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Common Causes of AC Short Cycling

    “Short-cycling” is a condition in an air conditioner (as well as other comfort systems) where the unit does not complete its normal cooling cycle and instead shuts off early. You can usually detect short-cycling in an AC because the system will continually turn on and off over brief periods, instead of running steadily and then shutting down for an equal stretch before starting again.

    Short-cycling is bad news for an air conditioner. Because the system draws the most electrical energy at start-up, short-cycling drains excess power. It also causes premature aging due to excess wear and tear. It can have a negative effect on comfort as well, since the reduced running time means the cold air has less chance to spread out evenly throughout a home.

    We’ll look over some reasons short-cycling can occur and what you can do about it. When you need professional assistance for a short-cycling cooling system, call Comfort Zone Heating & Air and speak to our specialists in air conditioning in Atlanta, GA.

    Reasons for an air conditioner short-cycling

    The worst-case scenario for an AC prematurely shutting down is that the unit was improperly sized when it was installed and it’s too large for your home. An overlarge air conditioner will lower the temperature so fast that it will shut off before completing the cooling cycle. Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done about an incorrectly sized AC except to remove it and have professionals install a system that will work with the space.

    An electrical problem may lie behind short-cycling. If the control board of an AC develops a malfunction, it will start causing the system to shut on and off at the wrong times. The thermostat could also interfere with the AC’s cycles if the thermostat is miscalibrated and sensing the wrong temperatures. Technicians can repair the board or thermostat, although sometimes a replacement is the best option.

    Your AC may have a bad compressor. This component serves as the central pump and engine for an air conditioner, sending the vital refrigerant through the unit. If the compressor begins to overheat or wear down, it may start shutting off frequently and end the cooling cycle. Technicians will usually need to swap out the compressor for a new one.

    Let professionals investigate short-cycling

    Since a number of problems can cause short-cycling to occur, you should not attempt to open up your air conditioner’s cabinet and troubleshoot the issue on your own. This job requires trained technicians with years of experience working air conditioners. They will locate the issue and find a way to repair it—or recommend a replacement if you have an oversized system.

    If you need air conditioning repair in Atlanta, GA on the double, call Comfort Zone Heating & Air. We’ll get to the bottom of why your AC is short-cycling.