My Air Conditioner Remote Is Not Working

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Point the remote control toward the air conditioner to operate it.

Air conditioners of all types might include remote controls. During the life of your air conditioner, you might experience a problem with the remote control not functioning. Nine times out of 10, you can fix your air conditioner's remote control problems with cleaning, basic maintenance, battery adjustment or furniture shuffling.

Proximity

If you point the remote control at the air conditioner unit and push a button with no response, you might not be close enough to the unit. Some units require a minimum remote sensor distance of 20 feet. Walk closer to the unit and try the command again. If there is any furniture in front of the unit or in front of the unit interface, move the furniture out of the way. The sensor of the remote control, which is in the tip of the remote control, must have a clear path to the sensor on the unit's interface. Examine the sensors on both the remote control and the air conditioner. If the sensors have dirt or grime on them, the dirt might prevent the remote control's signal from being received. Clean the sensors with a moist cloth.

Life

If the remote control is close enough to and pointed at the unit but it still fails to operate, the batteries inside the remote control might be too weak to serve the appliance -- even if the remote lights up when you push a button. Turn the remote control over and slide the back cover off. Remove the batteries from the remote control and either test them with a battery tester or insert new batteries. Confirm with the user's manual that you are using the correct kind and size of batteries.

Polarity

If new batteries fail to make the remote control function, they might be installed incorrectly. Inside of the battery chamber on the back of the remote control are printed or embossed "+" and "-" symbols and possibly an outline of the battery. These instructions demonstrate how to insert the batteries. If you insert the batteries in a way other than indicated, the remote control won't work. Remove the batteries and reinsert them according to the polarity directions inside the battery compartment. If the batteries are inserted correctly but the air conditioner still doesn't accept commands from the remote control, there might be dirt or blockage preventing the remote control from working correctly. Remove the batteries from inside the chamber and inspect the metal contacts of the battery chamber. If you see dirt on the contacts, clean them with a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Remove dirt buildup from the batteries as well.

Sensor

A malfunctioning LED light on the tip of the remote control might be the cause of a remote control malfunction. The LED light sends command signals to the sensor on the interface of the air conditioner unit. If the remote control falls to the ground or your dog bites it in the right place, the LED might detach from other internal components inside the remote. You can use an infrared sensor card to determine if the remote control sends out a signal properly from the LED. If the card fails to respond to the remote control commands, then the LED is broken and you should replace the remote control or have it fixed.

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Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston began writing in 2006. Her work has been published in "BUST" and PaperDolls magazines. Houston attended St. Edward's University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in photocommunications (photography and digital imaging).