Here’s Why Your Air Conditioner Turns Itself On and Off

Mar 23, 2021 | Plumbing | 0 comments

When your air conditioning unit keeps shutting on and off, it’s undergoing what’s called “short cycling.” In such a scenario, the central air conditioner is not getting an accurate representation of the surrounding environment’s temperature—thus “confusing” the unit with how to effectively cool the area.

In the long run, this may cause some irreversible damage to the aircon and even incur high aircon repair costs depending on the extent of the damage. If not caught and fixed immediately, it may even shorten the aircon’s longevity, thus requiring a premature replacement.

To avoid this, here are some things you need to look into to determine why it’s happening:

The Placement of the Thermostat

An air conditioner’s thermostat is responsible for detecting the surrounding environment’s temperature. It regulates the central air conditioner’s functions. Through it, the aircon “knows” when an environment is already cold or warm enough. Therefore, the thermostat adjusts the AC system on and off to continue or stop releasing cold air depending on its detections.

Thermostats that are located directly under the sunlight, or too near to an air vent, or even just by the window may be exposed to external air temperature that doesn’t match the accurate temperature of the room. The aircon may begin thinking the room is cooler or hotter than it actually is every single time it gets exposed to this external air temperature—thus causing the short cycling to occur.

There is only one solution to this problem: position the air conditioner in a more centralized location away from these elements.

The Air Filter

Most of the causes of air conditioning problems can be traced back to a dirty or clogged air filter. These restrict airflow, which may, in turn, cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Frozen evaporator coils may be causing the short bursts of AC ON/OFF sequences.

It is best to keep the air filter cleaned or replaced on a regular basis to prevent the onset of worse problems. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, then a professional should be consulted regarding the evaporator coils.

The Freon Levels

Freon, also known as refrigerant, is a coolant that absorbs heat and cools the air particles inside the room. In the event of refrigerant leaks, this may result in leaking freon that may reach below normal levels. A low amount of freon may interfere with the compressor’s pressure levels—so much so that it doesn’t reach the quantity it needs to operate normally!

For most air conditioning compressors, there is a safety switch that shuts off the compressor when it detects low pressure. Once the compressor is off, pressure builds back up again, triggering short bursts of on and off activity that may damage the air conditioner.

What you can do is get a trusted AC repair service company to fix the freon leaks.

The Aircon Size

If you get an air conditioner that’s too big for your room, it cools the room all too quickly and such at an uneven rate. This also causes unnecessarily high electricity bill costs—and may shorten the air conditioner’s lifespan as well. Consult a reputable AC company to conduct a heat load calculation to know which unit size is the right fit for the room.


It is always best to diagnose and repair air conditioning related problems as soon as possible before it progresses to severe, even irreversible damage. Short cycling is a very frequent issue among air conditioners, but it requires extensive knowledge for it to be diagnosed and repaired!

Are you looking for a contractor that provides 24-hour AC repair in your area? Our 24/7 Emergency Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Company provides high-quality, fast, and affordable repair and installation services all across North America. Get in touch with us today, and let us lend you a hand!

You May Also Like


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *