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The Problem With Short Cycling

Monday, March 7th, 2022 at 11:00 am

portrait of Hands of woman holding white paper houseWhen you turn on your air conditioner, how long do you expect it to run? Some homeowners are so accustomed to their air conditioner short cycling that they don’t even realize they have a problem.

Short cycling occurs when your AC shuts on and off repeatedly before it’s been able to effectively cool your home, and it’s one of the leading cases for air conditioning repair in Indian Harbour Beach, FL.

At Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. we diagnose and repair short cycling year-round. As winter begins to shift into spring, now is the perfect time to pay close attention to your HVAC and air conditioner’s health.

If you experience short cycling, there are several potential risks and causes to know about. In this blog post, we’ll cover what short cycling is in a bit more detail, as well as take a closer look at why it occurs and potential side-effects.

What Is Short Cycling?

An air conditioner short cycles when it shuts off and turns back on before it completes a full cooling cycle. It can be a problem in and of itself while also a warning sign of another issue with part of your air conditioner.

The term comes from the start-up cycle, the initial phase of air conditioning that activates the air conditioner or heat pump. When this cycle works properly, the compressor moves hot air from outdoors into refrigerant, which is then cooled.

The heated refrigerant vapor then returns to the compressor, where it is cycled back outside and cool air is delivered to the home.

When an AC short cycles, the compressor shuts off before the cooling cycle ends. This can cause heat to get trapped in the system, leading to strain, burnt components and, eventually, premature breakdowns.

Cause of Short Cycling

There are several potential causes for short-cycling, and it’s important to have a professional inspect your AC if you recognize any of these. Because short cycling can indicate deeper problems beyond the compressor, you need a professional’s keen eye to get to the root of the problem.

  • A dirty air filters. You must replace your air filter regularly to protect your home’s air quality and your system. Clogged air filters make it harder for air to move in and out of your AC, so it can lead to over-exertion and cause short cycling.
  • Your air conditioner is too big or too small for your home. Calculating HVAC loads is all part of the job for a technician. This is how they determine the appropriate size for every property. If your AC unit is too small for your home, or too big, it will not be able to heat or cool efficiently.
  • Refrigerant leaks. Leaking refrigerant, or a low supply, can cause ice to form around the evaporator coils and make the compressor stop early.
  • Out-of-sync thermostat. The compressor may stop the cooling cycle if your air conditioning unit is not calibrated properly to your thermostat. Luckily, this is an easy fix for a professional that can not only fix the problem but make your entire system run more efficiently.

What Happens If Your Air Conditioner Short-Cycles for Too Long?

The consequences of short cycling can range from increased energy bills to broken parts and, in prolonged cases, total breakdowns. Getting your system inspected by a professional at the first sign of trouble not only saves you money but can extend the lifespan of your HVAC.

Contact Next Generation Air & Heat, Inc. today to schedule an appointment with our professionals.

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