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Hometown Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

Why Is My AC Short Cycling?

When it comes to AC repair, there are some issues that should be addressed sooner than others. One of these issues is short cycling. Not only does short cycling result in your home never cooling down properly, but it also causes enormous wear and tear to your system.

You need to know what short cycling is in order to understand why it’s bad. Short cycling occurs when your AC turns on, runs for 5-10 minutes, then turns itself off without completing a cooling cycle. Because startup requires the most energy, this frequent startup is bad for the system.

Let’s go over 4 common reasons behind short cycling. That way, you’ll know what to expect when you call for air conditioning repair.

1. Clogged Air Filter

You’re in luck if the air filter is what’s causing your AC to short cycle. That’s because this is a simple thing for a homeowner to check and fix. 

The air filter has a big role in your AC’s proper functioning. This filter keeps dirt, dust, and debris from entering the network of mechanical parts inside your AC. 

Your AC must have great airflow in order to function properly. Clogged air filters restrict airflow and cause the AC to work harder than it needs to. 

It can lead to short cycling problems when heat can’t escape the system and cool air can’t get in, tricking the system into thinking it’s hotter inside than it is. That’s when the AC short cycles, turning on more often without successfully cooling down the home.

2. Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant is the chemical that’s essential to your AC’s functionality. It cycles through the AC system, removes heat from inside the house, and releases it outdoors.

When a new AC is installed, it has exactly enough refrigerant that it should ever need. Refrigerant levels only become depleted when there’s a leak somewhere in the system. 

Without enough refrigerant, the system will have to work harder, which leads to overheating and short cycling.

3. Failing Compressor

Refrigerant leaks can also cause problems with the compressor. When refrigerant levels are low, the system is unable to efficiently absorb and transfer heat in and out of the home. This can cause the compressor to overheat and lead to short cycling problems. Because the compressor is an incredibly expensive part, you don’t want short cycling to continue to potentially damage this vital component.

4. Miscalibrated Thermostat

Sometimes short cycling is the result of something as simple as a miscalibrated thermostat. When it’s miscalibrated, the thermostat will incorrectly measure the temperature. In turn, this will cause the AC system to turn on and off at incorrect times.

The system will turn off prematurely and then quickly turn back on in an attempt to reach the set temperature. The thermostat will incorrectly tell the unit that the set temperature was reached or vice versa.

Don’t put your AC at risk by continuing to let it short cycle. at risk. Schedule your next air conditioning service with a trained technician and rest easy in the knowledge that our pros will get the job done right. 

Hometown Heating and Air Conditioning is your trusted resource for air conditioning services. Reach out to us today! Your comfort is our business.

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