AC Short Cycling: Common Causes And How To Fix Them

Posted on: 12 October 2021

One of the most common problems that require air conditioning repair is short cycling. AC repair technicians agree that short cycling is a problem in its own right and a symptom of your AC problems.

AC Short-Cycling Explained

Short cycling occurs when your AC starts a cycle and prematurely shuts down without completing a cycle, only to start back up again after a short time. Unfortunately, this problem can lead to costly air conditioning repair or, worse, make it necessary to replace your unit. For this reason, you will need to act fast and call in a professional air conditioning repair specialist as soon as possible once you notice the problem.

Common Causes and Fixes

Proper air conditioning repair for short cycling starts with identifying the cause of the problem. Here is a highlight of the most common causes.

1. Dirty/Clogged Air Filters. Clogged air filters will restrict airflow into your unit. If your AC is not pulling in enough air, then it may start to overheat, causing it to start kicking off before the end of a cycle. In this case, air conditioning repair will involve replacing the air filter. Your repair technician will advise you on the ideal replacement interval to follow to avoid a similar problem in the future.

2. A Unit That's Too Big. An AC that's too big for your space will pull out too much cool air, resulting in your unit short-cycling. Such a unit is also more susceptible to premature wear and tear. Air conditioning repair may not be an option in this case. What will work is replacing the unit with an appropriately sized one. An AC expert will consider factors such as the size of your space when sizing your system.

3. Low Refrigerant Levels. Leaks can lead to your unit's refrigerant levels dropping. When this happens, your system will not absorb and transfer out the heat in your space. As a result, your system will overheat and may begin to short cycle. Air conditioning repair technicians have specialized equipment for detecting refrigerant leaks. Stopping the leaking should fix your system.

4. Improper Thermostat Placement. If the thermostat sits where there is direct sunlight or near a heat source, it will turn off and on at the wrong time. A malfunctioning thermostat will have the same effect. The air conditioning repair technician will look at placement and malfunctioning issues.

Short cycling will interfere with the proper functioning of your system, disrupting your comfort and driving up the energy bills. Get in touch with an AC repair expert as soon as possible to avoid all this.