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Guide to Air Conditioner Short Cycling Troubleshooting: Identify the Problem

AC Compressor - Air Conditioner Short Cycling TroubleshootingAir conditioning systems switch between on and off mode by design in order to maintain the temperature levels set on the thermostat. This process, known as cycling, is essential to proper functioning of the AC system because of the refrigeration process, the cheapest way to cool an area. Refrigeration begins with the AC removing heat using refrigerant chemicals such as Freon. Afterwards it cools the area through the process known as compression. The excess heat is then absorbed and expelled to the outside air.

Air conditioner short cycling is an issue that can occur due to several factors. For efficient air conditioner short cycling troubleshooting, read on to discover more about the causes and what you can do about them.

How Does the AC Cool Your Home?

In order to remove heat and cool an area, the AC system has to go through a cycle that changes the form of the heated air, from liquid to gas or vice versa. The former happens when the AC is set to cooling, while the latter occurs when AC is set to heating. Changing the form of the heated air is done through several processes including expansion, evaporation, condensation and compression. Compression is the main part of the refrigeration process. This is why the compressor is one of the most important components of any AC unit.

How to Identify Air Conditioner Short Cycling

Cycling is a common operation process for air conditioning systems, but if the frequency of cycling increases, this can be viewed as a sign of trouble. During a moderately-hot summer day when the system is ideally operating at 50% capacity, the cycle occurs three times during an hour. This means that during an hour of operation the compressor unit will operate for 10 minutes, shut down and restart after 10 minutes and repeat this process two more times. The longer compressors run, the more efficient they become. If you notice any inconsistencies in the air conditioning cycle and the set temperature is uneven, your AC probably fell victim to short cycling. This is a common problem homeowners experience with their AC unit.

Air conditioner short cycling can be a result of several factors such as an obstructed compressor, leaking refrigerant, faulty thermostat, dirty air filter, icy coils, electrical issues or the fact that the AC unit is too big for the area it is supposed to cover. Short cycling can have several negative effects on your AC system and indoor air quality. It can put a lot of stress on the AC unit, leading to breakdowns that require repairs that can be expensive. Short cycling also causes temperature fluctuations and can be reflected in an increased energy bill.

 How to Prevent Short Cycling

The safest way to prevent your AC from experiencing short cycling is to make sure your AC is subject to regular maintenance. An expert AC mechanic should ideally check your AC at least once a year to make sure that it is running properly, that it lasts longer and that it doesn’t develop any problems that can be expensive to fix. Apart from that, make sure that you replace your air filter on a regular basis and keep check of the AC cycle frequency and temperature oscillations.

If you notice the tell-tale signs of short cycling, contact a professional AC repair company like Carini Heating and Air Conditioning. Air conditioner short cycling troubleshooting can be difficult if you are not sure what you are doing because there are many factors that can cause it. In order to solve the problem a complete diagnostic process must be conducted. This is why it is important to hire a trustworthy, professional technician to take care of the problem and ensures it doesn’t occur again.