Why Does My AC Keep Turning Off? These Are the Most Likely Reasons 

Every time your air conditioner turns on, it should run for several minutes before shutting down again. The complete process is called a cooling cycle, and it’s vital to how your HVAC system maintains comfortable indoor temperatures. So if you’ve noticed your AC keeps shutting off, comfort can be more difficult to maintain.

There are different 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 efficient 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 turning off.

Your Air Conditioner May Be Short Cycling

When an air conditioner short cycles, it turns off before reaching the desired temperature. It may not be long before the thermostat notices this and instructs the AC to start up again. But since there’s a problem, the air conditioner will continue to short cycle. This can extend the time required to cool your home while placing 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 tedious 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 check for a few of the most common things to start narrowing down the root cause.

    1. Overheating: High 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 resolved, this process just starts over again.
    1. Poor Airflow: Your HVAC system needs proper airflow to run at safe, optimal temperatures. When the air filter or ductwork is clogged, poor circulation can lead to overheating, which means short cycling.
    1. Wrong AC Sizing: HVAC equipment should be properly “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 big will dump cool air too quickly, tricking the system into switching off early before the entire house is cooled down.
    1. Dirty Condenser Coils: This component expels the heat collected from inside your home. When the coils are too dirty, this heat may end up in the air conditioner. The high levels of heat may be enough to trigger a premature shutdown.
    1. Thermostat location: The thermostat should be in a centralized 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 fool it into thinking the temperature has been reached earlier.

Short cycling is an annoying 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 can 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 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 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 uncover 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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