Short-Cycling: What It Is and Why It’s a Problem

When you live somewhere that gets as hot and humid during the summer as it does in our parts, you know how important it is to have a fully functioning and efficiently working air conditioner in your home. You want to know that it’s going to be reliable all summer long and won’t quit on you in the middle of summer when you need it the most.

For this reason, it’s imperative that you schedule maintenance on a regular basis. Even with maintenance, however, AC systems can still run into problems. One of these issues is when the AC system starts up fine but runs only briefly before shutting back down: a process called short-cycling.

What Causes Short-Cycling?

There are a few different things that can cause short-cycling to occur. Some reasons are fairly simple and nothing to worry about as long as you take care of it promptly. For example, you may have a dirty air filter in your system. This reduces airflow, which will negatively impact the heat transfer process. As a result, your motor may be overloaded and it can cause your system to shut down prematurely. This can be resolved by changing or cleaning your air filter every 1-3 months.

Another potential cause of short-cycling is a faulty thermostat. It may be registering temperatures incorrectly, and thus causing your AC system to cycle off before your home has actually cooled down. A thermostat problem is a fairly easy fix for an HVAC professional, so be sure to call if this is the problem.

Two other potential causes of short-cycling are more serious, and should never be ignored. You could be experiencing a refrigerant leak, or you might have a failing run capacitor that is not doing its job to maintain an appropriate electrical charge in the motor. If you notice your system short-cycling, no matter what the reason may be, it’s important to call for repairs right away.

For quality air conditioning repairs in Valparaiso, IN, contact Earl’s Heating & Air Conditioning today.