When many homeowners think about air conditioning issues, they very rarely consider a faulty thermostat. A thermostat is often overlooked, but is actually one of the most important components of your AC system. Your thermostat may only appear like a small unit that sits right there in plain sight, but any fault can have a major impact on how your HVAC system performs.
Many of us give very little thought to the thermostat of our AC system. While we may drop the temperature settings down a degree or two, it usually sits on the wall untouched for weeks or months at a time. This means that it is easy to forget the important role the thermostat plays in the functionality of your AC system. Your thermostat is the hub of communication for your air conditioner. It sends a signal to the system when the AC needs to switch on and off. This means that if the thermostat is malfunctioning, you could struggle to feel comfortable on those hot summer days. Even something as simple as not changing the batteries in your thermostat could leave you feeling the heat.
One of the most common problems caused by a malfunctioning thermostat is short cycling. Short cycling is the term used by HVAC professionals when the cooling cycle of an AC unit is turned off before it has properly finished. The compressor begins to start to cool the home, but it abruptly shuts off. This can happen multiple times in a short time, so you may notice the system frequently turning on and off. Short cycling can be caused by a number of issues, but it can happen when the thermostat incorrectly determines that the system has reached the desired temperature. Short cycling is not only a problem because your home will not be properly cooled, but it also places your entire system under great strain. The frequent on and off action causes greater wear and tear on all the components in the system, increasing the risk of breakdown. If left unchecked, short cycling can even cause your system to require replacement prematurely.
Correcting the Problem:
The main difficulty with a faulty thermostat is that many of the resulting issues can also be caused by other component problems. This means that you are likely to need the assistance of a professional HVAC specialist. An experienced technician will assess your system to track down the underlying cause of any problems. Your technician will also be able to check for any damage that may have been caused by the short cycling. It is far better to replace a worn component before it fails and triggers a system breakdown. Short cycling, in particular, can take a massive toll on your HVAC system, so it is important to have your equipment checked if you suspect there is a problem. If you notice that your AC is frequently turning off and on, it is a good idea to switch the equipment off and wait for a technician to assess the situation.