When you have your home’s air conditioner running for a short time and then turning off, this is a common problem known as “short cycling.” Short cycling can be harmful to the air conditioning unit and even increase your power bill. There can be a number of problems that can lead to short cycling with your home air conditioner. North Country Aire will share what can cause short cycling, what you be done to correct this problem, and assure you stay cool this summer.
Oversized Air Conditioning Unit
One common problem in short cycling is often found with oversized units. Some homeowners will buy a larger unit in hope it will cool the home down more effectively and save them money. As this may seem to work in theory, that is not how air conditioning systems work. When an oversized unit is used in the home, the air doesn’t dehumidify correctly. As a result, the air will become damp and clammy. The excess moisture in the air can alter the temperature rapidly which causes the air conditioner to switch on and off or short cycle. Again, short cycling is never good on the homeowner’s bill, or for the air conditioning unit. Air conditioning systems are designed to cool the interior space of the home and it is important to match the unit size with the space it is cooling for longevity and efficiency.
Dirty Air Filters in Your Home
When the air filters become too dirty, they will restrict the air flow. When the air flow is restricted, it forces the air conditioner to work harder. This can cause the unit to overheat. When the air conditioner unit overheats, it will shut off. If the filters are never changed it can result in short cycling. The unit will start up overheat and shut off suddenly many times over. It is important to make sure to maintain the air filters and change them out every three months and sometimes monthly.
Frozen Evaporator Coils
When ice builds up on the evaporator coils it often indicates there is a problem. Typically there is an air flow issue somewhere in the system. In most cases it may be the air filter needs to be changed. However, the air flow can become restricted in other areas throughout the cooling system as well. Often when the internal coils come dirty they can cause the evaporator coils to ice up. The coils often need to be cleaned to allow proper air flow. Other times the registers in the home may have been closed which also is restricting the air flow. When ice builds up, it is a sign of air restriction. This can cause the air conditioner to overheat and go into short cycling.
AC Refrigerant Leak
Refrigerant is essential. It cools the air and helps keep the condenser from overheating. When the condenser overheats it will power off the unit which is another cause of short cycling. When the home seems to stay warm or the air conditioner unit switches off early, often it is a sign of a leak. An HVAC technician can come locate the leak, repair it, and refill the refrigerant.
Thermostat Sicking Intermittently & Other Failure
The thermostat is what triggers the air conditioner unit to switch off and on when it detects the temperatures going too low or high. Often a short cycling problem can be due to a problem in the thermostat. Thermostats can malfunction, or wires can come loose. Sometimes a new thermostat is installed wrong. Often the HVAC technician can determine if there is a problem with the thermostat.