9 Reasons Why Your Aircon Keeps Turning On and Off

9 Reasons Why Your Aircon Keeps Turning On and Off


One of the popular questions of homeowners is: why does an aircon can turn on or off by itself?


It is possible and most likely due to short cycling. Short cycling means the cooling cycle of your aircon terminates prematurely, then running again after a short time, like every 5 to 10 minutes.


Short cycling is a concern that you should not ignore. It can cause damage to your system and increase your electricity bills. As a result, it can cost you big money in the end.


This issue can happen due to various reasons, and these are some of the most common causes.


  1. Dirty aircon filter


Aircon filter helps filter contaminants such as dust, smoke, pollen, and grease. That ensures residents breathe better air quality when they use their aircon. That is why aircon filters can get dirty over time if you rarely clean them.


A dirty filter can cause many common AC problems. In the case of AC that keeps turning on and off, a dirty filter can restrict airflow in your system and lead to short cycling.


  1. Cooling power greater than necessary

aircon btu


Your aircon can turn on and off repeatedly if you have an oversized aircon. Oversized means the BTU is more than necessary. In simple terms, you can think of BTU as the cooling power of your aircon.


If your BTU is more significant than needed, it will cool your home quickly and shut off.


You probably think that it seems like a good thing. The truth is, it is not. Oversized BTU can lead to:

  • Inefficient system
  • Uneven cooling
  • Higher electricity bills
  • Aircon cannot reduce humidity in the room
  • Greater wear and tear in the components of your aircon


If you always have this problem or short cycling happens in a brand new aircon, it is also likely to occur due to this issue.


The good thing is, you can try to calculate the aircon BTU needed for your space.


  1. The outdoor unit needs cleaning


When was the last time you scheduled an appointment with your aircon contractor?


If it was a long time ago, the chance is the short cycling occurs because of dirty condenser coils. The condenser coils are coils inside the outdoor unit. Its job is essential in the refrigerant cycle—dissipating heat from your indoor space to the outside area. 


Condenser coils in your outdoor unit can be a haven for dirt and debris if residents do not follow the manufacturer’s suggestion in performing routine maintenance for the aircon.


  1. Ice buildup on evaporator coils


Short cycling can happen if there is an ice buildup on the evaporator coil of your aircon. The buildup is possible due to restricted airflow in your system. For that reason, ice can form on the coil, lead to short cycling, and turn on again after the ice melts.


The evaporator coil is a critical component in your aircon. It helps cool the warm air that is drawn from your indoor space during the refrigeration cycle. Therefore, you want to keep it performs efficiently to maintain the comfort of your home.


  1. Troubles with remote controller or thermostat

turn on your aircon after you clean it


Sometimes, an aircon can turn on and off repeatedly due to a simple issue, like trouble with the remote controller or thermostat.


Try checking or replacing the batteries in your aircon remote controller or thermostat first. The aircon system can turn on and off if they are low on batteries. As a result, the aircon can lose power intermittently.


  1. Inaccurate temperature readings


The remote controller or thermostat is just a tiny component in an aircon system.


Still, they control the system. If something goes wrong with the remote controller and thermostat or other components related to them, the system can experience trouble.


For instance, the remote controller or thermostat may sense inaccurate temperature and transfer misinformation to the system. In turn, the system receives a signal to start and stop repeatedly.


So, what are the possible reasons for inaccurate temperature readings?


It can be the temperature sensor in your system is already inefficient due to wear and tear.


Another possibility is terrible thermostat placement. Wrong placement can give inaccurate readings and make your system think your place is colder or hotter than the correct temperature if:

  • The thermostat is under direct sunlight because it’s placed near a window
  • The thermostat is in the kitchen, causing it always to sense hot temperatures
  • The thermostat receives direct airflow since it is near an air vent


That is why you need to think of the best placement for the thermostat. The arrangement can affect the efficiency of your aircon.


  1. Broken compressor


In the aircon system, a compressor generates pressure for the refrigerant to absorb and dissipate heat, helping to cool your place when you use an aircon. If the compressor is broken, overheated, or worn out, it can affect your system and push your system to shut off more often than you want.


  1. Refrigerant leak

aircon gas refill


An aircon needs refrigerant in the correct amount to perform properly. Inadequate amount of refrigerant leads to poor cooling and short cycling. It is possible to happen since lack of refrigerant can cause your coils to freeze.


Also, low on refrigerant makes the compressor in your system produces lower pressure and cause a malfunction in the system. Your system will turn off if the pressure is too low and on again if the pressure returns to normal.


Keep in mind that a refrigerant leak can be dangerous and should be handled by licensed aircon technicians.


  1. The float switch turns off the system automatically


In some aircon systems, there is a component known as a float switch. It is like a safety sensor switch that detects the water level in the drain line or pan. For safety reasons, it can turn off your system if there’s water pooling in the drain line or pan and if a clogged drain line makes water does not flow properly.


Preventing aircon to turn on or off by itself

aircon service performing aircon regular or chemical cleaning


The key takeaway is you can prevent most aircon problems by regularly cleaning your aircon and perform regular servicing with a licensed aircon contractor.


For example, you can start by cleaning the aircon filters yourself because it is easy and does not require professional assistance. That ensures your aircon filter stays clean and does not restrict airflow in your system.


Also, schedule an appointment with your go-to technicians for regular aircon servicing. Routine aircon servicing also includes cleaning for both indoor and outdoor units. As a result, you can prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, or debris on them.


Aside from cleaning, routine maintenance helps your aircon perform efficiently because the technicians also inspect your system regularly. An inspection can detect repair that needs to be done, preventing the issue from becoming a larger one. They can check your compressor, detect possibilities of a refrigerant leak or error in the sensors.


And if at this moment your aircon is experiencing short cycling or other issues that affect your comfort, tap the floating WhatsApp button to chat with us directly. You can also call us at +65 9830 8224 or request an appointment online.

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