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Reasons Your Air Conditioner Turns On and Off Repeatedly

My Air Conditioner Keeps Turning Off and On by Itself

This on and off consistently with your air conditioner is most likely due to short cycling. An AC system can also do this because of dirty, broken, or failing parts as well as various other mechanical or electrical issues.

So, what is short cycling? It refers to when an air conditioner terminates prematurely only to turn on again after a short while. Depending on your conditions, this could mean your system is turning on and off every 5-10 minutes. This is not only bad for your system, it’s also bad for your energy bills. It takes more power for your unit to continue turning on versus running smoothly as it’s supposed to. It causes more wear and tear on your equipment and isn’t good for the extended life of your system.

5 Reasons your AC turns on and off consistently

1. Oversized Air COnditioner

A system that is too large for your property won’t have the appropriate refrigerant cycle, and will cause many problems. This causes your unit to cool your home too quickly and turning off shortly after it turns on. When this occurs, your home is cooling unevenly and your air conditioner will turn back on sooner than it should. Some other issues an oversized unit can cause are:

  • Higher Energy Bills
  • More Repairs
  • Shorter Lifespan of Your System

It’s important to work with an HVAC expert who has the training and knowledge to appropriately size your system for your home.

2. Thermostat Issues

Your thermostat may seem like a small component of your entire system, but this device controls the temperature in your entire home so it’s important that it’s running correctly. If it isn’t sensing the temperature accurately and communicates misinformation, your air conditioner may start and stop frequently.

Your thermostat may have inaccurate readings, if it’s located:

  • Near a window and receiving direct sunlight
  • Close to the kitchen or bathroom where it’s usually warmer
  • Next to air vents receiving direct airflow

3. Dirty Condenser coils

If you haven’t had AC maintenance in the past year, it’s possible your AC’s condenser coils are full of dirt and debris. The dirt can cause your equipment to overheat and turn off frequently. Performing routine maintenance is key to ensure your system is clean and ready to handle the summer heat.

4. Refrigerant leaks

Refrigerant is the coolant that cycles through your AC system. When it’s low on refrigerant, the compressor will malfunction and shut off because the pressure is too low. When the compressor is off, the pressure will rise again and turn back on. This leak puts massive wear and tear on your system resulting in a system failure.

A refrigerant leak can also lead to frozen evaporator coils. When this happens, your AC will shut off until the ice thaws and then turn on again. This process continues until your system is fixed.

5. Bad RUn Capacitor

Your air conditioners run capacitor gives your system the initial boost of energy it needs to turn on and provides continuous power so it can keep running. When it starts to go bad, it can result in intermittent power being supplied to your AC causing it to turn off and on constantly.

Contact your Local HVAC Experts

If you’re running into the issue of your air conditioner short cycling, it’s very important to get this issue taken care of. Give your local HVAC professionals a call to properly get your issue diagnosed and fixed accordingly. Give your Sioux City HVAC experts a call at 712-252-3007 or fill out this form. We look forward to serving you!