What Causes an Air Conditioner to Short Cycle? - Schebler HVAC

What Causes an Air Conditioner to Short Cycle?

No matter how hot or humid the outdoor air might become during the summer months, your air conditioner should provide your home with relief in the form of cool, refreshing air. If your air conditioning system is short cycling, however, it will likely struggle to meet the desired temperature and provide comfortable indoor conditions.

Schebler Heating and Air’s latest blog post will discuss what short cycling is, why it’s an issue, and what can cause this to happen. If you believe your cooling system is short cycling, contact Schebler for AC services in the Quad Cities area.

What is Short Cycling?

An air conditioner typically runs in 15-20 minute cycles to cool your home. When your system is working properly, it will experience two to three cycles per hour, depending on factors such as the condition of the system and the outdoor temperature.

Short cycling occurs when a cycle only lasts a few minutes before shutting off. A new cycle will then begin shortly after, before it again turns off after just a few minutes of usage. This pattern will repeat itself over and over.

Why is Short Cycling a Problem?

A proper AC cycle allows the system to fully cool your home and dehumidify the air. If your system is only running for a few minutes at a time, you’ll experience uncomfortable home temperatures, higher energy bills, and even further damage to your AC unit.

Short cycling essentially causes your air conditioner to work harder in order to cool your home, placing unnecessary stress on the unit. Not only will this present short-term problems such as comfort issues and high utility costs, but it can cause you to replace the system before you’d otherwise need to if the issue is unresolved for too long.

New air conditioning systems are expensive, but by acting quickly, you can prevent long-lasting damage that will require a complete system replacement. Contact Schebler Heating and Air to have your Quad Cities area AC unit repaired and restore its cooling capabilities.

What Can Cause an AC to Short Cycle?

A number of factors can cause an air conditioner to short cycle, but the most common include:

A Dirty Air Filter

Air filters are designed to keep dangerous contaminants and pollutants out of your home’s air supply. As they filter out any dirt, dust or debris, they will become clogged and need to be replaced. A clogged air filter is typically a simple fix, but one that can significantly improve system efficiency and performance.

Improperly Sized Air Conditioner

Air conditioners are each created with different capabilities. If your air conditioner was designed to cover larger areas than your home provides, it may short cycle frequently. Oversized air conditioning systems short cycle because they cool the air in your home too quickly, causing the system to reach the desired temperature setting and shut off before completing a full cooling cycle.

Neglected Maintenance

All HVAC equipment requires regular maintenance in order to keep the systems running at peak performance levels, and air conditioners are no different. An AC unit should receive maintenance once per year. If it doesn’t receive maintenance, minor issues can grow to become more serious, affecting the safety and comfort of those within your home.

Refrigerant Leak

Air conditioners use refrigerant to produce cool air. Whether from a damaged refrigerant line or a faulty compressor, a refrigerant leak can cause the system to short cycle. Contact Schebler Heating and Air to have your system inspected to ultimately determine the root cause of the short cycling.

Contact Schebler Heating and Air for AC Services in the Quad Cities

From AC repair and installation to maintenance, the team at Schebler Heating and Air can help with any cooling issues that might be plaguing your home. Get in contact with us today to schedule an appointment for cooling services throughout the Quad Cities area.