Short-cycling is when a unit turns on-and-off far more often than is normal. But is short-cycling really that bad?
Yes, it is. In fact, short-cycling demands the service of a professional.
We understand why it doesn’t seem detrimental since the symptoms aren’t loud or scary, but if ignored for long, it can cause way more problems than it’s worth. Read on to understand why short-cycling is a problem and what causes it.
Why is short-cycling a bad thing?
- Increased energy bills: All that on-and-off action requires more energy than if the unit went through cycles at the normal speed. The increase in energy bills can make turning on the AC an expensive proposition.
- More wear-and-tear: Again, turning on-and-off is not good for an AC. Not only will it waste energy, but it will put extra stress on the components. To cite just one example, a unit’s capacitor is only needed when the unit starts. Short-cycling will push your entire system to its limits.
- It prevents proper cooling: Short-cycling will prevent the AC from ever getting to the desired temperature on the thermostat. It will always sabotage itself before it can reach that temperature.
What causes short-cycling?
If an HVAC contractor hasn’t done the proper load calculations, it’s possible they can overestimate the size of the unit needed for a home. An oversized unit will cool a home too quickly, thus causing it to shut back off again and beginning the short-cycling issue. The only way to fix this is by replacing the unit entirely.
Frozen Evaporator Coils
A unit’s evaporator coils are located in the AC’s indoor unit, and they’re responsible for helping remove the heat from a home. For any number of reasons, these coils can freeze over, which prevents the cold air from dispersing through a home. The unit will try its best despite this, which will result in short-cycling patterns.
Frozen evaporator coils can be fixed, but the underlying problem can be something big. It’s necessary to call for air conditioning services in Bronx, NY.
Clogged Air Filter
The air filter is responsible for trapping dust, dirt, and other debris that could damage the unit. A used-up air filter will be full of dust, and it will no longer let air flow through it properly. An AC will have to work harder to pull in air, thus leading to overheating and short-cycling problems.
Low Refrigerant Levels
An AC is charged with a certain amount of refrigerant when it is installed. Any less and the unit will have to work overtime to cool a home. This leads to overheating, which leads to, yes, short-cycling.
If the AC refrigerant is leaking, it’s a serious issue that needs to be looked at right away. Pinhole leaks are often the problem, and it requires the help of a professional to make repairs.
Got a short-cycling issue? Contact Yost & Campbell Heating, Cooling & Generators today!