Why is my TOSOT Portable AC compressor not turning on?

If you have a TOSOT Portable Air Conditioner, you may notice that the compressor sometimes stops working for a few minutes before starting up again. Before we go any further, let’s get this out of the way: there is a good chance that nothing is wrong with your air conditioner. 

What does a compressor do?

The compressor in an air conditioner has one job: to compress.

Didn’t see that coming, did you?

The compressor is kind of like the heart of your air conditioner. Your heart pumps blood through your body, the AC compressor pumps refrigerant throughout the portable air conditioner.

In the same way that you don’t want your heart rate to be elevated for too long, you don’t want your AC compressor “run rate” (a term we made up for “how often the compressor turns on/off every few minutes) to be elevated for too long. It’s not very good for your air conditioner’s “heart” to be cycling on and off over and over again.

To make things simple, a compressor will compress a chemical refrigerant inside your air conditioner, make it super cool, then transport the refrigerant to an evaporator where cool air is released and a fan blows the cool air into your room.

Once cool air is released, the refrigerant is pumped back to the compressor where the refrigerant is re-cooled again, repeating the process until the air conditioner reaches the target you set on the thermostat.

When the air conditioner compressor is damaged, such as when your AC unit is powered off and then back on again repeatedly, it can affect how efficiently your portable air conditioner is able to cool the room. In order to extend the lifespan of your TOSOT Portable air conditioner for as long as possible, our compressor has a built-in protection delay under certain circumstances. 

How can we keep the compressor in good condition?

As a user, there are a few regular things you can do to keep your AC compressor working properly:

  1. Clean the filter regularly
  2. Ensure there is enough space around the unit for proper ventilation
  3. Make sure that your vent hose is connected properly with no leaks.

Those are all pretty easy for you to do on a routine basis.

As for the compressor itself, we have a little feature that is going to extend the lifespan of your portable air conditioner for years to come: the 3-Minute Compressor Protection Mode.

This compressor protection mode works automatically without any input from you. If your TOSOT portable air conditioner detects any abnormal situation, such as shutting the unit off and immediately turning it back on, the compressor will enter a protective mode and not start up again for 3 minutes.

Let’s go over all of the situations where your TOSOT portable air conditioner will activate the 3-Minute Compressor Protection Mode.

Scenario 1: The portable AC experiences a power outage

If there is a power outage, even if just for a few seconds, your TOSOT portable air conditioner will shut down. When power is restored to your portable AC the unit will automatically restart, but the compressor will start an internal 3-minute countdown before it powers back on, so you might notice a slight delay in feeling cool air from your TOSOT portable air conditioner.

Scenario 2: The portable AC is switched from the cooling to fan mode, then back mode to the cooling mode within 3 minutes

If your TOSOT portable air conditioner is in the cooling mode and you switch to the fan mode, the compressor will stop working. If you try to switch back to the cooling mode within 3 minutes of switching to the fan mode, the compressor will not restart for another 3 minutes. In this situation you may think that the compressor is not working and keep trying to switch back and forth between the modes, but this will only annoy you and reset the 3-minute protection mode each time.

Scenario 3: The portable AC goes from powered on, to off, then powered on again within 3 minutes

Similar to switching from the cooling mode to the fan mode protection settings mentioned above, turning the machine from on to off will stop the compressor from working (because the AC is powered off.) If you power the portable AC back on within 3 minutes of shutting the unit off, there will be a 3 minute delay until the compressor starts up again due to the 3-minute protection mode.

Scenario 4: If the ambient room temperature is lower than your set target room temperature, the compressor will enter the protection mode for at least 3 minutes before restarting

When your TOSOT portable air conditioner reaches your target set temperature setting, the compressor will power off. Why would it stay on if you already reached your target setting? When the temperature starts to rise a few degrees above your target setting the compressor will power back on, but there will be at least a 3-minute delay until the compressor powers back on due to the 3-Minute Compressor Protection feature.


Keep in mind that performing regular maintenance in your TOSOT portable air conditioner, such as clearing air intake areas and regularly cleaning the washable filter, is the best way to keep your air conditioner running at peak efficiency. 

If the compressor on your TOSOT Portable Air Conditioner is still not working and the reason why can’t be explained by the 3-Minute Compressor Protection Feature, you may need a replacement unit. 

Simply send an email to support@tosotidrect.com explaining your issue and a member of our customer service team will be happy to assist you. 

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