skip to Main Content

What Is Short Cycling in an Air Conditioner and Why Do I Need It Repaired?

Short-cycling is a name for behavior from an air conditioning system where the compressor turns on and off rapidly, rather than staying on long enough to complete its cooling cycle. Short-cycling is a symptom of a malfunction somewhere in the air conditioning system, and there are numerous reasons that AC may start to act this way. To stop short-cycling, you must call on HVAC professionals to investigate and locate the cause of the malfunction and repair it.

For fast and dependable air conditioning repair in Franklin, NC, call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems.

Why Short-Cycling Occurs

Two of the most common causes for short-cycling in an air conditioner are a miscalibrated thermostat and a loss of refrigerant. A thermostat that misreads the indoor temperature will end up making the AC turn on and off at the wrong times. Fortunately, this is one of the simpler fixes for an HVAC technician. In the case of lost refrigerant, which interferes with the AC’s heat exchange process, the repairs are a bit trickier. The technician must locate where the leaks are happening, seal them, and then recharge the lost refrigerant.

In some cases, short-cycling indicates that the air conditioner was incorrectly sized when it was first installed. It is too large for space it is cooling, which makes it keep shutting off prematurely. This is one of the reasons that you must only hire professionals when it comes to air conditioning installation.

The Dangers of Short-Cycling

When an air conditioner short-cycles, it wastes energy. The system must draw the most electricity when the compressor starts up, and if the compressor is constantly turning on and off, the increase in power usage can be immense. This also raises the stress put on the compressor, and it and the motors will wear down faster. The air conditioner will require more repairs and probably have a much short lifespan than it should.

Finally, a short-cycling air conditioner will not work well at keeping a home evenly cooled. The compressor will frequently shut off before the AC has time to distribute the conditioned air throughout the rooms.

Make sure that you call on repair professionals as soon as you detect that your home’s air conditioner that is short-cycling. They will see that your air conditioner gets back to prime shape.