We just bought a GE window air conditioner. After installation, we turned it on and found that the compressor runs for 8-10 seconds, then shuts off for 1 minute (fan continues to run). The instruction manual says this on/off cycle is normal. But after several hours, the room has not cooled at all from the initial 82 degrees. It seems that a machine that blows warm air 88-90% of the time will never get our room cooled down. Is there a way to change this programing, so that our room can get initially cooled off?

  • Model # so the rest of us can look up more details? – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jun 20 '18 at 2:07
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    The instructions say that 8-10 second cycles are normal? That doesn’t sound right, sounds more like a defective unit. – Tyson Jun 20 '18 at 2:08
  • Sorry, I don't have the model number with me tonight. It is an 11.6 BTU unit. Instructions only said it is normal to cycle on/off. It doesn't specify how long the cycles should last. – Jon Jun 20 '18 at 2:28
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    11.6 BTU is clearly not right. Perhaps it's 11.6 kBTU/hour (which would be 4kW)? – Daniel Griscom Jun 20 '18 at 2:52
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    11.6 BTU would explain the short cycling, though ;) – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jun 20 '18 at 15:47

A typical air conditioner will cycle the compressor on/off based on the thermostat setting. Typically that means:

  • Run for a long time initially to get the room down to the set temperature - that can sometimes take hours
  • Cycle on/off with on times anywhere from (rough guess) 15 minutes to 1 hour. Longer on times, after initially reaching the set temperature, would indicate either a real hot spell or an undersized unit.

Short times - e.g., < 1 minute - are an indication of something very wrong. Every on/off cycle is wear & tear on motors and other components. Ever see the lights dim for a few seconds when your A/C starts? That's because the power draw to start the compressor can be significant. If you have a "start" every minute or so, that will lead to premature failure. If you have a "stop" every minute or so with the system restarting again - as you have described - then it sounds like something is overheating which shuts down the compressor, then it cools and restarts again very quickly. Not normal - and not good for the unit or for keeping you cool.

Since you just bought it, I suggest a call to GE to find out what might be the cause and to ask for a warranty repair if needed. If this were an old unit then I'd recommend checking filters and other types of problems.

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    If you just bought it, you should return it for a warranty replacement – d.george Jun 20 '18 at 9:40

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