Does it seem like your air conditioner is constantly turning on and off? You hear the system kick on… it blasts your house with cool air for a few minutes and then shuts down only to repeat the entire process all over again within a few minutes. If so your system is “short cycling.” Short cycling is a common problem that occurs with HVAC systems and it is more than just an annoyance. Short cycling can be cause by multiple issues. Some of these issues are minor and easily remedied and others are more major. Regardless of the cause, short cycling means your system is not running efficiently which results in less comfort and higher energy consumption.
Check Your Air Filter
We always stress the importance of regularly changing your air conditioner’s air filter. This is important for many reasons and one of them is a dirty filter can cause short cycling, A dirty filter can block airflow. This can cause your system to overheat while it tries to cool your home. When the system gets hot it may shorten the cooling cycle to stop damage from occurring to the air conditioner due to overheating. If your system starts overheating, check your filter. Simply replacing your dirty filter with a clean one will fix your problem.
Check Your Thermostat
Another cause short cycling is your thermostat incorrectly reading the temperature inside your home. If the thermostat is not properly registering the air temperature the system may cut on and off in short bursts over and over. This may require a thermostat replacement. Of course your heating and air system equipment contains many working components. If there is a mechanical problem with your HVAC system, short cycling may occur as well. Both of these issues require a qualified hvac technician to make a diagnosis and then fix the problem.
Low Refrigerant Levels
Finally, the most serious cause of short cycling is a refrigerant leak. Low refrigerant levels are due to a leak or an improperly charged a/c system to start off with. Low refrigerant levels can cause your system to overheat while trying to cool your home. As your system works hard to cool the inside air the condensation that forms can freeze and cause ice to form on your evaporator coil. Overtime, a leak can cause serious damage to your system. If the damage is significant enough, your best option may be a costly full system replacement.
If your air conditioner is short cycling, first check your air filter. If this is not the problem then give Horne Heating and Air Conditioning a call at (704) 321-4173 or visit www.hornehvac.com to schedule an appointment for one of our trained technicians to come out and diagnose the problem with your system and make the necessary repair.