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What is AC Short Cycling?

Apr 7, 2023 | General

While most air conditioning systems built today are made with the most innovative technologies that provide durable and lasting performance, there are still several nuances that homeowners need to know. As the top air conditioner service in Mobile, AL, Hansen Super Techs will share some fundamental information about AC short cycling in this blog. 

AC Short Cycling Defined

Short cycling is when the air conditioning system turns on and off frequently and quickly before completing a full cooling cycle. Normally this happens within a few minutes of the unit turning on, which can be exceedingly frustrating when it is a hot, scorching day outside. The temperatures in the home will not cool off as a result, causing great discomfort. 

Causes of AC Short Cycling

Short cycling not only causes the AC system to work inefficiently, but it can also cause wear and tear on the unit and potentially lead to premature failure. It’s important to address AC short cycling promptly by contacting an air conditioner service in Mobile, AL, to diagnose and resolve the underlying issue. Below are the common factors that lead to AC short cycling: 

Dirty or Clogged Air Filters

When air filters become clogged with dirt and debris, they will restrict airflow to the AC unit, which can cause the system to overheat and shut down prematurely. As a result, the air filters must be cleaned or replaced regularly. 

Low Refrigerant Levels

Another common cause of AC short cycling is low refrigerant levels. Refrigerant is a chemical substance that plays the important role of absorbing heat from the air inside the room and releasing it outside. When the refrigerant levels are low, the AC system can’t absorb enough heat to cool the room effectively, which can cause the system to short cycle. Common signs of low refrigerant fluid levels are as follows: 

  • Warm air blowing from the AC unit
  • Inefficient or slow cooling 
  • Frozen coils
  • High energy bills
  • Hissing or bubbling sounds
  • Visible leaks from the AC unit
  • Unusual, chemical-like smells that indicate a possible fluid leak

If you notice any of these signs or believe that the refrigerant fluids in your AC need to be checked, contact an air conditioning service in Mobile, AL to help you out. It is always better to be safe than sorry. 

Faulty Thermostat

Another issue that may cause short cycling is a faulty thermostat. The thermostat plays the role of regulating the temperatures in the home and turning the AC system on and off accordingly. If the thermostat is malfunctioning, it may not accurately detect the temperature in the room, causing the AC system to turn on and off too frequently. 

Here are a few possible reasons why your thermostat is malfunctioning: 

  • It is too old
  • A large amount of dust accumulated on the thermostat
  • Wiring issues 
  • Incorrect installation
  • A faulty sensor that detects temperatures inaccurately
  • Unstable power supply

Faulty thermostats are often replaced with a newer model which resolves the short cycling. If you’re unsure of how to resolve these issues yourself, a quick call to an air conditioning service in Mobile, AL will provide you with all the help you need. 

Improperly Sized Unit

If the AC unit is too large for the room being cooled, it can cool the room too quickly, causing it to turn off prematurely. Conversely, if the AC unit is too small for the room, it may not be able to cool the room sufficiently, causing it to run constantly without reaching the desired temperature. This is often a problem when the initial installation was performed as a DIY project by a homeowner who isn’t a certified AC technician.

Malfunctioning Compressor

Sometimes a malfunctioning compressor causes the AC to short cycle. When the compressor overheats, it can cause the entire unit to shut down prematurely. It can also cause the refrigerant fluid levels to drop, causing an inefficient operation of the unit. These types of issues cause short cycles and are most common in older units. 

Leading Air Conditioner Service in Mobile, AL

Are you in need of AC repair or even a possible replacement of your unit? Do not hesitate to contact Hansen Super Techs for the best service in town. Our technicians will help restore your comfort levels, allowing you to enjoy your AC for a long period of time. Call us today at (251) 227-4441.