Ask Rick: Why Does My Air Conditioning Frequently Cycle on and Off?

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While your air conditioner normally cycles on and off to keep your home cooled at a desired temperature setting, the cycles should last longer than a few seconds or minutes. If this problem isn’t resolved soon, it can be very costly because it may wear out your compressor. In fact, you might want to leave your air conditioner off until you can get it repaired. Here are five possible reasons for the problem:

  • The AC low pressure control is malfunctioning. The AC low pressure control protects the compressor from pressure extremes in the refrigerant by turning the compressor off. When the AC system rapidly cycles on and off, it may indicate a worn out or defective AC low pressure control.
  • The AC system is leaking refrigerant. When your air conditioning system is low on refrigerant, it causes abnormal refrigerant pressure that can trigger the AC low pressure control to shut off the compressor. When the refrigerant pressure returns to its normal operating range, the compressor is allowed to run again. This may set up a rapid on/off AC cycling pattern. Replacing the refrigerant isn’t enough because the leak will require repair.
  • You have an oversized AC system. This means your air conditioning system is meant to cool a larger house than yours. Therefore, it cools your house faster than it should and then shuts off before the cool temperature can thoroughly penetrate into your home. This causes your home to warm up quickly, which starts the cycle over again.
  • The thermostat is too close to a cooling vent. The thermostat location should accurately represent the overall temperature of your home. When it is too close to a cooling vent, the cooling air will cause the thermostat to shut down the AC system before the rest of the house cools. The uncooled air in your home will then trigger the AC system to start again.
  • The thermostat is malfunctioning. A damaged or defective thermostat may cause rapid cycling of your air conditioning system.

If your air conditioning system rapidly cycles on and off, or you otherwise require AC repair in Bradenton FL, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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