Short cycling is a common air conditioning problem, and it can cause a number of serious problems. Many homeowners immediately notice that something is wrong with their system, but they are unaware of what is causing the problem and whether it is a serious issue. Here, we will explore short cycling and the three of the most common causes.
The term short cycling is used by HVAC professionals to describe a scenario where the air conditioner is rapidly turning on and off throughout the entire day. In an ideal scenario, air conditioners should stay on for at least fifteen minute intervals before turning off. Additionally, your system should not turn off until the desired temperature has been reached. If this is not happening, your system is short cycling.
The main problem with short cycling is that rapidly switching on and off will use far more energy than proper running. This will increase your energy bills and also place undue strain on other components in your system. This means that your system is at risk of serious repair issues developing.
Your System is Too Big:
One of the most common causes of short cycling is that the system is too big or powerful. While many people think that bigger is better, this is not the case with air conditioning equipment. If your system is incorrectly sized when you install it in your home, it can cause short cycling. As the system has too large a cooling capacity, it will cool the room too quickly, which will trigger constantly turning on and off. In this scenario, you may notice that there are noticeable temperature swings throughout your home as the system struggles to maintain the desired temperature.
There is a Refrigerant Leak:
The refrigerant is a vital element of the cooling process. It cycles through the system changing from a gas to a liquid state carrying cooler air into your home. Theoretically, the refrigerant in your air conditioner is a sealed system, with the correct pressure being maintained and the refrigerant being continually cycled through the system. Unfortunately, leaks can occur, which affects the pressure and leads to the system short cycling. This matter cannot be corrected by simply topping up the refrigerant levels, as the leak needs to be detected and corrected. A trained technician can ensure that the leak is sealed and ensure that the refrigerant is recharged.
Your Filters are Clogged:
Air filters appear to be a minor component in your air conditioner, but they can have a massive impact on performance and efficiency. If your filters have become clogged, it compromises airflow, forcing the system to work harder and triggering short cycling. Regular changing or cleaning of your filters can mitigate this and prevent these issues from developing. Unfortunately, if the problem has been left unchecked, you may require professional assistance to correct the issue and restore correct performance function.
Short cycling can lead to serious repair issues, so if you notice your system has begun to cycle rapidly, you should have it checked by a professional HVAC specialist. A trained technician will assess your system to detect and correct the underlying issue.