Reasons Why Air Conditioner Starts Then Stops After Only a Few Seconds and Solutions

An air conditioner that starts and then stops after only a few seconds is inconvenient for the homeowner and harmful to the air conditioning system. This condition, known as short cycling, requires more energy to repeatedly restart the air conditioner than to maintain it in longer, smoother cycles.

Consulting an HVAC professional is often necessary to diagnose and resolve this issue. It also adds to the wear and strain on the mechanisms that turn on your air conditioner.

This can significantly raise your electric cost and necessitate extra AC repairs. Therefore, if your air conditioner starts then stops after only a few seconds, you should fix it as soon as possible.

New Window Air Conditioner Starts Then Stops after Only a Few Seconds

Short cycling makes an air conditioner start and then stop after only a few seconds. When the air conditioner’s start-up cycle becomes stuck, short cycling occurs. In addition, the AC compressor shuts down prematurely. As a result, the air conditioner turns on and off without completing a full cooling cycle.

Fortunately, short cycling is typically a simple solution. Learn about some of the most common reasons why your new window air conditioner keeps going on and off and how to stop it from doing so.

  1. Run Capacitor’ is broken.

The run capacitor in your air conditioner supplies the initial push of energy it needs to start on and continual electricity to keep your system running. When this part begins to fail, your air conditioner may receive inconsistent power, causing it to turn off and on abruptly.

If your air conditioner begins and then stops after a few seconds or switches off after 30 seconds, it’s likely that your run capacitor is faulty, and you’ll need to replace it.

Has your AC capacitor been diagnosed and replaced by a professional? If this item isn’t working correctly, it can cause other parts to degrade more quickly due to increased wear and tear.

air conditioner starts then stops after only a few seconds

Read also: What Does Eco Mean on Air Conditioner?

  1. The drainage Line is Clogged.

When the water in the drain line is not flowing correctly and backs up, most AC systems contain a safety device called a float switch that will turn off your system. If you observe that the air does not circulate even when your thermostat is set to auto, and you’ve already ruled out the thermostat and electrical issues, this is most likely your problem.

You might try doing some DIY unclogging and cleaning your AC drain line. It’s simple to do and only requires a few common household materials.

  1. Electrical Issues

Electrical issues are a common cause of short cycling. Problems can arise from a faulty electrical supply line or a deteriorating capacitor. Additionally, your AC system might experience electrical problems due to thermostat issues, faulty electrical connections, or issues with the circuit boards.

It’s advisable to have these electrical aspects checked by an HVAC professional to ensure safe and correct handling.

  1. Dirty Air Filter

If your air filter is dirty, it will lead to a blockage. A window air conditioner’s airflow is affected by a clogged air filter. This problem causes short cycles and many other air conditioner problems.

Read also: Mold in Air Conditioner – Symptoms and How to Prevent Them

  1. Low Refrigerant

Your device’s refrigerant supplies may be insufficient, as this coolant is required for heat absorption and air conditioning. When there isn’t enough coolant, the compressor’s pressure levels grow unpredictably high, requiring it to cycle on and off to avoid a major system failure.

  1. Broken thermostat

If the AC system begins to short cycle, the problem could be as easy as the thermostat initiating it. Check your thermostat if the AC system begins to short cycle.

While the thermostat may appear to be a minor component of the unit, it must function appropriately because it controls the temperature of an entire room.

The window cooling system will frequently start or stop if a thermostat does not correctly sense the temperature and transmits false information.

If the thermostat’s display is black or dim, the battery may be low, and the thermostat may weaken on occasion. If the battery in your thermostat dies, the window air conditioner will be able to turn on and off.

Refrigerant leaks and dirty condenser coils can reduce the efficiency of an oversized air conditioner, causing it to struggle to cool your home and potentially shut down when the AC starts. This can lead to short time intervals of comfort and higher energy bills.

Another potential reason for an air conditioner to short cycle is if the unit is too large for your home. An oversized air conditioner can cool the space quickly but may not effectively remove humidity, leading to frequent on-and-off cycles.

Choosing the right type of insulation and size of the air conditioner is crucial to prevent such issues. Regular maintenance, including cleaning or replacing air filters and ensuring that the condenser coils are free from dirt, can also help prevent short cycling.

Contact a licensed electrician in your area. Electrical problems are challenging to identify but may also be dangerous, even for the most knowledgeable homeowners. If there are no more electrical issues, there should be no more air conditioner start then stop after only a few seconds.

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AirconMag is an experienced author and Air Conditioner expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of AC unit, including installation, maintenance, and repair