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What Is Short Cycling?

Short Cycling

If your Trussville, Alabama, air conditioner turns on and off every few minutes, you’re not alone. “Short cycling” is a common problem with AC units, and it can have negative effects on your air conditioner and the temperature of your home. Learn more about short cycling and what you can do about it.

Is Your AC Unit Short Cycling?

In order to maintain a comfortable temperature within your home, air conditioners naturally cycle on and off. However, when problems occur, systems may start cycling faster and more frequently. This is known as short cycling. This can increase the energy costs, make it harder to cool your home, and put excessive wear on your air conditioner.

Causes of Short Cycling in Air Conditioners

  • Low Refrigerant Levels – When your refrigerant is low, your system can no longer efficiently cool your home. This causes stress on many system components and results in short cycling.
  • Clogged Air Filters – If your air filter is clogged with dust and dirt, your AC will work twice as hard to compensate for the decrease in airflow. This causes pressure on internal components, which can make them overheat and create a short cycle.
  • Frozen Evaporator Coils – Evaporator coils can freeze and build up with ice. If this happens, it halts the cooling process and causes your air conditioner to shut down.
  • Improperly Sized Systems – One of the most common problems that lead to short cycling is an oversized system. If your AC is too powerful for your house size, it may cool the central parts of your home too quickly and constantly turn on and off.

Short cycling can often lead to larger problems. When you notice that your air conditioning unit is starting to turn on and off too frequently, you can check your air filter to make sure it’s clean. If it’s clogged, replace it. If that fails, call Total Comfort Heating and Air, LLC, at (205) 386-2056 or contact us online to investigate and repair your system.

Image provided by iStock

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