Each time your air conditioner starts up, it should run for several minutes before turning off again. The entire process is called a cooling cycle, and it’s key to how your HVAC system generates comfortable indoor temperatures. So if you’ve noticed your AC keeps turning off, comfort can be harder to maintain.
There are several reasons why your air conditioner keeps switching off, but one of the most common culprits is short cycling. This irritating HVAC problem involves cooling cycles that aren’t long enough to make efficient use of your air conditioner. It may keep switching off before your home has a chance to cool down. We’ll review a few details of what short cycling is and where it comes from. Then, we’ll share a few more separate reasons your cooling equipment keeps shutting down.
Your Air Conditioner May Be Short Cycling
When an air conditioner short cycles, it turns off before reaching the desired temperature. It may not be long before the thermostat realizes this and instructs the AC to start up again. But since there’s a problem, the air conditioner will continue to short cycle. This will extend the time needed to cool your home while putting extra strain on key components. If left alone too long, short cycling may even lead to premature system failure.
5 Problems That May Lead to Your Air Conditioner Short Cycling
Another annoying part of short cycling is the number of possible causes. In general, a lot of short-cycling issues can be caused by overheating. But the excess heat could just be the symptom of another unknown issue. During air conditioner repair, a technician will look for a few of the most common things to start narrowing down the root cause.
- Overheating: Too much heat can ruin components inside your air conditioner. Safety features should detect overheating and shut the AC off to protect key parts. But if the original problem hasn’t been addressed, this process just starts over again.
- Poor Airflow: Your HVAC system requires steady airflow to run at safe, optimal temperatures. When the air filter or ductwork is clogged, poor circulation can47] lead to overheating, which means short cycling.
- Wrong AC Sizing: HVAC equipment should be appropriately “sized” for your home. This means that the power of your air conditioner matches the cooling needs of your home. An air conditioning system that’s too powerful will pump out cool air too quickly, tricking the system into switching off early before the entire house is cooled down.
- Dirty Condenser Coils: This component removes the heat collected from inside your home. When the coils become too dirty, this heat can end up in the air conditioner. The high levels of heat could be enough to result in a premature shutdown.
- Thermostat location: The thermostat should be in a convenient location away from a vent or the HVAC equipment itself. This ensures every room of the house has cooling for long enough to reach the set temperature. Keeping your thermostat too close to cool air can trick it into thinking the temperature has been reached earlier.
Short cycling is an annoying problem ideal for the tools and knowledge of a professional technician. But there are still other reasons your air conditioner is shutting off unexpectedly. Let’s take a look.
Some Other Reasons Your AC Keeps Switching Off
Electrical Malfunction: Any number of malfunctions with the wiring or an electrical switch could lead to consistent shutdowns. Maybe the wiring is old or damaged, but electrical problems generally require professional care for a prompt, safe solution.
Compressor Failure: This crucial component uses pressure to force heat out of the refrigerant before it’s expelled from your home. When the component fails, a safety switch should recognize the pressure change and tell the air conditioner to shut off.
Refrigerant Leak: Your refrigerant holds and releases heat, making it one of the most important parts in your HVAC system. A leak can be catastrophic, as the coils designed to hold the coolant are expensive to replace. It’s important to move quickly if you suspect a leak to avoid premature air conditioning replacement.
Clogged Condensate Line: When humidity is condensed into moisture during the cooling process, the condensate line safely drains it away. When the line or drain pan is clogged up, a float switch shuts off the AC before half of it is running underwater.
H2: Stop Short Cycling in Its Tracks with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
If your air conditioner is short cycling, call a professional technician with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. They can quickly determine the root cause, working toward a solution that protects the rest of your HVAC system from the wear and tear of short cycling. To schedule an appointment or request an appointment, call 919-578-4329 today.