A short cycling air conditioner is a problem we see often. It’s one that can be a symptom of a greater problem, but also an issue that homeowners rarely know the detriments of. From refrigerant leaks to a botched installation, there can be many causes of a short cycling air conditioner, and the first important step is to notice the problem in the first place.
This blog post is sort of a PSA about the problems with short cycling and how to detect it. For any customers wondering if they need air conditioning repair in Nashville, TN, for a short cycling AC, then the answer is “absolutely.” But detecting the short cycling system and targeting the root cause of the problem is a bit more complicated.
Let’s discuss short cycling. What it is, how it happens, and if your system is suffering from this problem right now.
What Is Short Cycling?
Short cycling is a term widely used in the HVAC industry denoting a specific event. When your air conditioner runs in short, frequent cycles that seem to last only a few minutes, then it’s likely the victim of short cycling.
This problem might not seem that bad, since your home still gets relatively cool and comfortable, but the longevity and efficiency of your air conditioner is going to be harmed in the process.
Short cycling can wear down the components of your system since it’s starting up and shutting down more frequently. Because these are also the most energy intensive parts of the cooling process, a short cycling air conditioner will also consume more electricity than a normally functioning one. This leads to your home efficiency deteriorating and the system being worn down. Eventually, you could even see the system require an early replacement since the components have been broken down due to heavy use and long-term short cycling. A normal air conditioner is not supposed to function like this.
How Short Cycling Starts
Short cycling starts in a variety of different ways, but here are just a few causes of this unique problem.
- A refrigerant leak. Without enough refrigerant, an air conditioner can start short cycling to compensate.
- A broken compressor. If a component is broken in the compressor, it could cause the system to shut down abruptly and restart again when the temperature gets too high. This can be a more expensive problem to fix and one that might warrant a system replacement.
- An electrical problem. If your system keeps tripping circuits or running into electrical issues, it could cause short cycling.
- The system is oversized. An air conditioner that is too large will cool a home down too quickly. This can only be fixed with a whole system replacement.
Short cycling is an insidious problem. It can manifest right under your nose and cause you to spend more money on your utility bills for months or even years before you notice that it’s a problem. It might be time to schedule a repair if you suspect your system is short cycling.
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