Why Does My Window Air Conditioner Turn Off By Itself?

Updated: Feb 15, 2024 5:12 PM

Even if you have a top-tier air conditioner, common issues can cause window unit power problems. A faulty air conditioner that gets intermittent power will shut off before reaching a comfortable temperature, leading to hot and stale indoor air. Luckily, the most common window air conditioning problems only require simple repair or maintenance measures. Stick around to learn, “Why does my AC window unit keep turning off?” so you can lower your indoor temperatures.

Key Takeaways_

  • Electrical issues are the most common cause of a window AC that keeps turning off.
  • Plug your router into the wall and connect an Ethernet cable between the router and modem.
  • A dirty air filter or compressor problem can trigger an internal safety switch that kills power to the AC.

insider tip

Always call a licensed air conditioning repair technician to refill your refrigerant level, as it is illegal for unlicensed users to handle AC refrigerants.

Why is My Window Air Conditioning Unit Shutting Off

Power issues on an AC unit can cause frozen evaporator and condenser coils and loud noises from the fan motor or other parts. One of the most common reasons for frozen evaporator coils is a lack of airflow from blocked air filters or restricted ductwork. For example, you might be wondering why your AC stops working at night, which means that it might have a refrigerant leak. Or, for other issues, you may need to read our page on how to fix a portable air conditioner.

STAT: A 2020 US EIA (Energy Information Agency) survey found that 50% of homes with a window air conditioner unit make less than $40,000 per year. (source)

These issues can raise your energy bills and decrease the comfort levels in your home. To avoid this, make sure to check the thermostat settings and any electrical components regularly to help reduce energy costs. Luckily, many power problems have simple solutions that you can fix by yourself rather than let them persist for months on end.

Check Your Control Panel

Ensure that your window AC’s thermostat is set to your preferred temperature and that the AC remote is operational. Additionally, find your timer settings and make sure that the AC isn’t set to power down automatically. This will help you save on cooling costs over a period of time and ensure that the AC does not experience additional wear.

Bad Wall Outlet or Power Cord

Try plugging your wall unit into an alternate wall outlet and see if you get continuous power. Additionally, a faulty power cord can disrupt the power supply to the AC unit after a few minutes, resulting in intermittent cooling cycles. If you’re unable to get a stable, constant power connection, we recommend hiring a professional electrician to check the power cord plug for any potential issues.

Dirty Air Filter

Dirty filters can constrict the air supply to your system, resulting in an overheating AC unit. To reduce the risk of your unit overheating, you should check and replace your clogged filters, dirty AC filter, or clogged air filter regularly. Some air conditioners feature a safety switch that automatically cuts power to the AC when it overheats.

Faulty Thermostat Sensor

An AC with a bad thermostat sensor cannot sense the actual temperature of your space, leading to cooling issues. The unit will shut off quickly when the broken thermostat signals that your room is cool before the cycle is done.


Disconnect your AC from power before investigating an AC system’s electrical supply or other individual components.

Bad Compressor Motor

The AC compressor handles the liquid refrigerant in your air conditioner. If your AC unit is suddenly not working, it could be a sign of a compressor issue. To diagnose the problem, you should have an experienced technician inspect the air conditioner compressor for any faults. Some AC models have a compressor circuit that cuts power to the unit if the compressor goes bad. This is a serious problem that usually calls for an AC replacement.

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