Your air conditioning system needs to go through cycles in order to keep your home cool and to work properly. It will turn on and off as your home gets to the correct temperature. This cycling is the work of the compressor. While cycling is natural, it should occur at regular intervals. When these intervals are not occurring regularly or at even intervals, it is a problem called short cycling. This is an issue that you need to be aware of and handle right away or it could result in major problems with your AC system.
When an AC short cycles, it makes the compressor work too hard. It also prevents the AC from doing its job. You may notice your home is not cooling down like it should. It can also lead to high energy bills. The biggest issue with short cycling is that it can cause your AC parts to wear out faster and lead to a breakdown of the whole system.
Reasons It Happens
One of the best ways to stop AC short cycling is to get to the heart of the problem. There are actually many things that can cause it to occur. Some of the issues are rather easy to fix while others are rather major and will require the help of an experienced HVAC technician.
One issue that you may be able to check yourself is the filter. Sometimes the filter gets clogged and this will affect the system’s airflow. When this happens, the AC may overheat and shut down too soon. After it shuts down, the system realizes it needs to cycle again to fix the overheating issue. This is when the short cycling occurs.
Another cause is an AC that is not the right size. A too small AC will have to work much harder and constantly cycle in order to keep your home cool. One that is too big will cool down your home too fast, so the cycles will be shorter than they should be. Either way, the system is being put under stress. It will lead to other problems eventually. While you can fix this issue yourself by getting a properly sized AC, you should consult with a professional to find out the correct size of system you need so the problem doesn’t happen again.
You may also be able to correct issues with refrigerant levels. Low refrigerant can cause overheating of the system, which leads to it working harder. However, if you do not know much about AC systems, you may want to get help with this from someone who does know. Too much refrigerant can be an issue too, so you have to make sure it is at the proper level.
Your evaporator coils may also signal an issue. If they get frozen over, this will cause malfunctioning of the system and lead to short cycling. Again, if you know enough about the system, you can check this, but it is a sign of more serious problems, so you should get it checked out by an technician.
The issue sometimes isn’t with simple parts. It could be electrical. If there are issues with the electrical system in your AC, this will cause cycling trouble. You may not be able to determine this on your own unless you know about electrical systems.
Stopping Short Cycles
The good news is that short cycling doesn’t have to happen. You can easily prevent it by getting your AC system installed by a professional, which will help ensure it is the right size and all parts of the system are working correctly, and by having routine maintenance done. Through routine maintenance, you will be able to catch issues before they become problematic.
Short cycling is a serious issue that needs attention. However, if you are keeping up on maintenance and paying attention to your system, you should be able to catch issues and keep your system running properly.