.
  2. Reset the circuit breaker: Locate the tripped breaker, switch it off and then on to restore power.
  3. Reset the current interrupter: Unplug the AC, wait a bit, and plug it in again to reset the interrupter.
  4. Test and replace the house fuse: Turn off the circuit breaker, use a multimeter to check the fuse, and replace it if it’s blown. Then, turn the breaker back on and try starting your AC.

2. Control Panel Not Working

A malfunctioning control panel on your air conditioner can be frustrating, as it can prevent you from adjusting settings and controlling your unit’s operation effectively.

Possible Causes include,

  1. Control panel malfunction: The control panel itself may have experienced a malfunction, which can be due to various internal issues.
  2. Power failure: A power outage or a temporary loss of power can sometimes disrupt the functioning of the control panel.
  3. Incorrect setting: It’s possible that the control panel settings are not configured correctly, preventing the AC from responding as expected.

To fix this issue,

  1. Attempt a reset: If your AC isn’t responding, unplug it from the power source for 5-10 minutes, then plug it back in. This may resolve minor issues caused by temporary problems.
  2. Check the mode setting: Ensure that the control panel is set to ‘COOL MODE,’ the typical mode for air conditioning. Some units offer modes like ‘COOL,’ ‘HEAT,’ ‘FAN ONLY,’ or ‘AUTO.’ Select ‘COOL MODE’ and adjust the desired temperature setting to test if the control panel becomes responsive.
  3. Consult a professional: If the problem persists and the control panel remains unresponsive, it may signal a more significant issue. Contact an HVAC specialist or technician to inspect, repair, or replace the control panel.

3. AC Won’t Heat (Heat Mode Issues)

What is more frustrating than waking up to a GE AC that won’t heat in a cold winter?

Here are some common reasons for this problem,

  1. Protective Delay: Your AC might have a safety delay of 3 minutes when switching between cooling and heating modes to protect the compressor.
  2. Low Heat Setting: If your AC’s heat setting is too low, it won’t provide enough warmth.
  3. Clogged Filter: A dirty filter can block airflow and reduce heating efficiency.
  4. Air Blockage: Objects like furniture or curtains in front of the AC can block warm air, hindering heating.
  5. Opened Windows/Doors: Leaving windows or doors open while the AC is in heat mode can lead to heat loss and make it feel less effective.

To fix this issue,

  1. Wait for the 3-Minute Delay: If you recently changed modes, wait for about 3 minutes for the compressor protection delay to finish.
  2. Adjust Heat Setting: Check your temperature setting and increase it if it’s too low. Give the AC a few minutes to warm up.
  3. Clean or Replace Filter: If it’s been over 30 days, clean or replace the filter to ensure proper airflow and heating efficiency.
  4. Clear Obstructions: Remove anything blocking the AC vents, like furniture or curtains, to allow warm air to flow freely.
  5. Keep Windows and Doors Closed: To prevent heat loss, keep windows and doors closed while using the AC for heating.

4. AC Won’t Cool

It can be incredibly frustrating when a GE air conditioner fails to cool on a scorching hot day. As the temperature rises, I find that my work efficiency decreases rapidly due to the discomfort caused by the lack of cooling.

Here are a few reasons for your GE AC not to cool,

  1. Blocked Airflow: Objects or furniture in front of the AC can block air, making it less effective.
  2. Dirty Filter: A clogged filter restricts airflow, reducing cooling.
  3. Cold Air Leakage: Gaps in insulation or around doors/windows let cool air escape, making it harder for the AC.
  4. Icy Coils: Ice on coils hampers cooling.
  5. Low Temperatures: ACs work best in warm weather; they may not cool effectively in cooler weather.
  6. Incorrect Thermostat: Wrong thermostat settings can hinder cooling.
  7. Wrong AC Size: An undersized AC for the room may struggle to cool.

To solve this issue,

  1. Clear Obstructions: Remove objects, furniture, or curtains blocking the AC’s vents to allow cool airflow.
  2. Maintain the Filter: Regularly clean or replace the AC filter per the manufacturer’s recommendations (usually every 30 days) to ensure efficient cooling.
  3. Seal Openings: Use weatherstripping or caulk to seal gaps around doors and windows to prevent cold air from escaping. Limit opening windows and doors while the AC is on.
  4. Adjust Thermostat: Set the thermostat to the desired cooling temperature. If it’s cooler outside, raise the thermostat or wait for warmer weather.
  5. Match AC Size: Ensure your AC unit is the right size for the room. If it’s too small, consider upgrading to a higher-capacity unit for better cooling

Here’s a table with different room size measurements and their corresponding air conditioner rating/capacity in British Thermal Units (BTU):

Room Size (In Square Feet)Air Conditioner Rating/Capacity (BTU)
Up to 100 square feet2,000 – 3,000 BTU
100 – 250 square feet5,000 – 6,500 BTU
250 – 350 square feet7,000 – 8,500 BTU
550 – 800 square feet14,000 – 16,000 BTU
Over 2,000 square feetConsider multiple AC units or central AC

5. Touchpad Not Working

The touchpad of the AC is its brain. If it’s not working, it can be frustrating and hinder your ability to control the unit effectively.

Possible reasons for Touchpad issues include,

  1. Malfunctioning Control Panel: The touchpad or control panel may have experienced a malfunction or electrical issue.
  2. Incorrect Thermostat Setting: Incorrect settings on the thermostat can prevent the touchpad from responding or controlling the air conditioner as intended.

To solve the problem,

  1. Reset AC (2-3 minutes):
    • Unplug the AC for 2-3 minutes to clear temporary issues.
    • Plug it back in to check if the touchpad works.
  2. Thermostat Settings (Refer to Manual):
    • Consult the user manual.
    • Follow the manual’s instructions for setting the thermostat correctly.
    • Ensure you’re using the right sequence of button presses or touchpad actions.

6. Thermostat Not Working Properly

A thermostat is an essential component of a heating and cooling system in your GE AC, as it helps regulate the temperature to ensure your comfort.

However, like any other device, thermostats can occasionally experience issues, particularly when the temperature drops below 70°F, especially below 50°F. Thermostats are designed to function optimally within specific temperature ranges.

To solve the issue,

  1. Not Necessarily a Fault: In cold weather (especially below 70°F and under 50°F), thermostat unresponsiveness might not indicate a defect. Thermostats often have temperature limits, and extreme cold can reduce accuracy temporarily.
  2. Check the Manual: Refer to your thermostat’s manual for its recommended temperature range. If the current temperature falls within this range, your thermostat is likely working correctly.
  3. Insulate and Protect: In colder climates, ensure your thermostat is well-insulated and protected from extreme cold. Cold drafts or direct exposure to low temperatures can affect its performance. Proper installation and sealing can prevent these issues.
  4. Consider a Smart Thermostat: If cold weather consistently affects your thermostat and the manual indicates it should work in those conditions, consider upgrading to a smart thermostat. These devices often offer better temperature sensitivity and advanced features for consistent performance.

7. AC Turns On/Off Repeatedly

Experiencing a situation where your air conditioner (AC) turns on and off repeatedly, also known as short cycling, can be frustrating and may indicate various underlying issues,

  1. Dirty Filter: A clogged or dirty air filter restricts airflow, causing the AC to overheat and shut off prematurely.
  2. Dirty Coils: Accumulated dirt and debris on the evaporator and condenser coils reduce AC efficiency and can lead to overheating.
  3. Low Refrigerant Level: Insufficient refrigerant can make the AC struggle to cool effectively, causing frequent cycling as it attempts to maintain temperature.
  4. Frozen Coils: Evaporator coils can freeze due to airflow or refrigerant issues, prompting the AC to shut off to prevent damage.
  5. Faulty Compressor: A malfunctioning compressor, a critical AC component, can lead to short cycling.

To fix the issue,

  • Regularly check and replace the air filter as the manufacturer recommends to ensure proper airflow and prevent short cycling.
  • Schedule professional maintenance to clean the coils periodically, ensuring efficient operation and preventing frequent cycling.
  • If low refrigerant is suspected, contact an HVAC technician to inspect for leaks, repair them, and recharge the system with the correct refrigerant level.
  • Turn off the AC to thaw the coils. Address airflow restrictions, like blocked vents or dirty filters. If the problem persists, consult an HVAC technician to identify and fix the underlying cause.
  • Seek a qualified technician’s professional diagnosis and repair or replacement if the compressor is faulty.

Additional Considerations:

  • Ensure the thermostat is set to your desired temperature to prevent unnecessary cycling.
  • Check for obstructions around the outdoor condenser unit, as restricted airflow can lead to overheating and short cycling.

8. AC Leaking Water

A GE air conditioner (AC) leaking water is a common issue, and it’s essential to address it promptly to prevent damage to your AC unit and property.

Here are the possible reasons for water leaking,

1. Incorrect Installation Causing Improper Tilt: AC units should be installed slightly toward the outside to ensure that condensate (water produced by the cooling process) drains properly. If the AC is not correctly tilted, water can accumulate inside the unit and leak into your home.

2. Dirty Air Filter: A dirty or clogged air filter can restrict airflow through the AC, leading to the evaporator coil becoming excessively cold. When this happens, condensate can freeze on the coil and eventually melt, causing excess water that may leak from the unit.

To solve the issue,

  1. Reinstall the AC to Ensure Proper Tilt: contact a professional HVAC technician. He will assess the installation and make the necessary adjustments to ensure proper tilt.
  2. Regularly Clean the Air Filter: I recommend inspecting the filter monthly and replacing it when it appears dirty or at least every three months. This simple maintenance task can help prevent moisture buildup and water leakage.

9. All Lights Flashing and Beeping

Flashing or beeping lights on a GE Air conditioner always point towards some underlying cause. The cause could be,

  1. Power Interruption: As a response to a sudden power interruption or surge. When power is restored, the appliance may undergo a reset process, resulting in flashing lights and beeping sounds.
  2. Component Malfunction: Internal components within the appliance, such as the compressor, fan motor, capacitor, or control board, can malfunction for various reasons, including wear and tear, electrical issues, or manufacturing defects. These malfunctions can trigger warning indicators through flashing lights and beeping.

To solve the issue,

  1. Contact a licensed electrician or the manufacturer’s customer support to assess your electrical system and address any issues arising from the power interruption.
  2. In case of component failure, I advise having an expert technician specialising in GE air conditioners. They can diagnose the malfunction, determine which component is faulty, and take appropriate action, which may involve repairing or replacing the malfunctioning part.

10. Not Responding to Remote Control

If the remote control of your AC is not working, it means you can’t access all the Important functions of the AC.

Common causes are,

  1. Dead or Weak Batteries: Remote control problems often stem from depleted or weak batteries, hindering effective signal transmission.
  2. Obstructions in Line of Sight: Infrared (IR) remotes used for AC units require a clear line of sight to the receiver. Objects like furniture blocking this path can disrupt signal transmission.
  3. Incorrect Remote Settings: AC unit remotes offer various modes (cooling, heating, fan, timer) that, when set incorrectly, may lead to ineffective AC unit control.

To solve the problem,

  1. Replace Batteries: If you suspect weak or dead batteries, replace them with the correct type and size per the user manual.
  2. Clear Line of Sight: Ensure no obstructions between the remote and the AC unit’s receiver by moving any blocking objects.
  3. Check Remote Settings: Verify that the remote is set to the appropriate mode or function for your desired operation (e.g., cooling, heating). Incorrect settings can hinder AC unit responsiveness.

Additional Tips:

  • Examine the remote for physical damage or wear, as a damaged remote may not function correctly and may need replacement.
  • If available, try using a second remote control (e.g., a spare or universal remote) to control the AC unit. This can help identify whether the issue lies with the remote or the AC unit’s receiver.

11. Making Loud Noises

If your GE AC is making loud or bizarre noises, it means there is some critical problem with internal components. You must immediately turn the unit off, or it may worsen the problem.

The loud noises from your General Electric AC can be due to,

  1. Loose or Damaged Components: Loose screws, bolts, or damaged internal parts can lead to rattling or clanging noises during operation.
  2. Worn-out Fan Blades: Damaged or worn fan blades can create irregular and loud sounds as they spin.

To solve the issue,

  1. Inspect for Loose Screws or Parts: Regularly check the appliance for loose components. Tighten loose screws, bolts, or parts with the appropriate tools for routine maintenance.
  2. Contact a Technician: If tightening doesn’t resolve the noise issue, or if it’s due to internal damage or worn-out fan blades, it’s advisable to seek professional help from a qualified technician.
    • A technician can perform a thorough inspection to pinpoint the noise source and address any internal repairs or part replacements.
    • For worn-out fan blades, the technician can replace them with new ones, restoring quiet operation.

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