“Short cycling” is the term used when your air conditioner is turning on and off rapidly throughout the day. While air conditioners are designed to switch on and off as the desired temperature is reached, when a system is short cycling it can be a considerable problem. Frequently starting and shutting down not only uses more energy compared to if the system is continually running, but it also increases the wear and tear on vital components. This increases your risk of a serious breakdown just when you need your air conditioning the most. There are a number of reasons why your air conditioner may have begun to short cycle. You are likely to need to consult a trained air conditioning technician to detect and correct the underlying problem, but here are three common causes so you can be aware of how the problem can get started.
Many consumers give very little thought to the refrigerant in their air conditioners. The reason for this is that the refrigerant is designed to remain sealed inside your air conditioner. Unfortunately, when the level of refrigerant drops below the optimum amount, it starts causing issues including short cycling. If the refrigerant is leaking, the air will not be cooled properly, and the system will fail to operate correctly. This often leads to the system short cycling. You may notice that your evaporator coils are covered in frost, which is a sign of low refrigerant, but short cycling can also happen if the coils are covered with dirt and debris.
The compressor consists of a motor which delivers pressure to the refrigerant inside your air conditioner to cool the air. Compressors are a complex component of your system, and if it develops even a minor fault, it can have an impact on the whole system, including triggering short cycling. You will need a trained technician to determine the fault on your compressor. Often the entire compressor will need to be replaced, but in some circumstances a repair may be possible.
Your System is Overpowered:
When it comes to muscle cars, value packs and lottery wins, bigger is always better, but this is not the case with air conditioning. If your air conditioner unit is too powerful for the requirements of the space, it can cause a number of problems including short cycling. Installing a system that is too powerful will not only cost you more initially, but it wastes energy and can suffer damage due to short cycling. Since the system is overpowered, it will be continually flicking on and off trying to achieve your desired temperature. In this scenario, it is likely that you will need to replace the system. If the system is newly installed, you may be able to rectify the situation under your warranty. You should certainly consult the initial installer, who should have properly sized the system to meet your requirements. Problems can also develop if your system is underpowered, so it is important that you consult a reputable air conditioning specialist to assess the specific requirements of your home.