There are lots of words used in the HVAC industry that can be confusing to people. “Hard starting,” “refrigerant,” and even “short cycling” are all words that have specific meanings to HVAC technicians, while they might illicit different images in the head of a customer. This is where a disconnect can sometimes form between a customer who has a problem and a technician who should be called to fix that problem.
A good example of this happening is with short cycling. This is a problem that is pretty notorious and afflicts many air conditioning systems in our general area, but customers barely even know it’s a problem unless they’re well-acquainted with HVAC technology. Sometimes people won’t call for AC repair in Westchester until it’s too late.
So, now it’s our turn to inform the public free of charge so that they can inform their friends and neighbors. Help us in our mission to make sure nobody gets stuck with a short cycling system without professional repairs.
What Is Short Cycling?
Short cycling is a problem that any air conditioner can run into. It’s notorious because it always exhibits the same symptom over and over again: short, frequent cycles on a regular basis. This is noticeable, because an air conditioner should usually run in normal 10–15 minute cycles, not 5–7 minute cycles that repeat just after the system shuts down.
Short cycling is not just a symptom of a deeper problem, but a cause of other problems too. A short cycling air conditioner can quickly cause components to degrade because it’s causing the system to start up more often. Short cycling can also cause a deterioration in efficiency levels, since the system is doing the most energy-intensive work more frequently.
The Causes of Short Cycling
Here are just a few causes of short cycling and how they can contribute to this problem.
- Improper installation. An air conditioner that’s installed improperly can start short cycling. When a system is too large for the home it’s set up for, it will turn off abruptly and too early because it cools the home down too quickly. This is short cycling and it will cause problems down the line if the system isn’t replaced by one that’s sized correctly.
- Refrigerant leak. If an air conditioner starts leaking refrigerant, it can begin short cycling as a result. This is because the system doesn’t have enough refrigerant to run normal cycles, and must keep shutting down and starting up to compensate.
- Clogged air filter. If an air filter is clogged, this can stifle the system and cause it to not have enough airflow inside of it. This can make it overheat, shut down, and basically short cycle if the air filter isn’t cleared out or replaced.
- Frozen coils. Frozen coils can lead to short cycling as they’re usually related to a refrigerant leak or the system’s interior getting too cold.
- A broken compressor. A failing compressor can also exhibit different signs, one of which might be short cycling.
Don’t hesitate to call a professional to have a short cycling AC repaired. Contact Yost & Campbell Heating, Cooling & Generators today!