Why Does My Air Conditioner Turn Off By Itself?

When you’re trying to cool down in the hot summer weather and your air conditioner shuts off, it can be frustrating.

Luckily, there are some quick, straightforward tips that can potentially get it up and running again.

Some reasons why your AC turns off by itself are:

  • Dirty air filter
  • Thermostat set incorrectly
  • Oversized AC
  • Refrigerant leak
  • Electrical issues

Below you’ll find out how to diagnose each problem and how to bring your AC back to life.

Let’s get into it.

5 Reasons Why Your Air Conditioners Turns Off By Itself

1. Dirty Air Filter

Dirty air filters can be the number one culprit as to why your air conditioner keeps shutting off by itself.

The reason this happens is that when an air filter is dirty, it restricts the airflow to your AC system.

When airflow is restricted, it can cause the evaporator coils to freeze up, which causes the entire ac unit to turn off.

The great thing is if a dirty air filter is the cause of the problem, all you have to do is clean it or replace it.

Double-check the air conditioner that you have to see if you can just clean the filter. Oftentimes, you can just rinse off the air filter (if it’s reuseable), let it dry, and put it back in the AC unit.

However, sometimes you do have to replace certain air filters. Your manual should tell you which option is ideal for your specific AC system.

If you have allergies, you can also look into buying the best AC filters for allergies to aid in reducing the number of particulates in the air.

2. Check Your Thermostat

Before you think your air conditioning unit is broken, check your thermostat settings. Set the temperature lower and see if your air conditioner will stay on longer.

Some people don’t realize, or they forget, that most ac units have timer settings or eco-friendly settings that shut it off when it reaches a certain temperature.

Sometimes, the lights and noise will shut down with it so you may think it’s completely off.

If your thermostat is in an area of your home where the temperature is different than the rest of your home such as by a vent, window, or a shady portion of the house, then your ac unit could think it is colder or warmer than it really is.

If this is the issue, your ac system may shut off by itself frequently.

If you’re transporting perishable goods via refrigerated moving vans, make sure you set the thermostat correctly or you may have to deal with spoiled goods.

3. Oversized Air Conditioner

It’s common to think you need the biggest air conditioner to get the best overall cool temperature in your home.

However, if you have an oversized AC unit in your home, this could cause issues like increased humidity, high energy bills, which is from when an air conditioner cools your house down too fast.

While the oversized air conditioner will cool your home down quickly, it is not worth all of the problems that can go along with it.

A great way to avoid a problem like this is to always check the BTU of an air conditioning system before you buy it.

4. Refrigerant Leak

When there is a refrigerant leak present, it can cause low pressure in your air conditioner, which causes issues just like if you had a dirty air filter.

A refrigerant leak can cause your evaporator coils to freeze.

If this happens, you may notice your AC system will turn on and off multiple times on its own. If this is the issue you have, be sure to take care of it promptly.

A refrigerant leak puts out hazardous chemicals and can be extremely dangerous for you and your family to be breathing in.

5. Electrical Problems

One of the most common reasons an air conditioner will shut off is due to electrical issues.

Some of the electrical problems could be a broken thermostat, a bad connection, or the compressor or condenser not getting an adequate power supply.

Aside from a refrigerant leak, electrical issues are one of the most serious and dangerous issues to have with your HVAC system.

If you suspect this type of problem at all, make sure you don’t put it off. Not only can it create more wear and tear, but it could be hazardous.

When to Call an HVAC Technician

When your cooling system shuts down, you may want to try and figure out the problem yourself.

If you have a dirty air filter, need to mess with the thermostat settings, or realize you purchased an oversized air conditioner, you can tackle the problem yourself.

However, if the problem is likely electrical or something complex, you should reach out to an HVAC professional.

About Heather Burdo

With almost a decade of experience with digital marketing, Heather Burdo has gained diverse experience across a multitude of industries. You can reach her at [email protected]

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