What Can Cause Your Air Conditioner To Shut Off Early, Even After Maintenance?

Posted on: 15 December 2022

With how interconnected your air conditioner's components are, sometimes you may continue to experience problems after maintenance work is done. If your air conditioner keeps shutting off early even if all its parts are in good shape, this might mean there's a more subtle problem at work. Your HVAC technician can help you diagnose and repair these issues to get your air conditioner working properly again.

Clogged Drain Line

The drain line carries moisture away from your air conditioner and out of your house. Water is constantly pulled from the air as it goes through the cooling process, and if this water can't get drained properly, it will back up into your air conditioner and house. In many models, this will trip a safety mechanism designed to stop the air conditioner and prevent flooding. While this means your home likely won't suffer water damage, it does mean your air conditioner will shut off early until the clog is cleared.

Your technician can clear this drain for you as part of repairs and maintenance, though you can also try it yourself if you know where your drain is. Traditional plumbing snakes may not be long enough to get deep into the drain, but they can clear clogs near both ends of the drain pipe. If you have a wet/dry vacuum, you can also use this to attempt to clean the drain pipe.

Circuit Issue

Another issue that can cause your air conditioner to shut off early is the circuit itself. One common sign of a circuit issue is if the breaker trips regularly and needs constant resetting, but a circuit can fail even without tripping the breaker. If there are any wiring issues or if the circuit is overloaded, it can result in your air conditioner shutting off early, and this can be a problem even if the breaker box looks fine at a glance.

Because electrical issues come with the risk of serious damage, it's a good idea to ask your technician to investigate this possibility if you think you might have electrical problems. If the breaker is very hot, if you notice any burn marks, or if the breaker switch is stuck or hard to move, these are signs this could be your problem.

Thermostat Failure

Sometimes the problem can be with your thermostat itself. One common cause for thermostat-related issues is low or dead batteries, so if your thermostat isn't connected to your home's power, check its batteries and look for signs of terminal corrosion; cleaning your battery terminals can help if there is corrosion. If you have to constantly reset your thermostat's settings, or if the temperature displayed on the screen doesn't match what's in your house, these are also signs your thermostat can be failing. A failing thermostat won't be able to control your air conditioner as consistently, so it may be time to have it replaced.

Getting a new thermostat gives you the opportunity to explore new features, such as smart home device connections, automatic adjustments based on weather conditions, and detailed scheduling options. These can all improve energy efficiency and convenience, so if it's time for a new thermostat, ask your technician what options might best suit your home.

Speak to an AC repair service to learn more.