AC Short-Cycling: What It Is and What to Do about It

Posted on: 24 August 2022


If your home feels hotter than usual, you might check the thermostat to see what the temperature gauge states. If you discover that it's hotter than it should be, you might assume the AC system has issues. At this point, you might want to check the indoor and outdoor parts of the system to see if you can determine the problem. If you notice the system is turning and off over and over, your system is short-cycling.

What is short-cycling?

When a system short-cycles, it turns on and off repeatedly. The system might run for 20 seconds, but then it shuts off for 10 to 20 seconds. After that, it turns back on again for 20 seconds or so and keeps repeating these cycles. Short-cycling is not good for a system, and an HVAC system should not do this, as it only happens when there is a problem.

Why does an AC system do this?

Short-cycling happens for several reasons, and you'll likely need to hire an HVAC repair company to determine the cause. For example, it might happen from something simple, like a clogged air filter. If your air filter is too dirty, it blocks the air going to your system. As a result, your system will turn on and off because it knows it needs to run but can't complete a cycle. Therefore, it shuts off.

Secondly, a system does this if there's a leak. When the system has a leak, the coolant level drops, and low coolant leads to short cycling. Short cycling might also occur for other reasons.

What problems does this cause?

An HVAC system that short-cycles is a problem because it can lead to problems. First, the system won't cool your home, as it won't run long enough to cool it. Secondly, the system will wear out faster, causing you to spend a lot of money on repairs or replacement. Therefore, you shouldn't ignore this problem.

How can you fix it?

You'll need an HVAC company to diagnose the cause of the problem. They must find out what is causing the problem before they can fix it. For example, they'll add coolant and fix the leak if there's a leak present or replace the air filter if it's clogged.

Contact an HVAC repair company

You can get the services you need by contacting an HVAC repair service. They'll fix the system and make sure it's running properly before leaving your home.