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Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc. Blog

Why Short Cycling Is Not Good

Your ears have perked up at the fact that your air conditioner has started running more frequently. You can tell when it starts up and shuts down multiple times, and it’s piqued your interest. It can’t be that bad right? After all, it’s natural for the system to do this.

Well, not exactly. The only thing natural about your air conditioner is the fact that it turns on, cools air, and turns back off again. The amount of time it spends doing this should be a very specific duration, known as a cycle. If it runs this cycle in quicker succession, you’re going to see the results in broken components, higher energy bills, and even an early AC replacement.

Keep reading to learn more about the causes of a short cycling AC, and why this is never a good sign. And don’t forget to call us for AC repair in Evansdale, IA.

What Is Short Cycling?

Short cycling is when an air conditioner starts running in short and frequent cycles. It’s usually due to some kind of problem such as a clogged air filter, a frozen coil, or even a refrigerant leak.

Before we get into the causes, we need to be clear. A short cycling air conditioner is bad for a variety of reasons. The short cycles wear down certain components that are required for the cooling process. Also, an AC needs to complete a full cycle in order to properly cool your home, which can lead to uncomfortable rooms and even hot spots where you’re least expecting them.

The Causes of Short Cycling

A short cycling air conditioner can seemingly come out of nowhere, but the causes are pretty common. Here are just a few reasons why your AC might start short cycling.

  • The air conditioner is too large for the space it’s cooling.
  • The air filter is clogged.
  • The coils are frozen.
  • The system is leaking refrigerant.

Remember, only a trained professional can correctly diagnose the source of the problem and alleviate it properly.

The Problems You Can Expect

Short cycling can lead to problems, but it’s hard to tell exactly what those problems might be. They can be all over the place, from a frozen condenser coil to untenable energy bills. But here are just a few that can be absolute deal-breakers for any AC owner.

  • A shortened system lifespan. Air conditioners are an expensive investment. You probably know that more than anyone. However, if your system is short cycling, that means certain components are getting more stress than others, which can lead to an early system replacement. Instead of the 10-15 years you were promised, your AC might last 8 years instead, which is bad for your wallet.
  • Poor comfort control. What’s the point of having an air conditioner if it’s not going to cool your home exactly the way you want it to? A short cycling AC just doesn’t work the way it should.
  • Higher energy bills. Your energy bills can go up due to an air conditioner short cycling. This is the most energy-intensive part of the cooling process, and it happens more frequently with this kind of problem.

At Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc., your comfort is our promise! To set up an appointment in the Cedar Falls area, give us a call at the number above, email or schedule an appointment online. 

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