Why Is My Air Conditioner Not Staying On?

To reduce the chances of short cycling, you should schedule regular AC maintenance. Schedule an appointment with Thomas Hoffmann Air Conditioning & Heating.

When you turn on your air conditioner, you expect it to start working without any problems. However, there may come the point where your unit will start when turned on but then die almost immediately afterward. This problem is known as short-cycling, and it can come at any time without warning. Here’s everything you need to know about short cycling.

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What is Short Cycling?

An air conditioner cools down your room temperatures in three cooling cycles. During the first stage, the AC will run for about 10 minutes, then pause for another 10 minutes before resuming for the second cycle.

When short cycling occurs, the cooling cycles become shorter than the average 10 minutes. In most cases, short cycles can cause the compressor to wear out. Other AC components can also break down at different stages due to pressure from the shortened cycles.

Reasons Why Air Conditioners Short Cycle

There can be several causes of short cycling in an air conditioner. These include:

  • Low Refrigerant – A refrigerant is an essential component of the cooling process. When there’s insufficient refrigerant in your air conditioning system, the AC tends to overheat, and this can cause the compressor to turn on and off before a cooling cycle is complete. Most low refrigerant cases happen when there’s a leak in the system or if an HVAC technician forgets to charge the refrigerant properly.
  • Dirty Air Filter – Over time, the filtration system in your air conditioner can clog up from the excess dust, dirt, and other contaminants it accumulates. In most cases, too much debris stuck on the air filter blocks air from entering or leaving the system, causing overheating. Once your air conditioning system overheats, it may shut down and restart quickly and at different intervals.
  • Thermostat Malfunction – Short cycling can be part of a bigger problem in your air conditioner. In most cases, thermostat malfunctions happen when the thermostat is in the wrong position, such as near a hot appliance or duct return. The sudden rise and fall of temperatures in these areas can cause your thermostat to turn on and off randomly.
  • Oversized Air Conditioner – If your system has short-cycled since you installed it, it could be too large for your home. Oversized air conditioners in smaller rooms have extra power that prevents effective temperature regulation as the cooling process occurs at lightning speed. The system will cool the room rapidly at any one time, then shut down immediately and restart again after a short while.
  • Electrical or Control Board Problems – Faulty capacitors, control boards, and fuses can cause short cycling in your air conditioner. Again, you’ll need an HVAC repair pro to inspect your unit to determine the original cause of the problem.

Improve Air Conditioning In Your Home

To reduce the chances of short cycling, you should schedule regular AC maintenance. Call our HVAC technicians for all your maintenance, repair, or installation needs. We are also ready to answer any HVAC-related questions that you may have. Get in touch today!

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At Thomas Hoffmann Air Conditioning & Heating, we pride ourselves in being a locally owned and operated HVAC company. With more than 30 years of experience and a master technician and mechanical engineer as our owner, we can replace, repair, and provide maintenance for your business or home’s HVAC system.

(314) 471-7625

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