When you read the title, you may wonder – why shouldn’t your air conditioner turn on and off? It isn’t supposed to be running constantly, right? While your air conditioner isn’t supposed to run all day, every day, it should be running in consistent cycles. The problem occurs when the AC system starts up, runs for a short period of time, and then shuts back down – this is when you should be concerned.
This is a situation that’s called “short-cycling,” and this is a pretty serious issue. Or, it can be a problem if you let it. Like many other AC issues, there are several reasons your air conditioner may begin to short cycle.
Not all cases of short cycling are extremely serious and there are some that can be handled without the help of the pros; however, there are others that can cause serious damage. As a result, you need to figure out what is causing your AC to short cycle.
Get to know some of the most common reasons for short cycling here.
Is the System too Big?
This is a question that may catch homeowners off-guard. For many people, the only issue related to AC size is if the system is too small. However, the truth is, an oversized unit isn’t any better. While cooling your home too quickly may not sound like too big of an issue, it can interfere with the cooling cycles of the system.
If a system is too large, it is going to adjust the temperatures so quickly that it’s going to begin cycling down sooner than it should. If this happens, it’s going to have to start up too quickly, once again. Then, it turns off again. This cycle places quite a bit of strain on the system, and since starting up uses much more energy than just running properly, it is going to increase your cooling costs.
In most cases, the best solution for this is to replace your system with a properly sized model. This is going to eliminate the short-cycling issue.
Is the Filter Dirty?
In the past, did your air conditioner run properly, but just recently it has started to short-cycle? If so, then it’s not the size of the system that is to blame. One of the most important things to check at this point is the air filter.
In most case, the air filter that comes standard with your air conditioning system needs to be changed every one to three months. There are several different factors that may impact this; however, it’s a good rule to follow.
If you check the air filter and it’s extremely dirty, it can restrict the flow of air through the system causing it to overheat. The system is then going to shut down to try and self-preserve. If this occurs, you simply need to be more diligent when it comes to changing the filter.
Call the Pros for Help
If you just can’t figure out why your system is short cycling, then the best thing you can do is call in the professionals. They can evaluate your system to determine what the issue is.