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What Does “Short Cycling” Mean?

Imagine that your air conditioner is starting to sound funky. It’s running in short, frequent cycles for some reason and it’s really struggling to keep your home cool this summer. What gives?

You ask a friend to take a look and the first thing they say after hearing that noise is, “it sounds like your air conditioner is short cycling.” Now, you might be a bit embarrassed to ask your friend about it, but it turns out there are a lot of homeowners who don’t exactly know what this means.

More importantly, there are many homeowners who don’t know how serious short cycling can be without calling for proper air conditioning repairs in Bucks County.

Well, you can save face for now because we’re going to go over everything you need to know about short cycling. We’ll talk about how it happens, what’s going on, and why it’s so important that you call for a professional!

What Is Short Cycling?

Short cycling is exactly as the name implies. A short cycling air conditioner is running in short, frequent cycles instead of longer, more normal cycles. Your air conditioner is designed to complete a “cooling cycle,” which basically means that all the components contribute to the cooling process in the most energy-efficient way. If something goes wrong or your air conditioner is improperly sized, it can cool the air too quickly or run too hot and overheat, causing the system to abruptly stop cooling your home. This is what a short cycle is.

Short cycling can be awful for your air conditioner because it leads to wear and tear on certain components that are stressed more. It also drains the energy in your home since your AC uses more electricity to start up and shut down than it does to run in a long cycle, so you’re actually wasting energy with a short cycling AC.

3 Common Reasons for Short Cycling

Here are some of the most common reasons for AC short cycling:

  • A refrigerant leak. As an air conditioner leaks refrigerant, it requires more energy to do the same cooling job. This can lead to an overheating system that’s cycling refrigerant too quickly, which will bring about short, frequent cycles.
  • The system is incorrectly sized. If your air conditioner is too large for your home, it’s going to cool things down too quickly. This can be a tricky situation, since your home might feel cool, but your AC is actually being stressed and hurt every time it runs.
  • A clogged air filter or damaged coils. The air filter is designed to protect the coils of your air conditioner. If it gets too clogged, or if it fails to do its job and the coils get damaged, it becomes less able to cool your indoor air and thus will run in more energy-intensive cycles. This can lead to overheating and your AC shutting down abruptly as well.

You Need a Professional

Short cycling can be a complicated issue. There are a variety of reasons why it could be happening in your air conditioner and only a licensed professional is going to accurately diagnose it. Plus, the solution could be expensive to repair, so you might want to discuss replacing your short cycling air conditioner with one that’s going to work without this problem. Either way, you need a trustworthy, licensed professional to help with any repairs and discussions about replacement.

Click here to contact Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling and fix your short cycling AC!

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