Is your AC unit suddenly turning on and off more frequently than usual? If so, it’s likely that your unit is short cycling. Air conditioning units typically cycle on and off every few hours in order to maintain a comfortable temperature.
However, when a unit starts to short cycle, it will turn on and off much more frequently, often after only a few minutes. This can be extremely frustrating for homeowners, as it can make it difficult to keep the house cool signals a need for AC repair. Here are some of the reasons why your AC is short cycling.
1. Low Refrigerant
The job of your air conditioner’s refrigerant is to absorb heat from your home, and then release that heat outdoors. Without enough refrigerant, your AC unit will have to work harder to cool the air, and this can lead to short cycling, which can be damaging to your system. If you notice your AC unit is short cycling, it’s important to call a professional. They will be able to check the level of refrigerant and top it up if necessary. In some cases, there may be a leak in the system, which will need to be repaired before more refrigerant can be added.
2. Clogged Air Filter
The air filter’s job is to clean the air that circulates through the AC unit by trapping dust, pollen, and other airborne particles. However, over time, the filter can become clogged with debris, causing a drop in air flow. This decrease in air flow can cause the AC unit to short cycle, turning on and off more frequently in an attempt to reach the desired temperature. In addition to being irritating to the home’s occupants, short cycling puts extra strain on the AC unit and can lead to higher energy bills. A professional can simply fix the issue by replacing the filter with a new one and making sure that there isn’t another issue causing the short cycling.
3. Miscalibrated Thermostat
Your thermostat is responsible for regulating the temperature in your home, but it can only do its job if it’s properly calibrated. If your thermostat is miscalibrated, it can cause your AC unit to short cycle. This not only wastes energy but it also puts unnecessary strain on your AC unit, which can lead to expensive repairs. A professional AC technician can recalibrate your thermostat, ensuring that it works properly and doesn’t cause your AC unit to short cycle.
In addition, the technician can also check for other potential problems that could be causing your AC unit to malfunction. By scheduling a professional to service your AC unit on a regular basis, you can keep it running smoothly and avoid expensive repairs down the road.
4. Frozen or Dirty Evaporator Coils
The evaporator coils are filled with a refrigerant that absorbs heat from the air inside your home. As the refrigerant moves through the coils, it vaporizes, creating a cooling effect. However, if the coils become frozen or dirty, they will be less effective at absorbing heat. As a result, your AC unit will have to work harder to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, leading to short cycling. If you suspect that your evaporator coils are frozen or dirty, it’s best to call a professional for help. They will be able to clean or replace the coils as needed to get your AC unit back up and running smoothly.
5. Leaky Air Ducts
Your air ducts help to circulate cool air throughout your home, and they also play a role in regulating the temperature. When air ducts are leaking, they can cause your AC unit to short cycle. This makes the unit work harder to regulate the temperature inside your home. A professional can help fix the problem by sealing the leaks and making sure that all ductwork is properly insulated. In addition, proper maintenance of your AC unit can help to prevent this problem from occurring in the first place.
6. Failing Low-Pressure Control Switch
The low-pressure control switch monitors the amount of refrigerant in the system and shuts off the compressor when the pressure gets too low. This protects the compressor from damage. However, if the low-pressure control switch fails, it can cause the compressor to keep running even when the pressure is too low. This can lead to short cycling, which puts a lot of stress on the system. A professional HVAC technician can diagnose and replace a failed low-pressure control switch, restoring your AC unit to proper working condition.
7. Oversized Unit or Undersized Unit
An oversized unit will cool your home quickly, but it will also cycle off before it has a chance to remove all the humidity from the air. This can leave your home feeling damp and uncomfortable. An undersized unit, on the other hand, will run constantly in an effort to keep up with the demand, causing it to wear out prematurely. A professional HVAC contractor can help you determine the correct unit size for your home and make sure it is properly installed. In addition, they can also perform routine maintenance to keep your unit running smoothly and help prevent short cycling.
8. Electrical System Issues
Electrical issues such as wiring problems are one of the most common causes of short cycling in AC units. Wiring problems, loose connections, and faulty circuit breakers can all contribute to short cycling. Fortunately, these problems can usually be quickly resolved by a professional AC technician.
In most cases, the technician will simply need to tighten some connections or replace a few components. However, if the electrical system is significantly damaged, it may be necessary to completely rewire the AC unit. In either case, it is important to have the problem fixed as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your AC unit.
9. Failing Compressor
The compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant throughout the system. When the compressor fails, it can cause short cycling. This not only wastes energy but it also puts unnecessary strain on the other components of the system. If you suspect that your compressor is failing, it’s important to call a professional for help. A trained technician will be able to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs. In most cases, replacing the compressor is the only way to fix a short-cycling AC unit.
10. Old System
As systems age, they begin to lose their ability to regulate temperature effectively. This can cause the system to turn on and off more frequently in an effort to maintain the set temperature. It’s important to have the AC unit inspected by a qualified technician. They can identify the cause of the problem and recommend the best course of action.
Get in Touch With Professionals Today
Looking for a reliable air conditioning, heating, and air quality company in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area? Look no further than Quality Air Of America. We offer a wide range of services including 24/7 emergency services to meet your needs, and our team of experts is always standing by to help. We also offer financing options. Call us today to learn more about our services.