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My AC Keeps Turning On and Off

Air Conditioner Keeps Turning On and Off. What’s Going On?

The weather is hot and your air conditioner can’t make it’s mind up of whether to run or not. What could be going on?

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AC Short Cycling

The proper term for you air conditioner turning on and then off on a frequent basis is called “short-cycling”. This frequent behavior can end up causing you higher than normal electric bills and it’s also not good for your air conditioner. 

With this being said, let’s dive into some reasons for your air conditioner turning on and off so quickly.

Low Refrigerant

If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, it could cause short cycling to occur. Having low levels of refrigerant can cause your indoor and outdoor coil to freeze over and then turn off abruptly.

If you are low on refrigerant, you have a leak somewhere in your system as your air conditioner is a closed loop system. Refrigerant is not like gas in a car.

Unless your leak is fixed, any refrigerant you put in will just leak right back out again. Most leaks can be fixed temporarily, but it is never a permanent fix.

Also, the substance used to fix a leak can be hard on your compressor. 

Dirty Filters

A dirty filter is one of the most common causes for both air conditioner and furnace breakdowns.

If you have a standard 1 inch filter, these should be changed every 30 days or sooner if you have a lot of pets. 

At the very least, you should always check your filters every 30 days and if they are dirty, change them.

A dirty filter can also cause your coils to freeze up as it highly restricts the airflow and leaves water condensation to form and freeze.

A frozen coil will almost always cause your AC to keep turning on and off.

Dirty Condensor

Take a look at your outside condensor. Is it covered it dirt and grass? That could definitely be your problem.

Your AC condensor needs plenty of space to breath and disperse heat and if it is covered in grass, dirt or other debris, it can cause it to short cycle on a regular basis. 

Make sure you clean off your condensor at least once a year. This is generally completed during annual HVAC maintenance.

Need Some Help?

Need some help figuring out why your air conditioner keeps turning on and off? We are here to help! Give us a call today at 614-475-1800 and we will be right over!