AC Short Cycling: The Causes and Why It's a Problem

29 July 2020
 Categories: , Blog

If you realize that your air conditioner is turning off and on more frequently than usual and the temperature inside of your house is not cool, there is a chance that your air conditioning system is going through a process known as short cycling. Keep reading to learn what causes your air conditioner to short cycle and why it can be a significant problem for your system.

What Are the Causes of AC Short Cycling?

When it comes to the short cycling of your air conditioning system, there can be multiple causes. Some of the more common causes of this problem include the following:

  • Clogged AC Filter – Ideally, you should inspect your AC's air filter once monthly. If the filter is dirty to the point that you are unable to see light through it, the filter needs to be cleaned or replaced, depending on the type of filter you have.
  • Refrigerant Leak – When your system has a refrigerant leak, you will normally hear a hissing sound coming from the system. Unfortunately, this is not as easy of a fix as a clogged filter. In this case, you will need help from a professional.
  • Thermostat Issues – When your thermostat is not working correctly, you should turn the thermostat off and remove any dust buildup from the interior of the unit. Switch the thermostat back on. If this doesn't solve the issues you are having with the thermostat, contact a professional.
  • Too Large of a Unit – In some cases, when you are having an issue with your air conditioner properly cooling your home, it may be a result of the unit being too large for the size of your house. You will need to contact a professional to help you size an AC system for your home.

Why Is Short Cycling Not Good for Your Air Conditioner?

Short cycling causes your air conditioning unit to turn off and on frequently. This can result in significant wear and tear on the components of your AC and will waste energy. Unfortunately, this will lead to repair bills that occur on a more frequent basis and that are more expensive.

When your air conditioner is continuously cycling on and off, your unit is not getting a sufficient break or effectively cooling your home. As a result, you experience a more expensive utility bill. In addition, this excess wear and tear reduces the overall lifespan of your AC, resulting in the need to replace it years sooner.

If you think that your air conditioning unit is short cycling, you should first check the filter and ensure it is not clogged. If the filter is good, then you should contact a home air conditioning repair company for assistance.