All about short cycling

Short cycling might seem like an ominous term – and yes – it’s a malfunction that needs to be taken seriously. But – have no fear. This is a problem that can be both prevented and fixed. Here’s a quick rundown of what the problem is, how it can be fixed and what to do when it occurs.

Let’s jump right in!

What it is

Your AC compressor is perhaps the most important component in your system. It changes the refrigerant into hot, high pressure gas that circulates throughout the system; absorbing the indoor heat and blowing it outside while beginning the cooling process.

When this compressor is turning on and off frequently or in rapid succession – it’s on for too short a period of time to do any good. It’s not on long enough for your system to manage it. That’s where the problems come in.

Why it’s a problem

There are two basic issues that short-cycling causes:

  • If your compressor isn’t on long enough, the cold air can’t get to where it needs to get to. Your home will have hot spots and your AC will have to work overtime to fruitlessly attempt to cool all the air.
  • Short-cycling makes your system work almost double-time; making it more expensive to cool your home and putting significant wear and tear on your system that can lead to pricey repair bills and malfunctions. In addition to making things more expensive, it shortens the lifespan of your system.

Why it happens

Short-cycling occurs when basic maintenance in other areas of your air conditioning system aren’t happening. Things like clogged air filters, leaky refrigerant, poorly calibrated thermostats or simply that your air conditioner is just way too big for the space it’s in.

To put it in the simplest terms possible – short cycling is almost always the product of something that could have been prevented with some basic maintenance. So if you’re doing what you should be – doing things like changing air filters, adhering to space guidelines when you buy your system, etc – you should be fine. If you ignore those things – then you greatly increase the risk of things like short cycling (and other issues) occurring in your system.

If you think you might be experiencing short-cycling in your system, then give us a call today and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Good luck!

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