Should you notice the AC turning off and on by itself, it could be because of a problem called short cycling. Short cycling happens when your air conditioner runs for a short amount of time and then turns off, and then back on repeatedly. There are many reasons your air conditioner can be having this problem. Therefore, you may still be asking why your AC is turning off and on. No worries, Veterans AC & Heat will go over the other causes below.
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AC Turning Off and On Due to Poor Air Flow
Your air condition system works to cool your home by removing warm air, cooling it down, and then blowing it back into the house. The whole process works by relying on enough airflow to make this process work.
Clearly, if something is blocking the airflow, your AC will go into overdrive and try to make up for it. Unfortunately, this could then result in the system overheating. When your unit overheats, it shuts off your system to try and give it a chance to cool down. Once it has cooled down, it will turn back on and create that aggravating cycle of on and off again.
What problems can cause system airflow issues, you ask? Poor airflow can be due to the following and more:
Leaks in The Ductwork: If your ductwork has leaks, the air can escape to areas it’s not supposed to go. That wasted air will run up your energy bill and cause the unit to turn off and on.
Dirty Air Filters: When an air filter gets clogged with dirt and other household debris, it restricts the airflow to your AC unit. This problem can also lead to your evaporator coils being frozen, but we will discuss that more later.
Blocked Ventilation: Air can’t move freely in your home and in the system if there are obstructions in front of the vents.
What to do: The first thing you can do is check your air filter. If you see that your air filter is dirty and your system has been turning off and on, go ahead and change it. A clean air filter is always beneficial. If your air conditioning unit is still short cycling, it’s best to contact a Veterans AC and Heat professional.
The air conditioning refrigerant is a device that works to remove heat from your home’s air during the cooling process. The refrigerant works as a partner with the compressor, which is a component that circulates the refrigerant by converting it from a liquid to a high-pressure gas and vice versa when you have normal refrigerant levels in your system that stabilize the pressure in your AC unit.
Therefore, if your refrigerant has a leak, your system’s pressure will lower, which can trigger the low-pressure switch at the compressor, turning off the AC. When this shuts down, it shuts down the whole system. YIKES!
The pressure will then rise, which tells the AC to turn off and on again, causing the short cycle process.
What to do: The first thing you will want to do is to contact an HVAC professional to confirm or deny that you have a refrigerant leak. If you do, our trained technicians will fix the leak and give your unit a recharge of refrigerant. Refrigerants should only be handled by trained professionals as the coolant is a harmful substance.
Sometimes location can mean everything. If your thermostat is in a location that’s a major difference in temperature compared to the rest of your house, it will make it think your entire house is too hot or too cold, causing it to go off and on. This will cause an incorrect read to the point where the system will turn off and on, trying to reach the correct temperature set on the thermostat.
Poor locations for a thermostat:
- Near obstructions (bookshelf, dressers, etc.)
- In direct sunlight
- Under a supply vent
- Near a window that’s close to the outside
These locations are typically hotter or cooler and affect how the thermostat functions, affecting how your house is being cooled and warmed.
What to do: Call an HVAC expert to determine where your thermostat needs to be relocated.
Frozen Evaporator Coils
If there is ice on your evaporator coils, which is the part that houses the refrigerant, you might notice the AC will shut off and turn back on frequently.
Evaporator coils house freezing cold refrigerant. To keep the evaporator coils from freezing, the AC unit needs to be able to pull enough heat from your house to run it over the coils. If the unit can effectively do this task, your evaporator coils will then freeze.
Frozen coils will then prevent the AC from functioning properly, which can cause your system to go into overdrive, become overheated and then shut off.
Reasons for ice on your evaporator coil can be from:
Refrigerant Leaks: As we mentioned before, a leak can lower the pressure in the system, which lowers the temperature of a refrigerant leading to frozen coils.
Dirty Air Filter: When an air filter is clogged, it will restrict airflow, which will prevent your system from moving enough warm air.
Dirty or Malfunctioning Blower Fan: A malfunctioning blower can’t move adequate air over the evaporator coils, which also leads to freezing.
What to do: First thing you can do is turn off your AC to lessen the chances of system damage and then change your air filter. Once you go to restart your system, see if the freezing of your coils begins again. If so, you will want to contact someone from Veterans AC and Heat.
In most cases, you will always need an HVAC professional to come out and assess any issues you are experiencing with your unit. Whether it’s a short cycling problem, an AC leak, or any other problem, it’s best to have a professional look at it.
Contact Veterans AC and Heat When Your AC is Turning Off and On
Hearing your AC constantly turn off and on every few minutes is aggravating. Not to mention, the next month, you’ll start to notice a huge increase in your energy bill. This issue will also cause wear and tear on your unit, shortening its lifespan. Short cycling causes extensive damage that costs much money, so you will want to call a professional as soon as possible.
With over 50 years in the AC business Veterans AC & Heat, our trained professionals can care for heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and more in your home or business. We strive to provide the best quality of service to our new and existing customers.
You can give us a call at 727-748-8387 or use this link to fill out a form and receive a free estimate. After that, we can get an appointment scheduled for you. We would love for you to be added to our list of satisfied customers.