An air conditioner that shuts off repeatedly on a hot day is a frustrating problem for any homeowner. There are a few simple air conditioning system repairs that may be able to resolve this issue, which is commonly referred to as short cycling. Here's a guide to three possible repairs for an AC that keeps shutting off.
1. Relocate Your Thermostat
Turning your air conditioner off and on isn't your thermostat's only job. HVAC systems rely on the thermostat to judge the ambient air temperature. This allows the system to shut off when the desired temperature is reached.
If your thermostat is installed in a location that doesn't match the average temperature of your home, your HVAC system may exhibit short cycling. Drafty windows and doors can cause your thermostat to read colder temperatures in the winter.
In the summer, direct sunlight from a nearby window can throw off your thermostat reading and cause your air conditioner to shut off. An HVAC technician can move your thermostat to a new location so that it reads your home's temperature more accurately.
2. Check for Airflow Blockages
Restrictions in airflow to your air conditioner can result in frozen evaporator coils. When the coils are frozen over, your AC will no longer be able to cool the air effectively. Some systems have a safety shutoff feature to prevent damage when the coils are frozen.
There are a few ways you can promote good airflow for your central air conditioner. Cleaning or changing your air filter monthly is crucial to keep the system from getting choked with dust. Also remember to inspect your vent registers occasionally for dust buildup. This could be a sign that your system needs an air duct cleaning.
3. Schedule a Professional Inspection
Modern air conditioning system repairs are complex. While the fixes mentioned above can be easy ways to fix AC short cycling, sometimes the job must be left to a professional.
If your air conditioner is short cycling, you may need a contractor to recharge the refrigerant, replace a blown capacitor, or resolve other electrical issues within the condenser. A professional inspection can locate these problems and others that would be impossible for homeowners to identify or repair.
A central air conditioner that doesn't run long enough to cool your home isn't a problem you should have to live with. Use these tips if you're ever faced with an air conditioner that is short cycling.