Maybe you just noticed it or maybe it's been happening for a while, but your air conditioning is frequently turning on and off. As is the case with symptoms, there are a number of things that could be causing your A/C unit to cycle on a constant basis. Here are two that may be the heart of the problem and what you can do about them.
Dirty or Blocked Condenser Unit
One thing that can cause an air conditioner to repeatedly switch on and off is a dirty or blocked condenser unit. The condenser unit is responsible for cooling the air that gets sent throughout the treated area. In the process of performing this job, the condenser accumulates dirt and grime. This is particularly an issue of concern for units in areas where the air quality is poor (e.g., people smoke in the home or facility). In some cases, the condenser can become blocked by debris that gets into the air conditioner because of storms or other environmental issues.
A dirty or blocked condenser can make it difficult for air to flow through which, in turn, may cause the coils to freeze up. When this happens, the unit turns itself off prematurely to thaw out and then back on again a few minutes later when prompted by the thermostat.
You can determine if a blocked condenser unit is the problem if your home or office isn't getting as cool as it used to. This is because the condenser's efficiency is reduced, making it struggle to achieve the desired temperature.
Taking an afternoon to clean the condenser, evaporator, and other accessible parts of your air conditioner should help resolve this problem.
The Unit is Oversized
Another reason why your air conditioner may be cycling on a frequent basis is because it's too big for the area it's cooling. Many people think a bigger air conditioner is better. While it's true an oversized unit will cool the space quicker, it will also cause the appliance to wear out sooner because the unit turns on more often as the temperature climbs and falls more often per hour.
Another problem with an oversize unit is it won't properly dehumidify the space. Because the area cools faster, the air conditioner doesn't stay on long enough to evaporate excess water from the air. The result is higher humidity that makes the space uncomfortable and can contribute to mold growth.
An oversized air conditioner may be the problem if the unit turns on more than 2-3 times per hour but otherwise keeps the area cool. If your unit is at the end of its lifecycle, then it's best to replace it with something more suitable. An air conditioner specialist can help you measure the space and determine what size you actually need. Otherwise, you can mitigate the effects of an oversized A/C unit by using a dehumidifier to extract excess moisture and keeping the temperature as high as comfortable to minimize the number of times the machine turns on.
For more information about this problem or assistance with repairing your appliance, contact an air conditioner repair company such as Glendale Heating & Air Conditioning.