Air Conditioner Starts Then Stops After Only a Few Seconds – 8 Effective Solutions

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Has a gust of hot air ever hit you even after you turned on your air conditioner? You went home and wanted to relax with some cool air, but then the air conditioner starts then stops after only a few seconds.

This article deals with a situation where an air conditioner stops working after only a few seconds. Usually, when this happens, the problem is caused by something blocking the fan. Unfortunately, there is no certain way to determine which part of the system is causing the problem. In most cases, fixing the issue will require disassembling the air conditioner.

However, what could be the potential cause of that? We have the reasons and how you can fix the issue. Stay with us and find out.

Why Does Your Air Conditioner Start Then Stop?

The only explanation for an AC to start and then stop after only a few seconds is short cycling. Short cycling is the way an air conditioner starts and then turns off by itself. Sometimes it might come back on. Sometimes times not. 

That could be because of several issues you have to solve if you want your Ac to stay in good working condition.

So, what causes short cycling, and how can you solve the issue?

  • Thermostat issues

The thermostat is one of the most critical components of any AC unit. That’s because it handles the cooling of your house. The thermostat reads the room temperature and then responds accordingly to start or stop the AC.

Therefore, if the thermostat has a problem, it won’t work the way you would expect. That will cause the air conditioner to start and then stop after some time. That might be because after the AC starts, the thermostat because it has an issue, detects an okay level of coolness and turns off. 

It could be something as simple as the thermostat having defective batteries. Changing them would be a quick fix for the problem. However, if it persists, you’d need to call an HVAC specialist to locate the issue.

Read AlsoThe Room Temperature Doesn’t Match the Thermostat Setting – What to Do

  • A Dirty Air Filter

Air filters are prone to getting dirty as they work. That’s because not all the air they clean up might be that clean. Therefore, over time, the dirt can accumulate and start causing short cycles.

To solve this issue, examine the filter for dirt and clean it with a hand brush. Opening up the AC isn’t that complicated after removing all the screws that hold the cover onto the unit.

  • Dirty Condenser Coils

It isn’t only dirty air filters that might cause issues in an air conditioning unit. Dirty condenser coils are a major culprit in short cycling. If the condenser coils haven’t received cleaning for some time, they might cause the inner parts of the AC to overheat and short cycle.

That’s why you should periodically clean all the parts of the unit, including the condenser coils. If you can’t clean them yourself, then get an HVAC specialist that will do routine maintenance for you.

  • A Problematic Capacitor

The capacitors enable the AC unit to turn on and off with the energy it provides. Therefore, a problem with the capacitor will affect the working of the AC unit. A poorly run capacitor will make your unit turn on and off intermittently.

That’s because it won’t transmit enough energy to the unit to keep it on for long if it is malfunctioning. The capacitor should enable the Ac unit to stay on for as long as you need it.

That’s why any problem with the capacitor will need you to get an HVAC professional to help you out.

  • Your Air Conditioner Is Too Large

 If you used to have a smaller AC that you replaced with a bigger one when the issues started, that could be the problem. The larger unit might have issues with this refrigeration cycle that makes it suddenly turn off after turning it on.

The unit could work so fast with a defective refrigeration cycle and then turn itself off after working only for a short time. That means you need to let a technician tell you the best size for an AC unit in your house.

  • Refrigerant Leaks

The Refrigerant absorbs heat so that the thermostat responds to the heat changes in the environment. Therefore, whenever it has an issue or is leaking, it won’t capably do its job, which might cause the AC to a short cycle.

The short cycle might last between 10 and 15 minutes. Refrigerant leaks also lead to low pressure in the AC unit and a faulty compressor. All this will directly lead to sort cycles. Your AC will start and then shut off after a few seconds or minutes.

This problem you can’t fix by yourself. You will thus need to contact an AC professional to help you sort it out fast so your AC can resume working as expected.

  • Wrong Thermostat Placement

You might not believe this, but your air conditioner could also short cycle due to you wrongly placing your thermostat. Picture this: an air conditioner is next to the window, and every cool breeze hits it on the way in.

Such placement will mess with the thermostat and transmit the wrong signal to the AC, causing it to short cycle. That’s because while you’d expect the AC unit to cool your house, the thermostat reads the cool breeze as the room temperature and thus turns off the unit.

You will be able to solve this merely by placing your AC more centrally and away from windows and any other openings.

  • Electrical issues

Electrical issues are another primary culprit behind malfunctioning in most electrical appliances, leave alone AC units. If you are facing issues with your AC yet it’s well maintained, then the reason could be electrical problems.

Electrical issues are mainly because of defective wiring in the unit and might cause it to short cycle. If you suspect this problem, reach out to a professional for help.

In The End

If the air conditioner starts then stops after only a few seconds, we hope you now know what to do. Several issues would cause an air conditioner to short cycle. The solutions we have given here should help you solve them quite easily.

Always remember to contact an HVAC professional for help with the more complicated issues.

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