Through the course of its life, an air conditioning system can run into several different types of malfunctions. Being both a symptom and an underlying problem, short cycling is one of the more common. An air conditioner is short cycling if it begins to turn on and off rapidly over a short period of time, about four times or more during an hour. It is important to not shrug off an air conditioning unit that is short cycling. Because it indicates underlying problems, when this major malfunction occurs, you want to hire a professional AC contractor for repairs. Today, we at Ambient Heating & Air Conditioning would like to discuss the trouble that comes from short cycling.
What is Short Cycling in an AC Control System?
When the compressor turns on, an air conditioner runs in cooling cycles. With enough time for the AC to evenly distribute cooling around the house, the average cooling cycle lasts for 15 minutes or more. It signals the AC to cycle down when the thermostat registers that the air conditioner has reached the target temperature. Until the thermostat detects that it needs to turn back on, the air conditioner will remain off. Short cycling is when something interrupts the cooling cycle and stops it after less than 10 minutes, only for the AC to turn back on a short time later. As a result, the air conditioner will turn on and off rapidly and more often than it’s designed to.
Should I Turn My AC Off if it is Short Cycling?
For several reasons, short cycling is a problem. A large amount of strain is placed on the system from the constant start-stop. It will eventually lead to an early breakdown and replacement as the number of repairs the AC needs increases. Continually restarting will place a larger drain on power and you will see an increase in the electrical bills because the air conditioning system draws on the most power during start-up. Also, uneven cooling and hot spots are inevitable since short cycles will not allow an AC enough time to evenly distribute cooling around the rooms. If you are experiencing short cycling, you should call an AC contractor.
What Causes Short Cycling?
There are several issues that can cause the air conditioner to short cycle. Because of this, you need a professional to diagnose the problem and make an accurate repair. Below are some of the most common causes of short cycling:
– Uncalibrated Thermostat
– Refrigerant Leaks
– Air Conditioner is Oversized
– Evaporator Coil is Frozen
– Condenser Coil is Filthy
– Clogged Air Filter
– Ductwork has leaks
– Air Conditioner is Old
How Do You Fix Short Cycling?
Change a dirty filter if you have a short cycling AC to see if this remedies the issue. An aging AC or one that was incorrectly sized when installed will require replacing of the entire air conditioning system on the other hand. You will need HVAC professionals to do a targeted repair to get the air conditioner back to normal cycling in most cases.
My AC is Continuously Running
An air conditioner that won’t cycle down is another common problem, though no one in the HVAC industry uses the term “long-cycling.” This is also a problem that requires the help of professionals. You will want that fixed before the AC wears down and leaves you with a steep electrical bill if you hear the AC running all the time, even if it isn’t providing cooling.
Central Air Conditioning Maintenance, Repairs, Replacement, Emergency Repairs & More in Springfield, Granby, Holyoke, South Hadley, Monson, Chicopee & Agawam, Massachusetts
When it comes to your air conditioning services, call in the professionals of Ambient Heating & Air Conditioning for your repair, maintenance, installation and replacement services.