Nobody likes to see a strange line of code appear on their electronics. However, this is usually just your AC unit telling you it needs a little love. The best air conditioners are programmed to tell you what they need to function correctly, and if you’re seeing error codes on your unit, we’re here to explain what E1 means on an air conditioner. And for those looking for more AC electronic guides, we have an article that explains what E4 means on an air conditioner.


  • E1 error code displays are the most common across air conditioners.
  • The leading cause that triggers the E1 code is a dirty air filter.
  • Other reasons for the E1 code are communication errors, electronic resets, and stuck control panel buttons.

What Does the E1 Error Code Mean?

Unfortunately, the E1 code doesn’t mean the same thing across the board. Regardless of whether you have a central AC or a portable/window unit, the message’s meaning depends on the model and manufacturer of the unit. However, there are a handful of common meanings across all types.

For more info on air conditioners, check out our articles covering air conditioner filters, understanding E8 on an air conditioner, what does an evaporator coil do, and how to change the power cord on a window AC unit.

And if you are looking for more technical chatter on AC topics, you can check out our article covering what BTU means for an air conditioner.

Fixing the E1 Error Code

Because air conditioner error codes can mean different with each unit, the first place to look at is the user manual to troubleshoot. On top of troubleshooting and repair, we recommend you regularly maintain your air conditioner. You can either do it yourself or invest in a professional service. You can easily search online for a list of service providers near you. Make sure to do enough research on authentic reviews on the providers for service plus their price rates. But below, we will explain a few of the most common reasons for the E-1 error code.

Insider Tip

Some units automatically issue the E1 error code so that owners are reminded to clean the air filter.

Dirty Filter

The most common meaning of the E1 error code is that the air filter is dirty. So, if you see the code appear, check the air filter first. If you have central air conditioning, you might have to buy a new unit, whereas if you have a window or portable unit, simply vacuum or wash as the user manual instructs.

After this, reset your unit and see if the code persists.

Stuck Button on the Control Panel

More commonly, on a window or portable air conditioner, the E-1 error appears because one of the buttons is stuck. To fix this, check the panel key and see if any of the buttons are noticeably stuck.

The AC Unit Needs to Be Reset

Another common reason for the E1 error code is that the electrical components of the machines are calling for a reset. A reset can be for many reasons. To reset, hit the power button so that the device fully powers down. Next, unplug it, and depending on the unit, let sit for a few hours.


It is a good idea to check the filter even if the code doesn’t appear because a clean air filter is crucial to maintaining unit efficiency and low energy costs.


Where is the drain hole on an air conditioner?

The drain hole for a window or portable air conditioner will be located on the back of the unit.

How do I reset my air conditioner?

The reset procedure is different for each unit, but it usually consists of powering the unit down via the power button, unplugging it, and letting it sit.

What does E1 mean on my Haier AC?

On Haier AC units, this is an issue of a dirty air filter. First, clean the filter with soap and water, replace it, and restart the unit.

STAT: When resetting your AC unit, wait at least 30 minutes before turning it back on after turning the machine off. (source)

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