8 Reasons Your AC Keeps Turning Off

ac keeps shutting off

Very little can be worse than needing to question, “Why does my air conditioner turn off by itself”, especially during the hot summer months. Dealing with an air conditioner that keeps turning off on its own can be a hassle, especially when trying to beat the heat. But fear not! There are several common reasons why your AC might be shutting off unexpectedly. 

However, there are several common reasons why this might be happening. In this article, we will explore the factors that can cause your AC to turn off intermittently, leaving you sweating and searching for answers. So, let’s dive into the possible causes behind your AC’s mysterious behavior.

Thermostat Issues

One of the most common culprits behind your AC turning off on its own is a problem with the thermostat. The thermostat acts as the control center for your cooling system, and if it’s not functioning properly, it can send incorrect signals to the AC unit. This can result in frequent shutdowns or an inability to maintain a consistent temperature. 

Ensure your thermostat is set to the desired temperature and calibrated correctly. If you suspect a problem with the thermostat, it may be necessary to replace it or have it serviced by a professional.


One of the more common answers to “Why does my air conditioner turn off by itself” is overheating. An overheating AC unit can also cause it to turn off unexpectedly. When the system becomes too hot, a safety feature kicks in and shuts down the unit to prevent damage. Overheating can occur for various reasons, including dirty or clogged air filters, blocked condenser coils, malfunctioning fans, or refrigerant leaks. 

Regular maintenance and cleaning of your AC system can prevent overheating and ensure optimal performance.

Electrical Problems

Electrical problems can be a major culprit behind your AC’s persistent turning off. When there are issues with the electrical components of your cooling system, it can disrupt the proper functioning of your AC and lead to frequent shutdowns. Faulty wiring, loose connections, or tripped circuit breakers are some of the common electrical problems that can affect your AC’s performance.

If the wiring within your AC unit is damaged or frayed, it can interrupt the flow of electricity and cause the system to shut off unexpectedly. Loose connections can create intermittent power supply issues, resulting in the AC turning off randomly. A tripped circuit breaker can also indicate an overload or short circuit, causing the breaker to trip and cutting off power to your AC.

If you suspect an electrical issue, it’s recommended to consult a qualified technician to diagnose and resolve the problem.

Low Refrigerant Levels

Refrigerant is the lifeblood of your air conditioning system, responsible for absorbing and releasing heat to cool the air. If your AC is running low on refrigerant due to leaks or improper installation, it can cause the unit to shut off intermittently. 

Low refrigerant levels affect the cooling efficiency and further damage the compressor. It’s essential to have a professional technician inspect and repair any refrigerant leaks to keep your AC running smoothly.

Dirty or Blocked Condenser Unit

The condenser unit plays a crucial role in your AC system by dissipating heat from the refrigerant and expelling it outside. However, if the condenser coils or fins are dirty or blocked by debris, it can impede the heat transfer process and be the answer to “Why does my ac keep shutting off”. 

Regular cleaning and maintenance of the condenser unit, including removing any accumulated dirt, leaves, or obstructions, can help prevent this issue and ensure proper airflow.

Inadequate Airflow

Inadequate airflow is another common culprit behind the question “Why does my air conditioner turn off by itself”. When your air conditioning system doesn’t receive proper airflow, it can lead to various issues that result in frequent shutdowns. Insufficient airflow is typically caused by several factors, including clogged air filters, blocked vents or registers, or problems with the blower motor or fan.

To ensure adequate airflow, it’s essential to keep the area around your AC unit clear and free from obstructions. Regularly cleaning or replacing air filters, checking vents and registers for blockages, and scheduling routine maintenance can all contribute to maintaining proper airflow and preventing your AC from turning off unexpectedly.

System Age and Wear

Like any mechanical system, your AC unit will experience wear and tear over time. Aging components, worn-out motors, or general inefficiency can contribute to frequent shutdowns. If your AC is older and has been giving you persistent problems, consider a replacement to avoid ongoing repairs, improve energy efficiency, and stop the reason your AC keeps shutting off.

Incorrect Sizing or Installation

Incorrect sizing or installation of your AC system can lead to a range of issues, including frequent shutdowns. When an AC unit is oversized or undersized for the space it’s intended to cool, it can result in inefficient operation and constant on-off cycling.

If you keep asking, “Why does my AC keep turning off” and suspect that your AC system is improperly sized or installed, it’s advisable to consult with an HVAC professional. They can evaluate the current system, and recommend the appropriate steps to address the issue. Upgrading to a properly sized and installed AC system can result in improved cooling performance, reduced energy use, and fewer instances of the unit turning off unexpectedly.

Remember, incorrect sizing or installation affects the comfort and efficiency of your AC system and can lead to ongoing maintenance issues and costly repairs. By addressing these concerns, you can ensure that your AC operates smoothly and reliably, without the inconvenience of frequent shutdowns.


There are various reasons why your AC may keep turning off by itself. From thermostat issues and overheating to electrical problems, low refrigerant levels, and inadequate airflow, each of these factors can disrupt the normal operation of your air conditioner. 

The good news is that most of these issues can be addressed with proper maintenance, timely repairs, and professional assistance when needed. By understanding the common causes of AC shutdowns and taking proactive steps to resolve them, you can enjoy uninterrupted coolness and comfort in your home. 

So, don’t let a misbehaving AC ruin your summer; take action and get your cooling system back on track by calling us at Hurliman Heating & Air Conditioning.

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