Your air conditioner should turn on and off throughout the day. If it's hot outside, it may stay on for a little longer than usual. But one thing it should not do is turn on, then off, then on again just minutes apart. If your air conditioner does do this, there is usually something wrong — even if your home is still staying at a comfortable temperature. Here are a few of the things that could be amiss.
Closed or Blocked Vents
Air conditioners will usually turn off if the blower motor has to work too hard. This is a safety mechanism designed to keep your AC unit from overheating. The motor may be forced to work too hard if the pressure grows too high in your ducts, which can happen if too many vents in your home are closed or blocked. So, start by checking all of your vents. Is there any furniture pushed in front of them? Are they all open? Make sure they are all clear and open, and then see if your AC is still behaving strangely.
Old Air Filter
If your air filter has a lot of pet hair and other debris caught in it, then the air filter might be what's causing the pressure in your ducts to rise. It's normal for air filters to get clogged as they're used. This is why you have to replace your air filters often. If it has been more than a month or two since you last replaced your AC filter, do this right away. With any luck, this will fix the problem and your AC will run like normal again.
This is the most difficult cause to deal with, so it's worth ruling out clogged filters and blocked vents before you consider the possibility of a refrigerant leak. But, if refrigerant is leaking from your AC coils, it will cause the AC to turn on and off a lot. The low refrigerant levels will allow the refrigerant to expand too much, which will cause the unit to turn off before your home is really cool. If you suspect you may have a refrigerant leak, have an HVAC contractor come look at your system. They can diagnose the leak, and if needed, repair it.
If your AC is turning on and off way too often, don't ignore this problem. It will lead to more damage over time if not addressed. Consider the possibilities above, and get to the bottom of it. For more information about air conditioning, contact a local professional?
My name is Maura, and I am certified in HVAC installation and repair. I have many clients who call me in a panic because they have turned on their air conditioners and nothing has happened. Your air conditioning technician will get to you as soon as possible, but there are some steps you can take while you are waiting. You might just find that you are able to fix the problem on your own, although you will still want to have a professional assess the situation. In this blog I will take you through some common reasons your air conditioner might not be working and show you some easy temporary solutions.