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.
Solutions For A Short Cycling AC Unit
There are a number of things that can cause an AC unit to short cycle. While it’s not recommended to address the problem completely on your own, there are a few steps you can take to mitigate short cycling before calling a professional.
Replace Your Air Filter
Your system’s air filter is an integral part of its functioning, and as such, can contribute to an operational deficiency when not at its best. If your unit is short cycling, it’s very possible that problems with its current air filter are what’s causing the problem. To see if this is the case, try turning it off and removing and replacing its air filter. Make sure the filter you replace it with is one specified by your system’s manufacturer prior to switching the unit back on.
Check Your Evaporator Coils
Evaporator coils can also contribute to short cycling in an AC unit. This is in the case of cold temperatures, as when frozen coils cannot adequately source or remove heat from the air. To assess if this is the reasoning behind your unit’s short cycling, check its coils for freezing. If there is ice present, keep your system turned off and call our team for help.
Consider The Placement Of Your Thermostat
The wrong placement of a thermostat can cause it to misread your space’s actual temperature, and as a result, signal your HVAC unit to switch on and off at the wrong times. This is most often the case when they’re placed near heat-generating appliances, or are exposed to direct sunlight or vents. If you’ve recently installed a new thermostat, consider its location in your space.
It’s quite easy to see how complicated AC issues like short cycling can be. With many possible causes and associated solutions, it’s always best to consult an HVAC professional when seeing short cycling in your unit.