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

Each time your air conditioner starts up, it should run for a while minutes before shutting down again. The entire 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 harder 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 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 offer a few more separate reasons your cooling equipment keeps turning off. 

Your Air Conditioner Might 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 recognizes this and instructs the AC to run again. But since there’s a problem, the air conditioner will continue to short cycle. This will extend the time necessary to cool your home while placing extra strain on important components. If left alone too long, short cycling may 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 check 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 should 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. 
  1. Poor Airflow: Your HVAC system needs 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. 
  1. Wrong AC Sizing: HVAC equipment should be correctly “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 powerful will pump out cool air too fast, tricking the system into turning off early before the entire house is cooled down. 
  1. Dirty Condenser Coils: This component dissipates the heat collected from inside your home. When the coils become too dirty, this heat can end up in the air conditioner. The high levels of heat might be enough to result in a premature shutdown. 
  1. Thermostat location: The thermostat should be in a convenient 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. Installing your thermostat too close to cool air can fool 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 may be shutting off unexpectedly. Let’s take a look. 

Some Other Reasons Your AC Keeps Shutting 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 generally require professional care for a prompt, safe solution. 
Compressor Failure: This important component applies pressure to force heat out of the refrigerant before it’s expelled from your home. When the component fails, a safety switch will 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 disastrous, as the coils designed to hold the coolant are expensive to replace. It’s important to move 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 identify 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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