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My AC Is Short-Cycling… Should I Be Worried?

air-conditioning-tool-bagYes, you should be worried! But you can stop worrying quickly, because all you have to do is contact our HVAC specialists, any day of the week, and we’ll have technicians out to your home to find out what’s wrong with your air conditioning system. Then we’ll have the problem solved, fast.

We could end the blog post right here, but we want to share some information with you about why short-cycling is trouble for an air conditioning system and the various ways it might start. Short-cycling can be the symptom of many different AC issues, from minor to major. The air conditioner could need a new filter, or it might need to be replaced. Our technicians will discover the exact issue and find the best air conditioning service in Madera, CA to get your home cooled down once more.

Why You Don’t Want Your AC Short-Cycling

Short-cycling is when the compressor of an air conditioner fails to complete its full cooling cycle and instead shuts down. It then turns back on a short time later, shuts down once more, and repeats this over and over again, sometimes turning on and off four times within an hour. Because the compressor’s start-up cycle draws the most amount of electricity of any part of an air conditioner’s operation, short-cycling is an immense waste of power, with the compressor drawing two to three times as much electricity as it would normally. This also means an immense amount of strain is placed on the compressor motor, possibly leading to it burning out and a premature end to the air conditioning system’s service life.

Short-cycling also has a negative effect on comfort in a home. If the air conditioner isn’t running as long as it should, it usually means hot spots around the house and a generally uneven distribution of cooling.

Why an Air Conditioning System May Short-Cycle

Here are a few of the possible reasons that you’ve got an AC trapped in the start-stop of short-cycling.

  • Clogged air filter: Always check on the air filter when something is amiss with your AC. When the filter restricts airflow into the AC, it can cause behavior such as short-cycling.
  • Malfunctioning thermostat: If the thermostat is incorrectly reading the temperature in a house, it might prematurely signal to the compressor to shut down, and then signal it to turn back on a short time later. The thermostat can be fixed, although often a replacement thermostat is a better idea.
  • Damaged compressor motor: The short-cycling may be connected directly to the motor that runs the compressor. Repairs need to be done as soon as possible before the compressor burns out.
  • Oversized air conditioner: If the AC has been short-cycling since it was installed, it probably means the installation was done incorrectly and the air conditioning system is too powerful. Short-cycling is occurring because the overpowered AC is lowering the temperature so fast that the thermostat mistakenly believes it’s finished. Often the only solution to this is to replace the air conditioner. (An important reminder here: only have licensed professionals install a new HVAC system so you’ll be assured a sizing mistake like this doesn’t happen.)

Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Is on the Job 7 Days a Week: Quality Is the Cornerstone of Our Success Since 1952!

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