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So, you’re experiencing AC short cycling, and you don’t know why. This can be a frustrating experience, not to mention an expensive one if you have to call in a professional to fix the problem. 

In this blog post, you will learn what a short cycle is, the possible reasons your AC system is doing it, and the solution to each problem.

Question - Why is my AC short cycling

What Is Air Conditioner Short Cycling?

A short cycle is when your AC system turns on more frequently than it should. But completing a full cooling cycle is a big deal. 

A healthy air conditioner system operates for 15–20 minutes and then cycles off for 7–10 minutes. It needs that time to achieve quality humidity and temperature control. 

Short cycling occurs when it remains off for less than 7 minutes between cycles.

This might not seem like a huge problem on the surface, but it is.

AC short cycling will make your compressor run more than it was built to do. This excessive stopping and starting not only creates a higher energy bill but it also adds a ton of wear and tear to air conditioning systems. 

The lifespan of your unit will decrease, and it will break down more often, leading to unnecessary repair bills. Fortunately, finding the issue is easy! 

You see, short cycling can happen for several reasons. Let’s explore them now!

Low Refrigerant Charge: 

If your AC system is low on refrigerant, it will cause the unit to cycle on and off more frequently in an attempt to cool your home. This is because the low refrigerant will not be able to effectively cool your home, causing the unit to work harder and cycle more frequently.

Frozen Evaporator Coils: 

If your evaporator coils freeze, this can also cause your AC system to short cycle. When the coils are frozen, they cannot absorb heat as effectively and lead to AC short cycling.

Low-Pressure Control Switches: 

If your AC system has low-pressure control switches, this can cause the unit to short cycle. When the pressure goes below the specified minimum, this switch shuts off the AC unit. But if they are not working correctly, the unit may cycle more than it should and may even overheat and break down!

Oversized AC System: 

If your AC system is too large for your home, it will also cause the unit to short cycle. This is because the powerful air conditioner will cool your home too quickly before properly circulating the cool air through your home. It powers down and then kicks on again right away as soon as the cool air begins to distribute naturally.

Clogged Air Filters: 

If your AC system’s filters are clogged, it can also cause AC short cycling. This is because the clogged filters will not allow enough air to flow through the unit, causing it to work harder and cycle more frequently.

How to Fix AC Short Cycling Issues

Now that we’ve discussed what can cause your AC system to short cycle, let’s talk about how to fix it!

Refrigerant Level

If your AC system is low on refrigerant, a professional can add more refrigerant to the system. Never purchase a do-it-yourself kit and add the refrigerant yourself. It is a highly dangerous substance that must be handled with care by a trained and licensed expert.

Evaporator Coils Frozen

If you’re experiencing AC short cycling due to the evaporator coils being frozen, you’ll need to thaw them out. This can be done by turning off the AC unit and letting the coils thaw independently. You can also use a hair dryer to speed up the process. Once the coils are thawed, you should clean them to prevent them from freezing again.

Low-Pressure Control Switches

You will need to replace an AC system with low-pressure control switches. This job should be done by an HVAC professional because the process can be a little complicated and will usually cost you several hundred dollars with parts and labor.

Clogged Air FiltersIf your filters are clogged, you’ll need to remove them from the air handler and replace them. This can be a bit fiddly, depending on the make and model of your unit, as well as how it’s installed into your home, but it needs to be done every 90 days.

Oversized Air Conditioners

Now, if your AC system is not sized properly, you’ll need to get a smaller unit. Again, this job should be done by a professional like our team. 

The experts at Action Air Conditioning will perfectly calculate the right size by measuring factors like: 

  • Square footage
  • The direction of your house
  • How many windows you have
  • Landscaping and its shade
  • What rooms experience direct sunlight 

Is Your AC Short Cycling?

Our expert team is here to help with any AC problems you may be experiencing, whether that’s AC short cycling or something else.

Contact us today, and we’ll be happy to help you troubleshoot the problem and find a solution that ensures your AC system works correctly and, most importantly, works for you.