Why Does My AC Keep Turning Off? These Are the Most Likely Reasons
Each time your air conditioner turns on, it should run for several minutes before turning off again. The entire process is known as a cooling cycle, and it’s central to how your HVAC system generates comfortable indoor temperatures. So if you’ve noticed your AC keeps switching off, comfort can be more difficult to maintain.
There are different reasons why your air conditioner keeps switching off, but one of the most common culprits is short cycling. This annoying HVAC problem involves cooling cycles that aren’t long enough to make effective use of your air conditioner. It may keep shutting off before your home has a chance to cool down. We’ll review a few details of what short cycling is and where it starts. Then, we’ll share a few more separate reasons your cooling equipment keeps shutting down.
Your Air Conditioner Might Be Short Cycling
When an air conditioner short cycles, it switches off before reaching the desired temperature. It may not be long before the thermostat realizes this and instructs the AC to start up again. But since there’s a problem, the air conditioner will continue to short cycle. This may extend the time required to cool your home while putting extra strain on important components. If left alone too long, short cycling can even lead to premature equipment failure.
5 Problems That Could Lead to Your Air Conditioner Short Cycling
Another annoying aspect of short cycling is the number of potential causes. In general, a lot of short-cycling issues can be traced back to overheating. But the excess heat could just be the symptom of another unknown problem. During air conditioner repair, a technician will look for a few of the most common things to start narrowing down the root cause.
- Overheating: High heat can ruin components inside your air conditioner. Safety features should detect overheating and shut the AC off to protect sensitive parts. But if the original problem hasn’t been addressed, this process just starts over again.
- Poor Airflow: Your HVAC system requires steady airflow to run at safe, optimal temperatures. When the air filter or ductwork is clogged, the lack of circulation can lead to overheating, which means short cycling.
- Wrong AC Sizing: HVAC equipment should be correctly “sized” for your home. This means that the power of your air conditioner fits the cooling needs of your home. An air conditioning system that’s too large will pump out cool air too fast, tricking the system into turning off early before the entire house is cooled down.
- Dirty Condenser Coils: This component expels the heat collected from inside your home. When the coils are too dirty, this heat can end up in the air conditioner. The high levels of heat might be enough to trigger a premature shutdown.
- Thermostat location: The thermostat should be in a central location away from a vent or the HVAC equipment itself. This ensures every room of the house has cooling for long enough to reach the set temperature. Putting your thermostat too close to cool air can trick it into thinking the temperature has been reached earlier.
Short cycling is a complicated problem ideal for the tools and knowledge of a professional technician. But there are still other reasons your air conditioner may be shutting off unexpectedly. Let’s take a look.
A Few Other Reasons Your AC Keeps Turning Off
Electrical Malfunction: Any number of malfunctions with the wiring or an electrical switch can lead to constant shutdowns. Maybe the wiring is old or damaged, but electrical problems generally require professional care for a prompt, safe solution.
Compressor Failure: This crucial component uses pressure to force heat out of the refrigerant before it’s removed from your home. When the component fails, a safety switch should recognize the pressure change and force the air conditioner to shut off.
Refrigerant Leak: Your refrigerant absorbs and releases heat, making it one of the most important parts in your HVAC system. A leak can be catastrophic, as the coils designed to hold the coolant are expensive to replace. It’s important to respond quickly if you suspect a leak to prevent premature air conditioning replacement.
Clogged Condensate Line: When humidity is condensed into moisture during the cooling process, the condensate line safely drains it away. When the line or drain pan is clogged up, a float switch stops the AC before half of it is running underwater.
Stop Short Cycling in Its Tracks with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing
If your air conditioner is short cycling, call a professional technician with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. They can quickly find the root cause, working toward a solution that protects the rest of your HVAC system from the wear and tear of short cycling. To schedule an appointment or request an appointment, call 866-397-3787 today.
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