AC On and Off Frequently: Is It Time For A New One?

Nothing is more annoying than an air conditioner that shuts off in the middle of a sweltering day. Although this can occur in some AC units due to some electrical issues, frequent shutting off of your air conditioning unit could spell some problems that need to be addressed ASAP.

The air conditioner can get damaged as they keep switching on/off. The charge requires more electricity to start the AC instead of when the current has started. Moreover, when left unaddressed, it increases the wear on mechanical systems working in your AC system.

Why is my aircon shutting off?

Just because your air conditioner is turning on and off frequently does not always mean you need a new aircon. This is a pretty common problem. There are many reasons why your aircon may be shutting off, but there’s one thing you can do to find out the real reason before calling an HVAC service company to come over and look at it. First, switch on the circuit breaker controlling whatever room has the faulty aircon unit. This way, if the problem is that your house isn’t getting any power because of a tripped breaker between you and where your meter box is, then unplugging anything in that part of your house will allow your meters to start running again and let the aircon run as well. If this trick doesn’t work and you’re still not sure whether to blame it on a tripped circuit breaker or what, you can always call a professional.

Causes for the air conditioner to turn on/off

Most AC systems malfunctions are very common with faulty wiring or a bad thermostat. It can also be caused by water collected in the outside unit, dirty evaporator coils that slow down air flow, and clogged filters. Other factors that may cause your air conditioner to cut on and off include:

Refrigerant Leak

The refrigerant in your air conditioner is what helps to cool the air. If there is a refrigerant leak in the system, the refrigerant will escape, and the air conditioner will not be able to function properly. This can cause the AC unit to shut off completely. On the other hand, an overdose of refrigerant can also cause an air conditioner to shut off. When too much refrigerant is added to the AC system, it can overload the compressor and cause it to fail.

Problem with electrical connections

Your air conditioning system is prone to electrical connection issues, especially if installed separately from your original electrical line. One common problem with central air conditioning is that the electrical connection can be faulty, which can cause the aircon not to work properly, thus the frequent on and off. It may even cause the aircon to break down completely in some cases. If you are experiencing problems with your aircon, it is a good idea to have a qualified technician check the electrical connection to see if it is at fault.

Clogged condenser coil fins

Clogged condenser coil fins are a common problem with an air conditioning system. The condenser coil is responsible for cooling the refrigerant and releasing heat outdoors, giving you cool air throughout its operation. If the coil becomes clogged with dirt, dust, or other debris, the system will not be able to cool properly. This can cause the unit to run longer than necessary, resulting in higher energy bills. Simple cleaning of your air filters will already help reduce the chances of clogging your condenser coil.

If you suspect that your condenser coil is clogged, you can clean it yourself using a garden hose. Be sure to unplug the unit before beginning. First, remove any objects from around the unit. Then, use the hose to spray water onto the coil fins from both directions.

Short cycling of the compressor

Short cycling is when the air conditioner’s compressor turns on and off repeatedly in a short amount of time. This can cause the system to freeze, overheat, or fail, and that’s when you notice the air conditioner turn off/on more frequently.

Short cycling can be caused by a variety of reasons, including low refrigerant level or refrigerant leak, a dirty air filter, a faulty thermostat, and dirty coils.

Regular maintenance and proper care can help prevent some of the common causes of short cycling before they become a problem. Keep your air conditioner as clean as possible, especially the outside unit. Change filters regularly and clean coils, condensers and other parts as necessary. See if the manufacturer recommends using certain types of refrigerant or oils for that particular unit to reduce wear on its components. Short cycling is a problem that you should not do DIY-style.

An aircon should not turn on/off more than 10 times a day during normal usage. This short cycling could cause the compressor to wear out earlier than its expected lifespan.

Easy fixes for an AC that keeps shutting off

If your AC unit keeps shutting off, there are a few easy things you can do to try to fix the problem. First, make sure that your thermostat is set to “cool.” If it is set to anything else, your aircon will not turn on. Next, check to see if your air filter needs to be replaced. A dirty air filter can cause your AC to shut off.

Make sure that nothing is blocking your aircon from receiving airflow. Furniture or other objects can prevent the AC from working properly. Another common mistake is installing your central air conditioner in direct sunlight. This makes your aircon work extra hard because it absorbs heat more than it should. This can be damaging for your aircon.

Lastly, refrain from choosing an oversized air conditioner. An oversized air conditioner can be expensive and may not cool your space as well as a properly sized unit. Always select your air conditioners based on proper heat load calculation, too.

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