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Why Does My AC Keep Turning Off?


When the scorching heat of summer hits, few things are more frustrating than having your air conditioner constantly turning off. Not only does it disrupt your comfort, but it can also signify underlying issues that need attention.

Reasons Why Your Air Conditioner Keeps Switching Off

Understanding why your AC keeps turning off is crucial for maintaining its efficiency and prolonging its lifespan. Let’s dive into some common causes and troubleshooting tips to keep your cool during those sweltering days.

Thermostat Malfunction

A malfunctioning thermostat is often the culprit behind frequent AC shutdowns. If the thermostat is not functioning properly, it may incorrectly read the temperature, causing the system to cycle on and off unnecessarily.

Check the thermostat settings to ensure they are correctly configured. Additionally, inspect the thermostat for any signs of damage or dust accumulation that could affect its performance. Consider replacing the batteries if it's a battery-operated thermostat.

Dirty Air Filters

Clogged air filters restrict airflow, leading to overheating of the AC unit and triggering automatic shutdowns as a safety measure. Regularly replacing or cleaning air filters is essential for maintaining optimal airflow and preventing your AC from turning off intermittently. Make it a habit to inspect and clean or replace your air filters every one to three months, depending on usage and air quality.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant is essential for the cooling process in your air conditioning system. If there’s a leak in the refrigerant lines, it can lead to a decrease in cooling capacity and cause the AC to shut off prematurely.

Signs of a refrigerant leak include:

  • Reduced cooling performance
  • Hissing noises coming from the AC unit
  • Ice buildup on the refrigerant lines

If you suspect a refrigerant leak, contact a professional HVAC technician to locate and repair the leak and recharge the refrigerant levels.

Overheating Condenser Unit

The condenser unit, located outside your home, plays a crucial role in dissipating heat from the refrigerant. If the condenser coils are dirty or obstructed, it can cause the unit to overheat and shut down.

Inspect the condenser unit regularly and remove any debris, such as leaves, grass clippings, or dirt, that may be blocking airflow. Additionally, schedule annual professional maintenance to clean the condenser coils and ensure optimal performance.

Electrical Issues

Electrical problems, such as faulty wiring or a tripped circuit breaker, can cause your AC to turn off unexpectedly. Check the circuit breaker panel to see if the circuit supplying power to your AC unit has tripped. If so, reset the breaker and monitor the system for any further issues. However, if the problem persists, it could indicate underlying electrical issues that require the expertise of a qualified electrician.

Dirty Evaporator Coils

Over time, evaporator coils can accumulate dirt and debris, reducing the efficiency of your AC system and causing it to shut down frequently. Dirty evaporator coils insulate the coils, preventing them from absorbing heat effectively.

Regular maintenance can improve energy efficiency and prevent your AC from turning off unexpectedly. Consider scheduling professional maintenance at least once a year to ensure all components are clean and functioning correctly.

Incorrect Unit Size

If your AC unit is too large or too small for your space, it can lead to frequent cycling on and off, known as short cycling. An oversized unit cools the space quickly but shuts off before properly dehumidifying the air, while an undersized unit struggles to maintain the desired temperature, causing it to work harder and cycle more frequently.

Consult with an HVAC professional to determine the appropriate size for your space and consider upgrading to a properly sized unit if necessary.

Contact a Professional HVAC Tech for Help

Knowing that there’s a problem with your air conditioner and knowing how to fix it are often two different things. While you may be able to identify the problem with your AC after reading this article, you might not have the experience necessary to know how to fix it.

Rest assured, however, that you can always count on Bay Heating & Air Conditioning to provide the AC repair services you need to get your air conditioner back up and running. If your system keeps turning off at inopportune times, don’t wait to get the assistance you need to beat back the heat!

Call (440) 294-4954 or contact us online today to get started.

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