Is Your Air Conditioner Short Cycling? Follow These Troubleshooting Tips

30 August 2021
 Categories: , Blog


Do you have an air conditioner that is turning on and then shutting down immediately? This is a sign that the air conditioner is short cycling. Here are some tips to troubleshoot your air conditioner to get it running properly again.

Turn Off The Air Conditioner

The first thing you should do is shut down the air conditioner for a while and see what happens. What you are looking for is water that forms beneath your outdoor or indoor components, since this is an indication that coils have frozen and need to thaw out. If the coils are frozen and refrigerant can't flow through the system, it is going to overheat and shut down immediately. 

Check For Air Flow Problems

Another issue that you need to look out for is an airflow problem that can cause the system to overheat. This can happen in a few places and is usually due to not performing proper maintenance on the air conditioner over the years.

Start by looking at the air filter. Can you remember when you last swapped it out with a new one? A dirty air filter can cause airflow restrictions, which can cause the coils to freeze and then lead to overheating. Swap out the filter if it has been awhile and it looks particularly bad.

There can also be an airflow problem with the outdoor compressor of your air conditioner. If the grill of the compressor is extremely dirty, it is not going to be able to bring in the cool air that lets the compressor cool down when it is running. This can cause the entire air conditioner to shut down immediately because it is too hot. Try cleaning the condenser by spraying it with water from the inside to shoot the debris outward. 

Check The Water Pump

There is a pump inside your air conditioner that is designed to collect water and pump it out to a nearby drain. However, this pump has a float that is designed to shut off the air conditioner if the pump stops working and the water level is too high. This is to prevent water from spilling out of the air conditioner, which is important if it is located in an attic or main floor utility closet. Consider investigating the pump to see if it is clean and if water levels are low. If not, this could be the reason why the air conditioner is short cycling so frequently. 

Contact a company that offers air conditioning repair services to learn more.