Why Does My Air Conditioner Turn Off by Itself?

Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling is your leader in AC repairs in Overland Park and the surrounding areas. Call us today for expert repairs.

If you’ve noticed your air conditioner shutting off every few minutes, you’re probably wondering, “Why does my air conditioner turn off by itself?” Your unit short-cycles for many different reasons. Between electrical problems and a lack of routine maintenance, you’ll need a professional to diagnose and repair the problem.

Our AC service professionals in Overland Park, KS, understand the inconvenience of an improperly working air conditioner. Below, the team from Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling explains why your AC might be turning off by itself. Read more to discover the potential cause of your AC’s short cycling.

Causes of a Short Cycling Air Conditioner

1. Faulty or Improperly Placed Thermostat

The thermostat directs your air conditioner’s functions. It detects the air temperature and controls when your AC shuts on and off. When your thermostat isn’t working properly, your AC won’t know the right length of time to run.

Electronic problems can be challenging to diagnose without a professional. Check that your thermostat has the correct settings. Otherwise, you’ll need an AC repair technician to open your thermostat and search for circuitry problems.

Alternatively, your thermostat might be in a bad place in your home. If your thermostat is near an air supply or too far from windows, it may struggle to take an accurate temperature reading.

A professional will inspect your thermostat, check for issues, recalibrate the system, and ensure that sensors are working correctly. Your thermostat’s sensors might need replacing, or it could be an issue with the wiring.

2. Clogged Condensate Line

A clogged condensate line occurs when debris and dirt block your condensate drain. Clogs form as condensation from the indoor air drains outside, mixing with outdoor materials. Instead of draining, the debris hardens into sludge.

Your AC unit has safety features that shut it off automatically. Homeowners with a clogged condensate line may experience their air conditioner shutting off when water and debris back up far into the system. When debris and water reach a certain level, a safety switch deactivates your unit.

Regular professional maintenance can prevent a clogged condensate line, or you can clear it yourself by flushing the pipe and sucking out material with a vacuum.

3. Low Refrigerant

Refrigerant runs through coils that cool your home as your unit intakes air. When your AC has a refrigerant leak, the compressor may automatically shut down to prevent further damage. Leaks in the refrigerant line result in improper pressure that can damage the compressor.

You’ll need a professional to inspect your system for refrigerant leaks and refill your AC. Inspect the system’s outdoor unit. If you see a leak, it could be the refrigerant line.

When your system has enough refrigerant, the compressor will turn back on.

4. Clogged Air Filters

Air filters collect dirt, debris, hair, and dander in the air before your system cools it. However, dirty, clogged air filters keep air from passing through your unit.

As air passes through your AC, the evaporator coils cool it. Reduced airflow can trigger the evaporator coils to freeze. Your unit shuts off when ice or frost forms on the coil to prevent overheating as the parts defrost.

Open your AC system and check the air filters. If your filters are full of hair and dust, you’ll need new ones. You can replace dirty air filters yourself or leave it up to the professionals.

5. Faulty Run Capacitor

A run capacitor ensures enough electricity flows to power your air conditioner and keep it running. However, a faulty run capacitor operates inconsistently. Symptoms of a defective run capacitor range from the unit turning itself off prematurely to the unit only running for short periods.

The run capacitor has a high shock risk even when your unit is off. You’ll need professional assistance to handle a broken run capacitor. A technician can inspect your run capacitor and use advanced tools to diagnose the problem and answer the question, “Why does my air conditioner turn off by itself?”

6. Electrical Problems

Electrical problems are a significant source of air conditioning issues. In addition to a malfunctioning cooling system, high energy bills are a primary symptom that your air conditioner has electrical problems. If your unit has thermostat problems or shuts off by itself, the potential electrical causes will need a professional diagnosis.

Your AC’s mechanical parts rely on electricity to power them. A loose electrical connection, faulty wiring, or a flipped breaker can cause your AC unit to turn off by itself. A professional can inspect your indoor and outdoor units for apparent signs of wear and tear to electrical parts.

7. Improperly Sized Unit

Your air conditioner must be the right size for your home. A high-quality, professional AC installation should ensure you get the right-sized unit for your space. An oversized air conditioner will turn on and off quickly, while a unit that’s too small will take hours to shut off due to inefficient cooling.

It’s important to get an appropriately sized AC system to eliminate high electric bills and improve cooling efficiency. An improperly sized AC unit boosts your electric bills regardless of performance. An air handler that must turn off and on frequently will wear out quickly, while a unit that runs constantly is also prone to premature issues.

8. Dirty Condenser Coils

Condenser coils are part of your outdoor AC unit, which makes them susceptible to dust and debris. When these coils get dirty, your unit struggles to expel heat properly. If your outdoor unit overheats, it will shut down to prevent further damage.

You may be able to clean condenser coils without professional help. Note any debris in the outside unit around the fan blades. Use a brush, cloth, or vacuum hose to remove leaves, grass clippings, dirt, and other debris from the top of the unit.

Let your unit cool down before rerunning the AC. If cleaning your condenser coils doesn’t resolve the problem, contact an AC repair technician to diagnose the problem.

Effects of a Short Cycling AC System

Some homeowners may not notice their system short cycling for months. You should schedule routine maintenance appointments to ensure your AC system works perfectly. Schedule repairs as soon as you notice your unit short cycling to mitigate potential damage.

With a short cycling air conditioner, you risk:

●  Increased humidity in your home’s environment.

●  Your air conditioner breaking down prematurely.

●  Higher energy bills.

Rely on the Professionals at Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling

You don’t have to be without air conditioning with help from the professionals at Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling. Professional AC repair technicians have the experience and training to figure out why your air conditioner is turning off on its own. The team at Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling will inspect, diagnose, and treat your air conditioner.

Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling is your leader in everything HVAC. In addition to air conditioner repair services, we can also replace your unit, repair your heating system, and much more.

For over 10 years, we’ve helped customers achieve ultimate comfort in their homes. Our transparent pricing, high-quality workmanship, and energy-efficient products make us the best HVAC company in the area. The next time you wonder, “Why does my air conditioner turn off by itself?”, seek help from the professionals in Liberty, MO. Contact Unlimited Air Heating & Cooling to learn when to replace your furnace or to get your AC repaired. Call us today at (816) 286-7258.