small_5834723228When your home gets too warm, you can rely on your air conditioner to kick on until it cools down to your set thermostat temperature. But sometimes air conditioners turn off too quickly before their job is complete. This is a problem known as air conditioner short cycling, and it is one of the most common issues that homeowners encounter with their cooling systems. Today we’re going to talk about what air conditioner short cycling is and some of the most common problems that cause it to happen!

What is air conditioner short cycling?

Air conditioner short cycling is a problem in which your air conditioner goes through its on-and-off cycles too frequently. When this happens, it makes it nearly impossible for your home to stay comfortable and it can be a big drain on your energy bills. In addition, frequent on-and-off cycling can put your air conditioner through a lot of stress that can lead to breakdowns.

What causes air conditioner short cycling?

Some of the most common causes of air conditioner short cycling include:

  • An oversized air conditioner. If your air conditioner was not sized properly for your home, it might be too big. An oversized air conditioner will be too powerful for your home’s specifications, so it will blast your home with cool air and shut down quickly. This can lead to large temperature swings and will put a lot of stress on your system.
  • Clogged air filter. A clogged air filter blocks your system’s airflow. This can cause your air conditioner to overheat and shut down before the cooling process is complete.
  • Frozen evaporator coils. If your evaporator coils are frozen over, your air conditioner will not be able to remove heat from your home effectively and your system is likely to malfunction and turn off.
  • Low refrigerant levels. When your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, your air conditioner runs the risk of overheating and shutting down because it will need to work harder to cool your home. Low refrigerant levels can also spark other problems that will cause your system to malfunction.
  • Electrical and/or control board issues. If your system’s electrical connections and/or control board are experiencing issues, your air conditioner will not be able to turn on and off at the right times.

Prevent air conditioner short cycling with proper maintenance

There are two important ways that you can prevent air conditioner short cycling. The first thing you can do is keep a clean air filter installed in your system. This will prevent airflow issues that will otherwise cause short cycling and a whole host of other problems. The second thing you can do is schedule an A/C tune-up every year. During your tune-up we’ll inspect your system for all of the above problems and more, which will significantly lower the chance of encountering short cycling issues during the cooling season.

If you have any questions about air conditioner short cycling, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Hydes, your Indio, CA, air conditioning contractor.

photo credit: Scott Hamlin via photopin cc