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Why is My Air Conditioning Unit Not Responding to the Remote?

Belrose resident, Peter asks

“Our air conditioner isn’t working. It’s not responding to the remote, and we’ve tried two remotes that we have in the house, and neither of them do anything. What do you think the problem could be? We put new batteries in and it’s still not working.”

In most cases when an air conditioning unit stops responding to the remote, it’s something as simple as dead batteries, or a faulty handset. However in some cases it may mean something more.

If your air conditioning unit is not responding to the remote, we recommend you follow these steps before you book a diagnostic callout.

Check the remote

First, check if the display on the remote is working by seeing if you can read the information on it. If not, a simple fix of a battery change will likely solve your issue. To remove the batteries from a split system remote control, simply slide the remote panel down to reveal the other buttons. When it stops, give it an extra tug to slide the panel off completely. The battery compartment will be exposed. Check that the metal components are not corroded and replace the batteries. Double-check the user manual to ensure you are using the correct batteries and also remember to inspect the remote to make sure you insert them the right way round.

If you have another remote in the house that you use for another same brand split air conditioner, you can try it on the unit that’s not working. If the air conditioner responds to this remote, you know that the other one is faulty and needs to be replaced.

The next step is to check the LED light on the top of the remote control. The LED light is responsible for sending signals to the sensor on the interface of the air conditioner unit. If you’ve dropped the remote control, the LED could have detached from other internal components. You will need an infrared sensor card to check if the remote control sends out a signal correctly from the LED.

Another consideration is your proximity to the unit. The remote needs to be within ten metres of the unit to function, and there cannot be furniture or other objects blocking the path of the sensor on the surface of the unit. Clean the sensors to ensure there isn’t any grime on them that’s interfering either.  Another common cause of remote control damage is moisture. Exposure to a spilled drink or other liquids can cause your remote control to stop working.

Check the unit

Another approach to check if your remote is working is to rule out the fact that the unit is responsible for the malfunction.  To do so, press the buttons you’ll find towards the bottom right side of the unit manually to see if they work. If they do, but do not respond to the remote, you can assume the signal from the remote is not reaching the unit or is not being recognised.

Perform a reboot of the system

If you’ve ruled out that the remote is faulty, reset the system by turning it off at the main power, and leaving it off for about 30 minutes. If the problem persists once you have turned the power on again, we recommend you book a service so a technician can run a diagnostic check of the system. We may discover that the board inside the indoor unit is not talking to the remote anymore and needs to be replaced. We will also test the remote to see if it is faulty.

You can extend the life of your handheld remote control by ensuring it’s stored in the wall holder that was provided when the system was installed. When replacing a remote control, we recommend you invest in a brand model rather than a generic alternative. Universal remotes may give you the essential functions but are unlikely to offer the full range of features. Faulty (but not damaged) remotes are covered as part of your air conditioner warranty.

Aircon remote not working?

Follow the steps detailed above to confirm your remote, not the aircon system, is at fault. We offer a range of replacement remote controls for air conditioners in our store. You can check the model number (ARC) on the back of the remote. As always it’s best to give us a call and we’ll come out and assist if you can’t get the unit working.

Need a quote? Want to book a service? Get in touch!