Why Does Your Air Conditioner Keep Shutting Off? How Can I Fix It?

DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?

You get home from work, and the house feels a bit warm. You walk to the thermostat and move it down a degree. The unit kicks on, and cooler air flows from the vents. But just when things start to feel better, the unit shuts off. You know it didn’t get much cooler, but you wait. Sure enough, the unit kicks on again. And just as it did before, it shuts off too soon. You are in the HVAC cycle commonly referred to as, “short cycling.”

WHAT IS SHORT CYCLING?

Short cycling occurs when your air conditioning unit shuts off before reaching the desired temperature. It kicks on again a few minutes later. This process keeps repeating every 10-15 minutes or so.

While it may not seem like a big deal, short cycling needs to be addressed for a few reasons. First, your energy usage is going through the roof when your unit continuously short cycles. It takes way more energy to keep turning on and shutting off the unit compared to the average, longer cycles that are more efficient. Short cycling is also bad for your unit because your mechanisms are experiencing more frequent usage than usual. It goes to the reason that they will wear out before their expected life span.

You shouldn’t ignore a short-cycling system. This is an indicator that you should look for air conditioning service in Franklin as soon as you can. Let’s take a look at what causes your HVAC system to short cycle in the first place.

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REASONS YOUR AIR CONDITIONER SHUTS OFF

DIRTY AIR FILTER

One of the most common reasons for short cycling, and the most accessible place to start, is knowing the condition of your air filter. Your air filter acts as the lungs of your air handler. If too much dust, dirt, and pet hair are preventing airflow, your system cannot pull enough indoor air to circulate. If too much air is restricted, it could potentially cause the evaporator coils to freeze up. Then your system shuts down until the coils thaw out.

COMPRESSOR ISSUES

Your air conditioning unit’s engine is called the compressor. It maintains proper pressure so the refrigerant can absorb and redistribute the thermal energy. Unlike a car engine, you can’t pop the hood and take a look. The compressor is a sealed component to protect it from dust and debris. A compressor can fail because of faulty fuses, damaged wiring, or a worn-out overload protector.

PLUNGING REFRIGERANT LEVELS

We learned that the compressor operates within a sealed system. This means your refrigerant levels should remain constant. When levels drop, it is due to a leak, plain and simple. Myths would have you believe you’ll “use up” refrigerant over time, but that is not true. Once your system loses the optimal amount of refrigerant, warm air will start blowing, and sweat will soon follow after this occurrence. You may even hear a hissing or other strange noise coming from your air handler.

ELECTRICAL ISSUES

There are many electrical systems involved with your air conditioning system. Any number of them could cause your system to shut off too soon. A loose connection, a faulty part, or poor wiring could be to blame. The problem may even cause a circuit breaker to trip.

COIL FREEZING

The air conditioning’s evaporator coil is located in the air handler. This coil is what cools down the warm air pulled from inside your home. If there is a dirty air filter or a blockage in the front of the air handler, the coils will build up frost and possibly freeze.

HOW TO FIX A SHORT CYCLING UNIT

Now we’ve identified some causes of a unit shutting on and off before it’s reached the correct temperature. Let’s look at some remedies.

HOW TO FIX A DIRTY AIR FILTER

Start here! This is the easiest and most cost-effective problem to solve with a short cycling unit. And one of the few that is safe to perform by an amateur. Pull your filter and inspect it for dust and debris. If it looks dirty, replace it and see if that solves the issue. If not, it may be time to call air conditioning companies in Norfolk before a more serious issue develops. Sinclaire Home Services is ready with 24/7 emergency services.

HOW TO FIX A COMPRESSOR ISSUE

There’s not much a homeowner can do to fix an air conditioner’s compressor. Testing and inspection rely on specialty tools and training. If you feel handy, you can rule out other problems by inspecting the blower assembly and condenser fan. When your AC is running, these fans will be running perfectly. If that’s the case, the problem points to your compressor. You’ll need to contact the best Dover air conditioning repair: Sinclaire Home Services. Call today to get closer to your solution!

HOW TO REPLACE REFRIGERANT

Homeowners should never replace AC refrigerants. Since the loss of refrigerant is always caused by a leak, a professional is needed to find the source of the leak. The tech will replace the faulty part and refill the system. If you suspect a leak in your system, it’s time to contact Franklin air conditioning repair to mend your machinery. Sinclaire Home Services is the right choice to repair and refill your lost refrigerant expertly.

HOW TO RESOLVE ELECTRICAL ISSUES

You don’t.

You contact the experts at Sinclaire Home Services and leave electricity to them!
It is not worth the risk of electrocution or worse. You can try to reset the breaker to see if that resolves the problem. If not, it’s time to call the pros.

HOW TO GET AC COILS UNFROZEN

In this case, the best solution is prevention. Routine HVAC maintenance by your service and yourself will keep debris out of your system. Be sure to replace your air filters at least every two months. Keep all your vents clean and clear. And schedule yearly AC maintenance with Sinclaire Home Services.

IS IT TIME TO CALL SINCLAIRE FOR COOL AIR?

Now you know what causes your air conditioning to turn on and off too much. Short cycling can not only cost you money in higher energy bills but left unchecked, it is sure to cause system damage. Dirty air filters, refrigerant leaks, faulty compressors, electrical problems, and frozen coils will all cause short cycling. And left unresolved, these issues will certainly cause problems with your bank account! You can change your air filter and check your system’s fan operations. The other issues require professional, experienced handling.

Just the sort of service you should expect from Sinclaire Home Services. For over 70 years, they’ve been providing quality services and products to their customers, so you know they’ll stand by you too.