However, summer is always associated with higher temperatures, so people prefer staying inside. Hence, they have to use air conditioners to not sweat a lot. However, your AC compressor turns off after being on for two or three minutes. In that case, this is frustrating because your air conditioner may not work perfectly. This problem may arise due to different factors, discussed below, and appropriate recommendations for resolving it.

AC compressor

Understanding How AC Compressor Works

First, let us briefly learn how an air conditioner works before we delve into the causes. Any air conditioning system is based on its AC compressor. The device is responsible for compressing the evaporating refrigerant gas, thus cooling the air, subsequently giving the whole cooling process an overall effect. After that, the refrigerant gas will continuously circulate within the unit, causing the hot air in the room to drag itself into the AC system. As a result, the refrigerant gas absorbs and cools the air inside the room through the evaporator coils outside the room. The process goes on till the required room temperature is reached.

Reasons Why AC Compressor Stops Running

Now that we have understood how a typical AC works let us look at why you may find your AC compressor switched off after just two to three minutes of operation.

Dirty Air Filters

Clogged and dirty air filters are one of the most prevalent reasons for stopping the AC compressor. The purpose of air filters is to clean the air by removing any debris and particles; however, over time, dirt and debris start building up, clogging these filters. The compressor will automatically stop operating due to a low supply of the required air because restricted airflow occurs.

Solution: Changing air filters regularly is one of the solutions, as it prevents clogging while ensuring sufficient airflow for the system. Most manufacturers usually advise on the replacement of filters after a month.

Low Refrigerant Levels

Air-conditioning requires a refrigerant as it’s necessary for the process to occur. The compressor in the air conditioning process is liable to fail when low pressure is experienced, causing the shutdown of the system. Refrigerant leaks can cause low levels.

Solution: Contact a professional HVAC technician. The technician detects, repairs the leak, and refills the refrigerant to proper levels.

Electrical Issues

The electrical system provides the power to run the compressor. Thus, any fault in this system can cause the compressor to stop working. These problems may arise in a power connection, such as faulty wires or trip breakers.

Solution: If you notice an electrical problem, shut off the AC and call a trained HVAC technician for help.

Compressor Overheating

Therefore, various reasons may lead to overheating of the compressor. The compressor may also have failed to cool due to a dirty outdoor unit restricting the airflow. It might overheat and cause the compressors to stop working.

Solution: Professional HVAC technicians should do regular maintenance checks to help them discover the problem’s origin before it becomes huge and stops or shuts down the compressor right after a few minutes of its operation.

Purchasing an adequate-sized AC unit

Homeowners often fall into a trap where they purchase a unit bigger than the size of their living area. Large AC units tend to cool the rooms very fast, which triggers the compressor switch off as soon as the indicated temperature is reached.

Solution: Buy a mini split AC system with the correct size of your home spaces. Seek a professional technician’s advice on the appropriate size of an air conditioner for your house.


In a warm summer session, shutting down an AC compressor that has run for a few minutes is an irritant. Should you get it, don’t be anxious. There are numerous causes of this problem, such as a dirty air filter, undercharged fridge, electric issues, heated compressor, and you have purchased an air-conditioner bigger than the required size for the home area. The ideal approach, however, is getting in touch with a knowledgeable HVAC technician. It will be possible for regular checking to locate the trouble spot before it worsens, maintaining the efficiency of your AC system so that you enjoy coolness and comfort at home.

FAQs for ( AC Compressor )

Q: An explanation of the question, “What is an air conditioner compressor?”

A: An air compressor is the main component of an air conditioning cooling unit. It helps cool the refrigerant by compressing it into a gaseous state. The cooled refrigerant flows back and circulates through the evaporator coils, removing heat from the room air.

Q: Why do most air conditioner compressors tend to shut down after just two or three minutes?

A: There are a few possible reasons why your AC compressor might shut off after 2-3 minutes:

Clogged air filter: Airflow to the evaporator coil may be limited if the air filter is blocked. It may result in an overheating and subsequent closure of the compressor.

Low refrigerant levels: You will find that the refrigerant levels might be too low, forcing the compressor to work hard to cool the air inside the house or office. The compressor may overheat, resulting in its shutdown.

Electrical problems: The compressor may fail due to a bad electrical connection or component.

Compressor overheating: When it gets hot, it shuts off to avoid damaging itself. Some reasons for this include dirty or blocked air filters, low refrigerant levels, and condenser coil problems.

Incorrectly sized AC unit: A large AC unit for a small space will also chill the rooms off very rapidly. This will intermittently make the compressor close down.

Q: What should you do when your air filter is blocked up?

A: The air filter should also be removed and replaced by a new one. Ensure you select the right-sized filter for your HVAC system.

Q: How do I know when there is not enough refrigerant? 

A: You will require a refrigerant pressure gauge to determine the refrigerant level in your system. Most of the time, one can hire a drill from the home improvement store, which is convenient and easily accessible. To employ the gauge, connect it to the refrigerant ports of your AC device. Therefore, you must insert refrigerant oil if you do not have enough pressure.

Q: What makes me repair electrical defects in an Air-Cons case?

A: However, if you note that you have a probable electric fault, you should call a registered electrical contractor. It will enable them to diagnose and safely repair the machine effectively.

Q: How can I keep my AC compressor from getting too hot?

A: Changing the air filter often and checking on the refrigerant protects your AC compressor if you don’t let it get too hot. Therefore, it is essential to inspect and service your air conditioner regularly by an experienced person.

Q: What can I do if the AC compressor goes off?

A: You should allow an experienced and certified HVAC technician to diagnose why your AC compressor keeps switching off or restarting. They can identify the problems’ causes and suggest the best solution.

Q: How do I ensure I don’t acquire an AC of the wrong size?

A: A homeowner should always seek the advice of a professional HVAC technician when selecting an AC unit. That is because they will assist you in choosing the correct sized AC units for your home.

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