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 complete process is known as a cooling cycle, and it’s central to how your HVAC system provides comfortable indoor temperatures. So if you’ve noticed your AC keeps switching off, comfort can be tougher to maintain.

There are many reasons why your air conditioner keeps turning off, but one of the most common culprits is short cycling. This aggravating 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 provide a few more separate reasons your cooling equipment keeps turning off.

Your Air Conditioner Could Be Short Cycling

When an air conditioner short cycles, it switches off before reaching the set 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 will extend the time needed to cool your home while putting extra strain on key components. If left alone too long, short cycling may even lead to premature system failure.

5 Problems That Can Lead to Your Air Conditioner Short Cycling

Another frustrating part of short cycling is the number of possible 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 issue. During air conditioner repair, a technician will look for a few of the most common things to start narrowing down the root cause.

  1. Overheating: Too much heat can ruin components inside your air conditioner. Safety features will often detect overheating and shut the AC off to protect key parts. But if the original problem hasn’t been addressed, this process just starts over again.
  2. Poor Airflow: Your HVAC system needs steady airflow to function at safe, optimal temperatures. When the air filter or ductwork is clogged, poor circulation can47] lead to overheating, which means short cycling.
  3. Wrong AC Sizing: HVAC equipment should be properly “sized” for your home. This means that the power of your air conditioner matches the cooling needs of your home. An air conditioning system that’s too powerful will dump cool air too quickly, tricking the system into shutting off early before the entire house is cooled down.
  4. Dirty Condenser Coils: This component dissipates the heat collected from inside your home. When the coils get too dirty, this heat may end up in the air conditioner. The high levels of heat could be enough to result in a premature shutdown.
  5. 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. Installing 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 Turning Off

Electrical Malfunction: Any number of malfunctions with the wiring or an electrical switch could lead to constant shutdowns. Maybe the wiring is old or damaged, but electrical problems should receive professional care for a prompt, safe solution.
Compressor Failure: This vital component uses pressure to force heat out of the refrigerant before it’s vented out from your home. When the component fails, a safety switch should recognize the pressure change and tell 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 respond 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.

H2: Stop Short Cycling in Its Tracks with Strogen's Service Experts

If your air conditioner is short cycling, call a professional technician with Strogen's Service Experts. 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 603-923-4570 today.