Why Is My Air Conditioner Turning On And Off Frequently?
If you’re reading this blog, it’s probably because you’ve noticed your air conditioning system constantly kicking on and off. Don’t worry, it’s not all in your head — your air conditioning system is likely short cycling, which is caused by an underlying issue.
When it comes to keeping your home cool and comfortable without spending an arm and a leg, short cycling isn’t ideal.
Short cycling decreases the comfort of your home and puts excess strain on your air conditioning system, all while increasing your energy costs.
Luckily, you can put an end to short cycling with a little guidance.
Read on to learn what exactly short cycling is, the signs, and how you can stop it or prevent it.
What Is Short Cycling?
Short cycling occurs when your air conditioner shuts off before it finishes cooling to the temperature on the thermostat.
All air conditioning systems run through cycles to cool, heat, or dehumidify a home. Air conditioning systems start this cycling by turning on, which is the light whirring sound you frequently hear.
As the air conditioning system kicks on, cooled or heated air is circulated throughout your home until your home reaches the desired temperature set on your thermostat. Although every air conditioning system is different, the average system’s cycle will take around 15 to 20 minutes.
If you’ve noticed that your air conditioning system kick on, but “completes” a cycle just a few minutes later, your system is probably short cycling and not efficiently cooling or heating your home.
Signs of a Short Cycling Air Conditioner
- Rapidly shuts on and off
- Does not cool to thermostat temperature
- Temperature is warmer than it should be
- Weak airflow from vents
- Leaking water
- Higher than usual energy bills
5 Reasons Your Air Conditioner Is Short Cycling
Here are five common reasons air conditioners short cycle:
1. The Air Filter Is Clogged
One of the main reasons short cycling occurs is because the air filter is clogged. As the air filter collects debris it can become clogged, causing your system to short cycle.
This is why it’s so important to change the air filters in your home on a regular basis.
2. The Evaporator Coils Are Frozen
Frozen evaporator coils prevent your air conditioner from efficiently removing heat from your home. When evaporator coils become frozen, your AC system can short cycle. Evaporator coils work to remove hot air from your home.
When your AC unit is unable to effectively remove the hot air, it goes into overdrive mode. This results in the air conditioner overheating and shutting off.
The main reason evaporator coils freeze is due to lack of maintenance. To avoid frozen evaporator coils and short cycling altogether, be sure to schedule regular preventive maintenance.
3. The Air Conditioner Needs Refrigerant
Without refrigerant, your air conditioning system is unable to produce cool air.
As a result, your system will constantly be working to reach the desired temperature set on the thermostat, which can cause the system to short cycle.
Low refrigerant levels are often a sign of a leak, which should be handled by an AC professional.
4. The Air Conditioner Is Too Large
Bigger isn’t always better. If your air conditioner is too large, all it will do is cool your home too quickly, causing your system to constantly cycle on and off.
When your home cools too quickly, it can cause dramatic temperature changes in your home and increased humidity.
If you think your air conditioner is too big for your home, call your local HVAC professional to perform an inspection.
5. There Are Problems With The AC’s Electrical System
Short cycling can also occur as a result of electrical problems. Defective or damaged wiring can prevent your air conditioner from properly turning on and off.
If you suspect your AC system is suffering from electrical problems, have your local HVAC professional investigate further.
Stop Short Cycling With The Professionals at Blair’s Air
When it comes to keeping your home cool and comfortable, short cycling is no good! But don’t fret — the professionals at Blair’s Air want to help.
Our team offers quality air conditioning and heating repairs for Tampa Bay homeowners and can diagnose why your system is short cycling and provide the right solution.
Call (727) 800-4148 to schedule service.