It might give you a shock if your air conditioner short cycles or turns on and off repeatedly, especially during a hot summer day. It is best to shut your unit off entirely to avoid causing more damage, don’t force it to work because there might be a problem. Calm down and do not panic, because here are the reasons to help give you some ideas and solutions.
Parts Need Cleaning
Some parts, like the air filter, evaporator coil, and condenser, need regular checking and cleaning. Clogged up dirt, dust, or debris will reduce efficiency and airflow, causing the unit to short cycle. Make sure to inspect these parts once or twice a month and to clean them as needed. Inspect them and make your unit run again after cleaning.
Some electrical parts of your air conditioner might be having trouble. It might be a malfunction with the circuit board, electrical connections, wirings, or others. A common problem would be a capacitor. It is essential to the unit for it provides a boost of power to the components and to keep them running, so a bad capacitor will most likely cause it to turn off and back on. An electrical problem is hard to diagnose and solve unless you are a professional, call your HVAC contractor or technician to aid you.
Parts may overheat, fail, or malfunction. An example is the compressor. Over time, it might not be as good as it did before and cause short cycles, and may need repair or replacement. It is always good to take care of the malfunctioning part before it does more damage to the system. Contact a licensed professional to help out because a compressor is hard to repair and would require replacement, most of the time. That can be quite costly, but it is good if a warranty or plan will cover it.
Long term use will cause refrigerant levels to go down and cause short cycling. A simple recharge from your HVAC technician is good. However, refrigerant levels may also go down because of a leak. Modern air conditioners have sensors to detect those and shut the system off before the problem gets serious. A refrigerant leak is dangerous so do not attempt to turn it on again and call your HVAC contractor to solve the problem.
Unit is in the Wrong Size
An air conditioner too large for your HVAC system will eventually turn off after it cools your home quickly. This might result in uneven cooling in your house and make the unit turn on again. It might cause your unit to have a short life span and consume more energy than necessary. Make sure that when installing a new air conditioner, choose the one that will perfectly suit your system.
Many of these problems may be avoided if you have a service plan with your HVAC contractor. Do not be afraid to contact one if you think your air conditioner malfunctions.