Why Should You Be Concerned About Your Short Cycling Air Conditioner?

Posted on: 31 January 2022

Short cycling occurs when an air conditioner turns on and off repeatedly at close intervals. When an AC short-cycles, it turns off before cooling the home to the pre-set thermostat temperature. While this may seem like just a minor inconvenience, it can have dire effects on the system's performance. Short cycling occurs for different reasons, such as a dirty air filter, an oversized or undersized unit, and low refrigerant. Below are four problems that may arise if you fail to repair your unit.

Mechanical Wear on Components

Short cycling causes the AC compressor and motor to turn on and off frequently. Since these are mechanical components, they may experience excess wear and tear. If your unit is undersized, it will work hard to cool the entire home. Consequently, the AC may run continuously without turning off. When this occurs, the mechanical parts undergo premature wear, which shortens their lifespan. Therefore, you may have to replace the air conditioner before the end of its usable life.

Uneven Cooling and Uncomfortable Spaces

When an air conditioner completes a cooling cycle, it lowers the temperatures by a few degrees. Therefore, when the AC is on, you should notice a change in the indoor temperatures. When the unit short-cycles, it turns off before completing a cooling cycle. As a result, the AC will take longer to cool down the entire home.

On a hot summer afternoon or night, you may feel like the AC isn't cooling the home enough, especially if your home isn't properly insulated. Smaller rooms will feel cooler and more comfortable than larger spaces that require more cooling. Thus, short cycling can make your indoor spaces uncomfortable.

Electrical Energy Wastage

Modern air conditioners have energy-efficiency features that save energy and boost performance. These features include variable speed compressors, smart connectivity, and high seasonal energy efficiency (SEER) ratings. However, if your unit is running at all times or cycling on and off at frequent intervals, it will consume a lot of energy. Therefore, despite investing in a highly efficient AC, your cooling bills will continue to soar. 

Huge AC Repair Costs

Mechanical wear on AC components can cause components such as the motor, compressor, and fan to break down. If your unit is short cycling due to low refrigerant levels, it may overheat and damage electrical parts as well. Therefore, you will end up paying more for repairs than if you had fixed the underlying problem. If your AC is cycling on and off frequently, shut it off to prevent further damage to the unit's components.

A short-cycling air conditioner can affect indoor comfort and cost you a lot of money in cooling bills and repairs. Contact an AC repair contractor for immediate repairs.