Each time your air conditioner starts up, it should run for several minutes before turning off again. The complete process is called a cooling cycle, and it’s important to know your HVAC system generates comfortable indoor temperatures. So if you’ve noticed your AC keeps shutting off, comfort can be tougher to maintain.
There are many reasons why your air conditioner keeps shutting off, but one of the most common reasons is short cycling. This annoying HVAC problem involves cooling cycles that aren’t long enough to make efficient use of your air conditioner. It may keep switching off before your home has a chance to cool down. We’ll review a few details of what short cycling is and where it comes from. Then, we’ll provide a few more separate reasons your cooling equipment keeps shutting down.
Your Air Conditioner Might Be Short Cycling
When an air conditioner short cycles, it switches off before reaching the set temperature. It may not be long before the thermostat recognizes this and instructs the AC to turn on again. But since there’s a problem, the air conditioner will continue to short cycle. This may extend the time necessary to cool your home while placing extra strain on important components. If left alone too long, short cycling might even lead to premature equipment failure.
5 Problems That Can Lead to Your Air Conditioner Short Cycling
Another annoying aspect of short cycling is the number of potential causes. In general, a lot of short-cycling issues can be caused by overheating. But the excess heat could just be the symptom of another unknown issue. During air conditioner repair, a technician will check for a few of the most common things to start narrowing down the root cause.
- Overheating: Excessive heat can ruin components inside your air conditioner. Safety features will detect overheating and shut the AC off to protect delicate parts. But if the original problem hasn’t been resolved, this process just starts over again.
- Poor Airflow: Your HVAC system needs enough airflow to work at safe, optimal temperatures. When the air filter or ductwork is clogged, the lack of circulation can lead to overheating, which means short cycling.
- Wrong AC Sizing: HVAC equipment should be appropriately “sized” for your home. This means that the power of your air conditioner suits the cooling needs of your home. An air conditioning system that’s too large will dump cool air too fast, tricking the system into switching off early before the entire house is cooled down.
- Dirty Condenser Coils: This component dissipates the heat collected from inside your home. When the coils get too dirty, this heat could end up in the air conditioner. The high levels of heat may be enough to result in a premature shutdown.
- Thermostat location: The thermostat should be in a central location away from a vent or the HVAC equipment itself. This ensures every room of the house has cooling for long enough to reach the set temperature. Putting your thermostat too close to cool air can fool it into thinking the temperature has been reached earlier.
Short cycling is a complicated problem ideal for the tools and knowledge of a professional technician. But there are still other reasons your air conditioner is shutting off unexpectedly. Let’s take a look.
A Few Other Reasons Your AC Keeps Shutting Off
Electrical Malfunction: Any number of malfunctions with the wiring or an electrical switch might lead to constant shutdowns. Maybe the wiring is old or damaged, but electrical problems may need professional care for a prompt, safe solution.
Compressor Failure: This crucial component applies pressure to force heat out of the refrigerant before it’s removed from your home. When the component fails, a safety switch should recognize the pressure change and force the air conditioner to shut off.
Refrigerant Leak: Your refrigerant holds and releases heat, making it one of the most important parts in your HVAC system. A leak can be catastrophic, as the coils designed to hold the coolant are expensive to replace. It’s important to move quickly if you suspect a leak to avoid premature air conditioning replacement.
Clogged Condensate Line: When humidity is condensed into moisture during the cooling process, the condensate line safely drains it away. When the line or drain pan is clogged up, a float switch shuts off the AC before half of it is running underwater. Stop Short Cycling in Its Tracks with Green Air Engineering Experts
If your air conditioner is short cycling, call a professional technician with Green Air Engineering Experts. They can quickly identify the root cause, working toward a solution that protects the rest of your HVAC system from the wear and tear of short cycling. To schedule an appointment or request an appointment, call (949) 360-9000 today.