ACs typically have a regular cycle of turning on and off that will vary based on exterior temperatures. Short cycling is when an air conditioner runs for short, frequent bursts, switching off and back on at intervals of five minutes or less.
These problems occur as a result of something inhibiting an AC unit from completing a full cooling cycle. They can be attributable to a number of causes, such as a clogged air filter, a refrigerant leak, or a system that’s too large for the home it’s in.
Short cycling is a concerning behavior to see in AC units. Not only is it usually a symptom of a larger problem, but it also wears out the outside unit’s compressor. This can end up causing a lot of trouble down the road, as compressors are costly to repair and often result in homeowners being inclined to replace their entire outside unit.