I live in an apartment and have called maintenance many time over this issue so I hope someone can help me.

My AC UNIT is set to 73 degrees. My AC will not switch on until the thermostat says 77 degrees, sometimes warmer. I feel like it is a sauna in here. When it finally kicks on, it cools for a couple of hours until it cool to 71 degrees (2 degrees under set temp). I am an ice cube at this point because it has been running so long.

I thought AC was supposed to stay a pretty consistent temp?

I am a 22 year old and if my body can not handle the ups and downs of the house, surely my 4 month old can not either.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Does your apartment building use individual residential-type A/C units (outside unit per apartment) or a central chiller system? Aug 1, 2016 at 2:37
  • Individual units per apartment.
    – Seana
    Aug 1, 2016 at 2:38
  • 1
    Many many people throughout the world (and even in the USA, including southern states) live in homes without any air conditioning at all. Both you and your 4 month old child can handle 6 degree temperature swings. You may not be as comfortable as you otherwise would be, but you can both handle it. That doesn't mean it can't be improved, but your landlord may have no legal obligation to improve it.
    – Johnny
    Aug 1, 2016 at 3:36
  • Is your thermostat electronic (with a electronic display that tells you the temperature or is it the older style that has a pointer to the temperature?
    – Eric Mark
    Aug 1, 2016 at 4:02
  • 1
    Johnny, your comment is unwarranted and the last part of your post is all I needed. But thank you.
    – Seana
    Aug 1, 2016 at 16:13

2 Answers 2


Thermostat controls will always have some hysteresis between the ON detect temperature and the shut back off temperature. This is necessary so that the AC unit wouldn't be toggling on and off all the time at a rapid rate.

More exact control is possible with a more expensive temperature control but that normally requires that the AC unit have an ability to operate an a variable mode other than straight OFF and ON.

It is possible that the thermostat that you have is really cheap or out of adjustment and leads in part to the behavior that you are experiencing. The wide range behavior can also be caused by a situation where the thermostat and the temperature setting controls are mounted separately from each other or not in optimum placement. There is also the possibility that the scale of the thermostat setting and the temperature monitor are not in agreement.


Does it feel like you have good air circulation from the unit? It may be that the area you occupy isn't simply isn't at the same temperature as the area the AC unit is sensing. Maybe using a floor fan or the like to ensure that the area stays at a more uniform temperature will help so that you and the thermostat feel the same thing...

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