A Homeowner's Guide To AC Short Cycling


Short cycling is when the AC is constantly popping on for a very short cycle, turns off, and almost immediately turns on and repeats the process. It is a major problem that can lead to poor cooling and an AC breakdown. The following guide can help you recognize short cycling and understand how the problem can occur.

Signs of Short Cycling

For those that spend a lot of time at home, short cycling may be obvious simply because you notice the increased amount of cycles that your AC is going through. For those that aren't as aware, there are some other signs that give the problem away.

Increased Energy Usage

You may notice an increase in your energy bills due to short cycling. The constant turning on of the compressor and the more frequent usage of the blower motor can both result in higher than normal electricity demands, which will often show up on your energy bill.

Frequent Repairs

A short-cycling unit will wear out parts more quickly, especially electrical components that control the on-off functions of the compressor, such as capacitors. If parts seem to be wearing out more quickly, the unit needs to be checked for short cycling.

Poor Cooling

Frequent, short cycles means that the AC is probably not on for a long enough period to adequately cool the home to the desired setting, so your house may never feel quite cool enough. This is especially true for the rooms furthest from the AC unit, since the cool air may never make it to these rooms before the unit cycles off.

Common Causes

There are several causes for short cycling, but these are some of the most common culprits.

Thermostat Failure

The most likely and easiest to fix is a failed thermostat. A service tech can check your thermostat to make sure it is working correctly, and replace it if necessary.

Dirt and Debris

Poor air flow into the unit is another easy fix if it is the cause. An air filter change may help, but even more important is to have the entire unit serviced so that the tech can clean out the outdoor unit, the blower and fan blades, and any blockages in the ventilation system.

Low Refrigerant

A refrigerant leak means your AC won't be able to cool as it's meant to, and it also increases the chances of the evaporator coils freezing up. When this happens, the unit overheats and cycles off, only to cycle on again a short time later as the heat dissipates.

Electrical Problems

Electrical issues, particularly with the control board, can lead to short cycling. You will need a service visit in order to find the cause of the issue and have it repaired.

Contact an air conditioning service in your area for more assistance.


24 March 2020

all about attic ventilation

While sitting in my living room on a hot summer day, I could feel the heat coming through the ceiling out of my attic and making the house warm up more than it should. I crawled up into the attic one evening to find out that the roof vents weren't working any longer because they were clogged with all sorts of debris. Did you know that when this happens, your home's temperature can rise to very uncomfortable levels? Did you know that your home could actually be damaged if the attic isn't well vented? This blog will show you all about attic ventilation.