What is Short Cycling?

Have you ever noticed your AC system turning on and off more frequently than usual?  This is called short cycling.

Short cycling means your air conditioner turns off and on too often, too rapidly, or at irregular intervals without ever completing a full cooling cycle. That frequent on-off switching can ultimately damage the compressor or other components, leading to costly repairs or even an AC replacement.

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Short cycling should not be neglected. If you are experiencing this, turn your AC off and call Sunset Air and Home Services for a professional technician to evaluate your system.  Otherwise, you could find yourself wasting a ton of time and money on questionable DIY repairs, and potentially facing a premature AC replacement.

Here are a few reasons your system is short cycling:

A Clogged Air Filter Causes Short Cycling

A clogged air filter restricts airflow and causes your AC to work harder to complete its job. Plus, it can cause excess pressure on your system’s components which can lead to overheating and short cycling.

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In Southwest Florida, we recommend changing your air filter every month since we use it almost year-round.  Keep in mind a dirty air filter can cause other problems in addition to short cycling.

An Oversized AC Causes Short Cycling

If your AC unit is too large, it can cool your home too quickly and cause your system to short cycle. Basically, an oversized AC too powerful for your home will blast it with cool air and shut down quickly.

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Air conditioning units come in different sizes for different cooling needs. So, bigger is not always better. If your air conditioner was not sized properly for your home, you may need an AC Replacement. It is best to contact us for an evaluation.

Low Refrigerant Causes Short Cycling

Low refrigerant can cause your AC system to work harder. Unfortunately, it also causes overheating, which can lead to short cycling. If left alone, it can also lead to AC Replacement.

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Pro Tip:  If your AC system is still running on R-22 refrigerant, it is no longer available. Contact us for the next step.

Electrical Issues Cause Short Cycling

A number of electrical problems can cause short cycling. Damaged or defective wiring, control boards, etc. can prevent your AC system from operating correctly.

Thermostat Issues Cause Short Cycling

Short cycling can be caused by a mis-calibrated or improperly located thermostat.

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As a result, the temperature will not be read correctly and cause the compressor to cycle constantly. If malfunctioning, it won’t work even if it’s calibrated properly.

Malfunctioning Compressor Causes Short Cycling

If your compressor is worn out or older, your AC system may short cycle. This is the time to call us for the next step.

Consequences of Short Cycling

Short cycling causes your compressor to work harder than it should, resulting in excessive wear and tear. This can cause the unit to overheat and become damaged.

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Depending on the age of your system, it may make more sense for an AC Replacement with a newer, more efficient unit. Financing is available by contacting us.

The bottom line is if your AC system is short cycling, it can be a sign of a deeper issue. You can depend on us to diagnose your system and get you on the right track to avoid AC Replacement and have peace of mind your AC will run efficiently.

Contact us, 239-693-9005

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