Why Does My AC Keep Turning Off? These Are the Most Likely Reasons
Each time your air conditioner starts up, it should run for several minutes before shutting down again. The entire process is known as a cooling cycle, and it’s key to how your HVAC system provides comfortable indoor temperatures. So if you’ve noticed your AC keeps switching off, comfort can be harder to maintain.
There are different reasons why your air conditioner keeps switching off, but one of the most common reasons is short cycling. This annoying HVAC problem involves cooling cycles that aren’t long enough to make efficient use of your air conditioner. It may keep switching off before your home has a chance to cool down. We’ll check out a few details of what short cycling is and where it comes from. Then, we’ll provide a few more separate reasons your cooling equipment keeps shutting down.
Your Air Conditioner May Be Short Cycling
When an air conditioner short cycles, it shuts off before reaching the desired temperature. It may not be long before the thermostat recognizes this and instructs the AC to start up again. But since there’s a problem, the air conditioner will continue to short cycle. This will extend the time needed to cool your home while putting extra strain on key components. If left alone too long, short cycling can even lead to premature system failure.
5 Problems That Can 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 caused by overheating. But the excess heat could just be the symptom of another unknown issue. During air conditioner repair, a technician will look for a few of the most common things to start narrowing down the root cause.
- Overheating: Excessive heat can ruin components inside your air conditioner. Safety features will detect overheating and shut the AC off to protect delicate parts. But if the original problem hasn’t been addressed, this process just starts over again.
- Poor Airflow: Your HVAC system needs steady airflow to run at safe, optimal temperatures. When the air filter or ductwork is clogged, poor circulation could] lead to overheating, which means short cycling.
- Wrong AC Sizing: HVAC equipment should be appropriately “sized” for your home. This means that the power of your air conditioner suits the cooling needs of your home. An air conditioning system that’s too large will pump out cool air too quickly, tricking the system into shutting off early before the entire house is cooled down.
- Dirty Condenser Coils: This component dissipates the heat collected from inside your home. When the coils get too dirty, this heat could 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 each 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 frustrating problem ideal for the tools and knowledge of a professional technician. But there are still other reasons your air conditioner is shutting off unexpectedly. Let’s take a look.
A Few Other Reasons Your AC Keeps Switching Off
Electrical Malfunction: Any number of malfunctions with the wiring or an electrical switch might lead to a steady stream of shutdowns. Maybe the wiring is old or damaged, but electrical problems may need professional care for a prompt, safe solution.
Compressor Failure: This important component applies pressure to force heat out of the refrigerant before it’s removed from your home. When the component fails, a safety switch will recognize the pressure change and direct the air conditioner to shut off.
Refrigerant Leak: Your refrigerant holds and releases heat, making it one of the most important substances 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 move quickly if you suspect a leak to avoid 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 determine 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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