Why Does My Air Conditioner Start and Stop?

Does your air conditioner start and stop too frequently? Have you ever noticed it turns off before your house is fully cooled? The most common cause of this is a problem called short-cycling.

Short-cycling happens for a variety of reasons from electrical wiring to air conditioner size. However, our technicians at Hans Heating and Air are available 24/7/365 to service your air conditioner and properly replace or fix the issue at hand.

Frequent Air Conditioner Start and Stop Causes

Clogged Air Filter

If air filters aren’t replaced regularly, the buildup causes your air conditioner to work twice as hard to provide good airflow. Dirt, dust and other particles cause your air conditioner to overcompensate for the low airflow it receives. The extra work causes your system to overheat and shut off before it has fully cooled your home.

Oversized Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner is too large for your house, the unit quickly cools your house then shuts off. This causes your air conditioner to start and stop without fully cooling the whole home. It leads to expensive energy bills, more maintenance calls and uneven cooling in your house.


Electrical issues can also cause an air conditioner to start and stop frequently. Defective wiring and control boards can cause your air conditioner to start and stop at the wrong times.

Thermostat Location

The location of the thermostat matters! If it’s in direct sunlight or near a heat source, for example, it affects the thermostat’s readings. It’s best for the thermostat to be in an interior room or hallway.

Low Refrigerant

Much like a clogged air filter, low levels of freon can cause excess stress on your system and overwork the unit. This can also lead to overheating and, in turn, frequent starting and stopping.

Risks of an Air Conditioner Start and Stop Pattern

The chances of breakdowns double when a unit is short-cycling. The system works hardest when it is trying to reach the target temperature. Short-cycling causes it to wear down and become overworked.

Because the air conditioner can never move past the startup cycle, it doesn’t have the ability to properly keep your home cooled. This also has a big impact on moisture control and the amount of humidity in your house.

Solutions to Air Conditioner Start and Stop Problems

Should your system be too big for your house, we have several options to replace it with the properly sized unit. In addition, Hans is happy to take a look at your filters, wiring and unit to ensure everything is clean, filled and wired properly. If the issue is the wrong-sized air conditioner, we are happy to provide an estimate for an air conditioning replacement.

We also offer an Express Comfort Priority Service Membership free to our customers. Join today and if your air conditioner improperly cools your house, membership offers a V.I.P. rapid response priority service.

This guarantees same day services and a 15 percent discount to the day’s repairs and any future repairs.

Air Conditioner Start and Stop Cycles Driving You Crazy? Call Hans Heating and Air!

In conclusion, if you’re tired of a constant air conditioner start and stop situation, request an appointment with Hans Heating and Air. The causes behind your uneven temperatures range from simple fixes to the need for a new HVAC system. We run our company 24/7 to ensure you stay cool, safe and happy with the cooling services we can provide.

You’ll see our trucks serving customers throughout the Montgomery, Alabama area, including Wetumpka, Pike Road, Hope Hull, Millbrook and Prattville. Call us at 334-721-8437 for HVAC help today.

Return back to all blogs

Stay In Touch

Keep up with the latest tips and special deals - 
subscribe to our monthly newsletter.