Is your air conditioner shutting off? Or, more notably, shutting off before it’s done with its job? If so, you’re not at all alone! There are many potential causes for a cooling system to kick off early, and quite a few of them are fairly common problems to have.
But what you need to know is how to fix it! We’re transitioning into spring as we speak, and soon enough it’s going to be a nightmare trying to go without. Don’t worry—McAllister…The Service Company has you covered.
Common Causes of an AC Shutting Off
These can really range from high-cost and complicated to something simple enough for you to handle on your own. Because of this, and because it’s somewhat difficult to diagnose such a broad-topic issue, we’re going to start with things you might be able to do to fix it on your own:
- Inspect your air filter. Restricted air flow is hands-down the most common cause of a system kicking off all the time. That means checking your air filter and supply and return vents is the best place to look. Filter loaded up with clogs of dust? Change it and see if you’re all set!
- Troubleshoot your thermostat. Thermostats can cause this issue in a number of ways. It’s possible that a connection is faulty, or that the thermostat was simply installed too close to a vent (and thus thinks its job is done too soon). Additionally, though a bit silly, we’ve seen a few situations where the thermostat was tampered with without the caller knowing.
- Look for any signs of water or ice. While there’s not a whole lot you can do about frost or ice on your AC evaporator coils, it is still fairly easy to notice on your own. Just take a peek for any puddles of water, or glance into the unit to check for ice. This problem can also relate to the whole restricted air flow thing, so you might get it in conjunction with needing to change an air filter.
The Stuff You’ll Want a Pro For
None of the above handle the problem? Then we’re fairly certain you need the attention of an expert! Don’t be too put out, though. Most of the causes are still a fairly easy fix in the hands of a pro, so unless you’re in a worst-case you needn’t stress too much.
Additional causes include:
- More complex air flow issues. Sometimes it’s not the filter causing your choke trouble. Sometimes it’s the ducts or the unit itself needs a professional cleaning and inspection. These are still simple, but they require a pro’s tools and experience.
- Short-cycling. Short cycling, or the act of your AC kicking on and off really frequently, carries tons of potential causes. It’s its own beats, but unlike this issue nearly all of the causes require an expert.
- A refrigerant leak. Seeing puddles of something that isn’t water? This is an unfortunate problem to have, and it needs attention quickly. Your cooling system will actually try to run without refrigerant, which can cause it to damage itself fairly heavily.
- Compressor failure. And now the worst-case. The compressor is one of the three major components responsible for the refrigeration cycle, and this can be an expensive part to replace. In many cases a complete AC replacement might be more worth your time.