AC is meant to come on and stay on for at last 10 – 15 minutes, often much longer. If AC is turning off after 15 minutes or less every single time, or even just minutes after it first kicks on, it’s called “short cycling.”
Short cycling is bad for a few reasons:
- It means you’re wasting energy and driving up energy costs for your home
- You may not be achieving comfortable temperatures
- In many cases, it means something is wrong with the unit.
Short cycling should always be addressed and fixed, but it may be something simple you can handle yourself. Below, we’ll look at both the easy fixes and the bigger problems you need to consider.
AC is supposed to blow cold air—never warm or hot air. So what does it mean if the air coming out of your AC vents is toasty? It may be a sign of a serious problem—but it can also be relatively minor. Below, we’ll cover all of the most common causes, from big to small.
3 Easy Fixes for AC That Keeps Shutting Off
These fixes won’t work in every case, and they won’t fix an air conditioner that has a faulty component. However, they’re worth checking before you call in a professional. Here are 3 things you can check on your own.
- Double check the thermostat settings. Yes, it sounds silly, but there’s an old adage: “measure twice, cut once.” Something similar applies to checking even the most basic things before deciding your AC is broken. Try setting the thermostat temperature lower and see if the AC stays on longer.
- Check the timer. Similarly, your thermostat may have timer settings—even if you’ve never used them. Check your manual or the menus on the thermostat to see if you can change the timer.
- Consider your thermostat location. It’s funny how home builders put the thermostat in the world places. Remember, wherever the thermostat is located is where it senses the indoor temperature and decides if it’s cool enough yet. If the thermostat is away from windows, near an AC vent, or on the shady side of the house, that could be your problem. Your thermostat may simply need to be relocated.
If these aren’t the problem, in most cases, it means you’ll need to call a pro.
AC Problems That Cause AC to Shut Off
If there’s something wrong with your AC that makes it shut off after just 15 minutes, it’s usually one of these issues:
- Unit is overheating. This often means there is simply a buildup of grime inside the compressor unit, but it could also mean there’s a refrigerant leak or have other causes.
- Faulty thermostat. The wiring may have been damaged on your thermostat or there may be an electrical problem.
- Lack of annual maintenance. Air conditioners require regular maintenance at least once a year (twice a year is better in the desert). We offer affordable maintenance plans to keep your AC in top shape.
Get Your AC Fixed—for Good
Ambient Edge provides fast, effective AC repairs—and a 5-star guarantee. We can diagnose your air conditioner’s problem, get it running, and make sure it’s doing a good job of cooling your home. Call us at 702-723-4704 or fill out the form to your right and speak with an AC pro today.