Why Is My Air Conditioner Running In Short Bursts?

image of a couple feeling hot due to air conditioner short cycling

Air conditioners help keep our homes cool and comfortable despite the scorching heat outside. They are connected to a thermostat that is equipped with sensors that check the ambient temperature. When it detects that it is higher than the set temperature, the thermostat will signal the air conditioner to begin the cooling cycle until the area reaches the ideal temperature. This should happen slowly and steadily.

If you notice that your air conditioning system operates in short bursts, it might be AC short cycling. It can cause a few problems if it is not resolved immediately. This article discusses the causes of short cycling, how it can affect your home, and what you can do to prevent it.

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Common Causes Of Air Conditioner Short Cycling

Some of the usual causes of air conditioner short cycling are:

1. Oversized AC Unit

An oversized AC unit doesn’t always translate to being better for your home. If you have an air conditioner that’s too powerful, it will force high amounts of cold air into your home and switch off immediately right after. This might cool your home quickly, but it won’t remove the excess humidity in the air. The system will not run long enough to do this. At the same time, it will use more power. An air conditioner that’s too large will also create uneven cooling, leading to hot spots throughout your house.

2. Clogged HVAC Air Filters

image of an HVAC filter replacement

Air filters need to be monitored and replaced regularly. After all, filters that get too dirty will prevent sufficient air from flowing into your system. This will cause your air conditioner to operate harder than necessary to compensate for the lack of proper airflow. The blower and compressor will overwork until they overheat. Your air conditioner will end up short-cycling, which can cause premature system breakdown.

It is recommended that you conduct filter replacement as per the equipment manual’s suggested schedule. Bear in mind that some homes might need filter replacement more often due to various circumstances. Therefore, make sure to inspect the filters every 30 days and replace them as needed.

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3. Frozen Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils absorb the heat in your house. If this component freezes or gets clogged, it cannot work as expected. Your system will then overheat, leading to the unit shutting off automatically. It helps prevent further damage, but your unit does not achieve the set temperature.

Air conditioner mechanical issues can lead to this problem. Do not let the short cycling persist. Instead, completely turn off your air conditioning system so that the ice melts. If the coils get frozen again, call a professional HVAC technician to help you.

4. Low Air Conditioner Refrigerant Levels

manometer to test air conditioner refrigerant levels

The refrigerant acts as the air conditioner’s lifeblood. It needs to be at optimum levels so that it can circulate properly and move the heat from inside to the outside. Unfortunately, leaks can happen and cause your coolant to run low. Your air conditioner will end up working harder than usual to cool your home, stressing the system’s components until short cycling happens.

HVAC technicians can check the refrigerant levels to see if there is a leak. They will also find the leak and repair it. They will recharge the refrigerant so that it returns to optimal levels as well.

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5. Air Conditioner Electrical Issues

The problem could also be caused by malfunctioning wiring and control boards. The air conditioner might not be receiving sufficient power due to electrical issues. It could be trying to start but eventually falters. Homeowners should never attempt to repair this on their own. It is a complicated and dangerous task that a professional HVAC technician should handle. They will thoroughly check your air conditioner to determine if electrical issues are what’s causing the short cycling. If so, they will repair the wiring and control board.

6. Poor Thermostat Placement

image of a thermostat for an hvac system

Short cycling can occur when the thermostat is poorly placed within the house. It might be located near a heat source, such as a window that receives direct sunlight. This could trick the sensors in the thermostat into thinking that the room is hot even though it is already cool. This will trigger the air conditioner to shut off. Make sure that the thermostat is located in a more suitable spot to stop short cycling.

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Reasons To Avoid Air Conditioner Short Cycling

Some of the reasons you should ensure that your air conditioner does not short cycle are:

1. Air Conditioner Damage

Air conditioners should not turn on and off repeatedly. It stresses the components of the system, leading to faster wear and tear. As a result, you will experience an air conditioner breakdown earlier than expected. You will have to deal with premature parts replacement and a significantly reduced air conditioner lifespan.

2. Spike In Energy Bill

energy costs

Short cycling strains your system to reach the desired temperatures, consuming more energy in the process. This is a problem because your air conditioner already utilizes huge amounts of energy during its normal operations. Therefore, having an inefficient system can only result in a significant increase in your energy bills. Do not ignore your air conditioner’s short cycling problems as they could be expensive.

3. Inconsistent Room Temperatures

Areas around your house could vary in temperatures. Some could be warm, while others are quite cold. Short cycling means that the cool air is not distributed throughout your home properly. This can be a problem as occupants could feel warm in areas they need to study or work in during the summer.

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A short cycling air conditioner causes damage to your system’s components. It can also be costly to operate. Avoid it from the onset by having a reliable HVAC technician help you find the right AC size. They will install it correctly and even help you with annual maintenance. They can spot any potential problems, so they are resolved quickly. This way, electrical problems, coolant leaks, and clogged coils are fixed before they cause your air conditioner to short cycle.

Call Lawes Company For Your Air Conditioning Requirements

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Are you searching for superior HVAC services in Monmouth and Ocean County, New Jersey? Look no further than Lawes Company. We have professionally certified, and highly trained technicians for all your heating and cooling needs. Each tech has the experience, skills, and knowledge to conduct maintenance, repairs, replacements, and installations on your HVAC system correctly.

Lawes Company offers highly competitive HVAC service rates. We can help increase your home’s comfort and energy efficiency through our maintenance services. If you require heating and cooling repairs or replacements, we can recommend the best one for your home’s needs and budget. All of our work comes with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. Book your next air conditioner tune-up or service appointment with us by calling Lawes Company today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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