Each time your air conditioner starts up, it should run for a while minutes before shutting down again. The complete process is known as a cooling cycle, and it’s central to how your HVAC system maintains comfortable indoor temperatures. So if you’ve noticed your AC keeps shutting off, comfort can be harder to maintain.
There are different reasons why your air conditioner keeps shutting off, but one of the most common culprits is short cycling. This annoying HVAC problem involves cooling cycles that aren’t long enough to make efficient use of your air conditioner. It may keep turning off before your home has a chance to cool down. We’ll review a few details of what short cycling is and where it starts. Then, we’ll offer a few more separate reasons your cooling equipment keeps turning off.
Your Air Conditioner May Be Short Cycling
When an air conditioner short cycles, it shuts off before reaching the desired temperature. It may not be long before the thermostat notices this and instructs the AC to turn on again. But since there’s a problem, the air conditioner will continue to short cycle. This can extend the time necessary to cool your home while placing extra strain on key components. If left alone too long, short cycling may even lead to premature system failure.
5 Problems That Could Lead to Your Air Conditioner Short Cycling
Another tedious part of short cycling is the number of potential causes. In general, a lot of short-cycling issues can be traced back to overheating. But the excess heat could just be the symptom of another unknown problem. During air conditioner repair, a technician will check for a few of the most common things to start narrowing down the root cause.
- Overheating: High heat can ruin components inside your air conditioner. Safety features will detect overheating and shut the AC off to protect key parts. But if the original problem hasn’t been resolved, this process just starts over again.
- Poor Airflow: Your HVAC system needs enough airflow to run at safe, optimal temperatures. When the air filter or ductwork is clogged, poor circulation can47] lead to overheating, which means short cycling.
- Wrong AC Sizing: HVAC equipment should be correctly “sized” for your home. This means that the power of your air conditioner matches the cooling needs of your home. An air conditioning system that’s too large will dump cool air too quickly, tricking the system into shutting off early before the entire house is cooled down.
- Dirty Condenser Coils: This component removes the heat collected from inside your home. When the coils become too dirty, this heat can end up in the air conditioner. The high levels of heat may be enough to trigger a premature shutdown.
- Thermostat location: The thermostat should be in a centralized location away from a vent or the HVAC equipment itself. This ensures each room of the house has cooling for long enough to reach the set temperature. Placing your thermostat too close to cool air can fool it into thinking the temperature has been reached earlier.
Short cycling is a complicated problem ideal for the tools and knowledge of a professional technician. But there are still other reasons your air conditioner might be shutting off unexpectedly. Let’s take a look.
A Few Other Reasons Your AC Keeps Switching Off
Electrical Malfunction: Any number of malfunctions with the wiring or an electrical switch can lead to consistent shutdowns. Maybe the wiring is old or damaged, but electrical problems may need professional care for a prompt, safe solution.
Compressor Failure: This important component applies pressure to force heat out of the refrigerant before it’s expelled from your home. When the component fails, a safety switch should recognize the pressure change and tell the air conditioner to shut off.
Refrigerant Leak: Your refrigerant absorbs and releases heat, making it one of the most important substances in your HVAC system. A leak can be disastrous, as the coils designed to hold the coolant are expensive to replace. It’s important to move quickly if you suspect a leak to avoid premature air conditioning replacement.
Clogged Condensate Line: When humidity is condensed into moisture during the cooling process, the condensate line safely drains it away. When the line or drain pan is clogged up, a float switch shuts off the AC before half of it is running underwater.
H2: Stop Short Cycling in Its Tracks with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
If your air conditioner is short cycling, call a professional technician with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. They can quickly find the root cause, working toward a solution that protects the rest of your HVAC system from the wear and tear of short cycling. To schedule an appointment or request an appointment, call 540-302-8645 today.