Window AC Buttons Not Working: Troubleshooting Guide

Window AC buttons not working

Are you stuck trying to figure out why the buttons on your window AC are not working?

You’re not alone! It can be quite frustrating to be unable to adjust the temperature on your air conditioner unit simply because the buttons aren’t working.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place to fix the issue.

If your window AC buttons are not working, you’ll need to check the power supply, perform a reset, clean the buttons, and test the remote. However, if the issue persists, please check the control board.

Keep reading to get your window AC buttons working again!

Why Trust Us? This article was written by Craig Anderson & Alan Stephens.

Craig has helped thousands of homeowners repair their appliances since 2016.

Alan is our resident HVAC expert with 20+ years of experience. Holding many HVAC certifications, Alan runs his own HVAC company, Eco Green Air Inc, out of North Carolina.

5 Fixes for Unresponsive Buttons on Your Window AC

In this section, I’ll explain the different reasons that can explain why the buttons on your window AC are not working and provide five solutions you can try.

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

#1 Check the Power Supply

If your window AC buttons are not working and you can’t turn on the unit, I recommend checking the power supply.

While it’s common to assume that unresponsive buttons are the issue when the AC isn’t turning on, the actual culprit could be the power supply.

Therefore, it’s important to ensure the power cord is properly plugged into the outlet. While doing so, please look for any visible signs of damage. If you notice any bending or fraying, it’s essential to replace the cord.

Find any replacement part:

Next, head over to the circuit breaker. If the AC breaker has tripped, switch it back to the “ON position” and check the functionality of the buttons again.

circuit breaker switch
If your window AC buttons are not working, check if the breaker has tripped.

Don’t forget to test the power outlet. You’ll simply need to unplug the window AC and plug in another device, such as a lamp or hairdryer. If the other device doesn’t work either, contact a certified electrician, as there’s probably a more complex electrical issue in your home.

#2 Reset Your Window AC

If your window AC turns on, but the buttons are unresponsive, you’ll need to perform a reset.

Similar to other electronic devices, window AC units can encounter temporary glitches that can lead to different performance issues. Luckily, most of the time, a reset can clear minor software issues and get the buttons working again.

Follow these simple instructions to reset your window AC:

  1. Unplug your window AC from the power outlet. You can also turn it off at the circuit breaker.
  2. Wait for a couple of minutes.
  3. Plug your window AC back into its power source or turn it on at the circuit breaker.

I’ve seen that some window AC remotes have a dedicated reset button. So, if your remote has one, consider using it.

If you’ve performed a reset, but the buttons on your window air conditioner are still unresponsive, please keep reading.

#3 Clean the Buttons

In my experience, window AC buttons can also stop working due to dirt, grime, and other debris.

When dirt and dust accumulate on the button’s surface or within the gaps surrounding them, they can prevent them from making proper contact with the internal switches. Additionally, sometimes grime can cause the buttons to stick.

But don’t worry; cleaning your window AC buttons is very simple. You’ll just need to:

  1. Unplug your window AC from the power outlet.
  2. Mix warm water and dish soap in a bowl. Then, lightly dampen a microfiber cloth with the cleaning solution. Be careful not to soak the cloth.
  3. Gently wipe the buttons and remove any grime or dirt.
  4. If necessary, use an old toothbrush or cotton swab to clean the hard-to-reach areas.
  5. Wipe down the buttons with a dry cloth.
A window type air conditioner.
If the buttons in your window AC are unresponsive, you’ll need to clean them.

Once you’ve cleaned the buttons, gently press them down to make sure they’re not stuck. Then, plug your window AC back into its power source to test the buttons.

#4 Test the Remote

Sometimes, the issue could be with the remote rather than the buttons on the window AC itself.

Therefore, it’s important to check the remote’s batteries. If you haven’t changed them recently, they’re likely dead and causing your window AC to be unresponsive. Consider replacing the batteries with fresh ones, and double-check that they’re inserted correctly.

If the batteries are not the problem, inspect the remote for any visible signs of damage. If you accidentally dropped the remote, there are probably some broken components causing the issue.

Also, don’t forget to clean the remote buttons using a soft cloth lightly dampened with isopropyl alcohol.

If your remote still doesn’t work after trying the tips above, it’s time to consider getting a new one. Just make sure the new remote is compatible with your AC unit.

#5 Check the Control Board

If you’ve tried all the fixes above, but your window AC buttons are still not working, it’s likely that the control board is malfunctioning.

You can think of the control board as the brain of your window air conditioner. It interprets the buttons’ inputs and controls the unit’s functions accordingly.

To check if there’s an issue with the control board, please unplug your window AC from its power source to prevent electrical hazards. Then, remove the screws holding the front cover in place and access the board.

Keep in mind that the process of accessing the control board can vary depending on the specific model you own. So, please consult the owner’s manual for detailed instructions.

Carefully check for loose or disconnected wires. If you find any, gently push them back into place.

However, if the wiring isn’t the issue, the control board must be replaced. In such cases, I usually advise consulting the warranty status and contacting an HVAC specialist, as replacing the board can be both expensive and challenging.

If your window AC unit is not under warranty and is over ten years old, consider replacing it. It’s probably more cost-effective than repairing the control board.

Fixing Your Window AC Unresponsive Buttons

That about covers it! Hopefully, now you know how to fix your window AC buttons.

Remember that if the buttons on your window air conditioner are not working, you’ll need to check the power supply and perform a reset. However, if the issue persists, don’t forget to clean the buttons, test the remote, and check the control board.

If you’re uncomfortable with repairing your window AC, it’s best to call a professional. They’ll be able to diagnose and fix the issue safely.

Thank you so much for reading this guide. If you ever experience a different issue while using your window AC, please check out our related posts below.

Good luck!

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more