Have you noticed your air conditioner turning itself on and off every couple of minutes? If so, you have a pretty big problem. That behavior is short cycling, and it’s not something you want to allow to continue for any length of time. The first thing you should do when you notice this behavior is shut down the air conditioner and call for repairs. Let’s have a look at what causes short cycling, and why it’s such a serious threat to the air conditioner.
Causes of Short Cycling
There are a couple of different reasons why your air conditioner might start to short cycle. The most common is an electrical issue, usually a short circuit, between the thermostat and the air conditioner. This causes the air conditioner to receive incorrect, and sometimes contradictory, signals from the thermostat, which can cause short cycling.
It’s also possible that there’s a problem with the compressor. The compressor is responsible for regulating the flow of refrigerant through the air conditioner. If the compressor malfunctions, it can throw off the operating rhythm of the system and cause it to short cycle.
Consequences of Short Cycling
Short cycling has both immediate and long-term effects on a system. In the short term, short cycling seriously cuts down on the output capacity of the air conditioner. This is because it prevents the system from completing a full cooling cycle. The air conditioner will continue trying to reach the target temperature set by the thermostat, but it will take longer to do so. This makes your home less comfortable, and drives up the cost of operating the system.
The long-term consequences of short cycling are much worse than those in the short-term. Prolonged short cycling accelerates the rate at which the system accumulates wear and tear. If the issue isn’t dealt with quickly, it will cause parts of the air conditioner to break down more frequently than they otherwise would. Your repair costs will skyrocket if you allow your air conditioner to short cycle for an extended period of time. Ultimately, short cycling will cut the lifespan of your system short by several years if you allow it to.
What to Do
If you don’t want to have to replace your air conditioner several years early, it’s a good idea to immediately shut the system off if you notice it short cycling. Call for repairs as soon as possible, and let a professional take care of it for you. The longer you allow the system to continue short cycling, the worse it will get and the more damage it will inflict. It’s best to act immediately to resolve the problem. A faster response will prevent more damage, which will leave your air conditioner better off in the long run.
Climate Masters offers comprehensive air conditioning repair services throughout Point Vedra, FL. If your air conditioner is short cycling, or needs any other repairs, we can help. Contact us today for an appointment with one of our HVAC technicians.