Top Reasons Why Your AC is Short Cycling

Posted - June 15, 2021
Man and woman are sweating from high temperatures and no AC

Your home’s air-conditioner is meant to evenly cool down your home after running a complete cooling cycle. Most cycles take around fifteen minutes to complete, with around three cycles every hour.

However, when something goes wrong with your AC unit due to poor maintenance, your appliance can easily fall into the unwanted pattern of short cycling. A short cycle occurs when your AC starts to cool down your home, shuts off before its complete cycle, and then repeats the process throughout the day.

Not only does a short cycle present problems for your system, but it also unevenly cools down your home. 

If you’re experiencing short cycling this summer, here’s a look at why you should immediately reach out to a professional for help and some of the reasons behind a short cycling system.

Why is Short Cycling Bad?

For your HVAC to effectively cool down your home, it must complete a full cooling cycle. A short cycle isn’t timed and can last between a matter of minutes and a matter of seconds. 

When your AC is left to shuffle through short cycles your household faces several issues that include the following:

  • Increased energy bills
  • Increased humidity in the home
  • Decreased air quality
  • The degradation of essential parts in your AC system

Unfortunately, short cycling in itself is only the symptom of other problems; some being larger than others. If you notice that your HVAC is starting to turn off the mid-cooling cycle, it’s time to reach out to a professional and look into the reasons that are behind this issue.

Your Air Filter is Dirty

When your air filter is left to gather dust and grime for too long, cool air can’t get into your HVAC system and can cause it to overheat. When your system overheats it will cease to cycle properly.

Depending on the age of your AC unit, you should change your filter every month to 90 days. If you know it’s been a while since you’ve replaced your filter and your system starts to short cycle, it’s definitely time to change it out before your AC unit requires major repairs.

Wiring Problems

Loose or damaged electric connections are a common cause behind short cycling. Somewhere between your thermostat and your main unit, the communication of power is interrupted and leads to sporadic cycles.

A home health inspection from a company like Advanced Home Comfort can help you determine if faulty wiring is, in fact, the issue with your AC. This type of inspection is something that a professional must perform, so please, do not attempt to discern wiring problems on your own. 

Your HVAC is Too Big

The size of your unit could be the reason for your short cycles. If your AC unit is too big for your home, the system could overcompensate its cooling and quickly shut down. Your unit should evenly distribute cool air, and an abrupt shift in temperature won’t last long. This will, in turn, trigger back on your unit for a short period of time, causing the cycle to start over again and put unwarranted stress on your system.

Low Refrigerant

If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant due to a leak, it means that your system is working overtime to try and cool down your home. If you notice that aside from short cycling, that your unit only pumps out warm air, it’s time to get your problem inspected and your air conditioner repaired. 

Your refrigerant is something that circulates throughout your system and its levels shouldn’t falter. So, if you notice low levels, “topping your unit off” is not going to help your problem and is also an illegal solution if a repairman proposes it.

Keep Your Home Cool This Summer with Advanced Home Comfort

If your home is experiencing short cycles in its HVAC system, it’s time to call in the professional HVAC team from Advanced Home Comfort. We can inspect your system and come up with reasonable repairs that ensure your system is salvaged before it’s too late.

We can help you replace your system if needed and will also perform any other home health inspections that ensure your home is as energy-efficient as possible.

Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule a home inspection.