- On March 2, 2023
Main Causes for A/C Switching On & Off
If your central air conditioning keeps turning on and off sporadically, this is a problem that shouldn’t be ignored. Although it is a common issue known as short cycling, we are nearing the dreaded high-temperature months in Arizona, so it is critical to prepare. Being comfortable during Phoenix’s summer months can be easily achieved with a proper look at your outdoor and indoor air conditioning units. Below are popular causes of why an HVAC unit will turn on and off repeatedly. However, at the end of the day, you’ll want to have an air conditioning repair specialist take a look at your system as a whole.
Let’s review some of the reasons why your central air conditioner turns on and off repeatedly so you or a trained technician can address the issue successfully.
1. Location of Your Thermostat
Your thermostat may be located in an impractical spot. Because your thermostat sends “on” and “off” signals to the unit based on the surrounding temperature, you cannot have it located near a supply air vent or warm sunny window. It will cause the unit to turn on and off more frequently because the thermostat will be confused about the actual temperature in your home.
2. Refrigerant Problems
The refrigerant, or Freon, levels in your system may be too low. This coolant is crucial for absorbing heat and cooling air, so when there is not enough of it, the compressor pressure levels become unstable, causing it to turn on and off repeatedly. This can cause severe damage to your unit, so if you notice a refrigerant leak, this should be serviced right away.
3. Cooling System is Too Big
The AC system in your home may be larger than needed. It seems odd, but if an AC system is too big for a home, it simply cools down the entire house quickly, therefore shutting off shortly after turning on. This may seem like a good thing, but unfortunately, it can increase your electricity bill and the chances of a breakdown. A simple assessment by a skilled technician can help determine if the size of your AC unit is a problem.
4. Airflow Restrictions
You may have a dirty air filter problem. When the air filter restricts airflow, the evaporator coil can become frozen, causing the unit to turn on and off. As a reminder, air filters should be replaced at least once a month. You may do this more often if you are constantly running your air in the summer.
5. The Thermostat is Malfunctioning
Your thermostat acts as the central control to your home’s heating and cooling system and can develop problems over time if not properly maintained. Thermostats can provide faulty temperature data or send inconsistent signals, or may be failing to sense proper temperatures. If you’ve been experiencing inconsistencies with your home’s comfort system, you could benefit from a new thermostat to communicate more effectively with your air conditioning system.
6. Your Condenser Coils Are Dirty
Since condenser coils are located outside of the home, they’re exposed to the elements more than any other component of your air conditioning system. Here in Arizona, they can get caked with dirt and dust if you don’t get regular maintenance. If a condenser gets a thick enough coat of grime on it, it can struggle to complete heat exchanges. This buildup in heat pulled from inside the home can cause overheating force your AC to shut off, and could lead to a catastrophic breakdown.
7. Electrical Problems in Air Conditioner
Unfortunately, there are a number of places where electrical issues can cause your air conditioner to turn off and on repeatedly. Testing the electrical connections can be difficult and extremely dangerous to the commonly untrained individual unless you have the appropriate training and equipment. If you’re unsure about a specific electrical problem with your AC system, trust Howard Air to provide a fair, professional assessment of your home comfort system today!
8. A/C Run Capacitor Problems
The run capacitor in your air conditioner provides the initial surge of energy to turn the system on, and continues to provide steady power to keep the system running. If the run capacitor becomes worn out, it can fail to provide power on a continuous basis and cause your A/C to turn off and on repeatedly. To ensure your home comfort system is running at maximum efficiency, trust the AC professionals at Howard Air to provide a level of service unparalleled by others in the valley!
What to Do if A/C Won’t Stay On
If fixing air conditioning issues just isn’t your thing, we are happy to help get your system working in the best condition possible. Avoiding problems until it’s too late can end up costing you way more than the initial maintenance fees. We pride ourselves on top-notch AC repair and HVAC repair services, so we are ready to handle any issue that should arise. Contact our team at Howard Air to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled HVAC contractors.