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What is Short Cycling for an A/C Unit?

Does your air conditioner seem to be turning itself on and off too quickly? This issue is known as short cycling, and it’s one of the most common air conditioner problems that homeowners encounter. Let’s take a look at why this problem occurs along with what you can do to fix it.

What Causes A/C Short Cycling?

Your air conditioner naturally goes through on and off cycles to maintain the temperature set on your thermostat. However, several factors can make it go through these cycles too frequently. They include:

  • An oversized unit — An A/C unit that’s too powerful for your house will cool your rooms too quickly and then shut down. This can put excess stress on components and cause frequent breakdowns.
  • Ice buildup — Iced-over evaporator coils can force your cooling system to shut off soon after turning on.
  • Refrigerant leaks — Low refrigerant levels can make the condenser overheat and cause short cycling.
  • Clogged air filter — A dirty air filter impedes your system’s airflow. An extreme air clog can make the system short cycle.
  • Faulty thermostat — Thermostat problems can also make your air conditioner short cycle.

How Can You Fix a Short-Cycling Air Conditioner?

If left unchecked, an A/C that cycles on and off in quick succession can break down frequently and cause a sharp rise in your energy bills. To correct the issue, start by checking the status of your air filter. Replace it if it’s dirty. If the problem persists, contact an HVAC expert to make the necessary repairs.

What Should You Do to Prevent Short Cycling?

You can prevent your A/C from cycling too frequently by changing your air filter regularly and scheduling professional maintenance every year. During the maintenance visit, an HVAC technician inspects your air conditioner for any of the issues that may make it short cycle. If your air conditioner is short cycling or needs maintenance in the San Antonio area, please contact the experts at Beyer Boys. With more than 40 years of collective experience, our certified technicians are more than ready to help you with all your air conditioning needs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).