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6 Ways to Prevent AC Short Cycling

AC short cycling damage

Air conditioning problems present themselves in a variety of ways. One of the most concerning issues that many homeowners face is the problem of the AC short cycling. As the top AC repair experts across multiple states, we see time and time again the damaging effects that short cycling has on an air conditioning unit. We put together this blog to share our knowledge on the signs of short cycling and how to prevent it in hopes of helping other homeowners save their units from breakdowns. 

Signs that the AC is Short Cycling

Before we talk about prevention, let’s explore the basic signs that your AC is short cycling. Knowing these signs will help you get help from a repair technician early enough before your AC breaks down completely. 

The System Turns On and Off Frequently

The first telltale sign of short cycling is when your AC turns on and off more frequently than usual. This typically occurs within the first few minutes of the AC turning on. As you can imagine, this can be very frustrating but also very hard on the unit overall. After a while, the AC will turn off and not come back on until a repair is performed or it’s replaced. 

The Home is Not Cooling Properly

Obviously, when the AC turns off before it can adequately cool the space, your home will not achieve the preferred temperatures. 

Energy Bills are Higher

Short cycling puts a lot of stress on the air conditioning unit, which causes it to use more energy than necessary. As a result, you will begin to see a spike in your energy bills. 

Strange Noises

Noises like clicking, buzzing, or humming can be signs of AC short cycling damage. The strain that it puts on the system causes its many components to wear out and make those sounds that indicate a need for repair or replacement. 

System is Overheating 

Because the system is getting an excessive amount of strain due to its short cycling, it will begin to overheat during operation. Overheating on its own will be a great challenge because it causes the system to be inefficient. Eventually, the system will shut down entirely if it isn’t repaired in a timely manner. 

AC Short Cycling Prevention

Now that we know what signs to watch out for when concerned about air conditioning short cycling, it is clear that it is probably best to avoid this problem as much as possible. As the top experts in all-things-air conditioning, we will share our top tips for preventing this problem from occurring in your home. 

1. Properly Size Your System 

When an air conditioning system is too big for the home, it will cool too quickly and begin to short cycle. When the AC is too small for the home, it will struggle to keep up with cooling demand, overheat, and short cycle. For this reason, it is important to make sure that your AC is properly sized for your home. 

2. Clean and Replace Air Filters

Clogged air filters can cause your system to overwork and cycle on and off frequently. Make sure to clean or replace your air filters regularly.

3. Check for Refrigerant Leaks 

Low refrigerant fluid levels can cause your system to work harder than necessary and short cycle. If your HVAC technician checks your AC regularly, this problem can be largely avoided. 

4. Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat must be placed in a part of the house that isn’t prone to temperature fluctuations, like near a window or door. Its sensors will pick up the temperatures coming from outside and cause the AC to adjust accordingly. Fluctuations like these will push the unit into overdrive, leading to the AC compressor short cycling

5. Maintain Proper Airflow

Keep your air vents and registers clean and free of obstructions so that your air conditioning system receives a proper amount of airflow. This will keep it working smoothly and efficiently. 

6. Schedule Regular Maintenance

Finally, make sure to schedule regular maintenance checks as they will be able to catch any problems early on and prevent the problem of AC short cycling, and many other preventable issues. 

Contact Us for Reliable and Efficient AC Repairs & Maintenance Services

Have you noticed any signs of short cycling in your air conditioning unit? If so, do not hesitate to contact Air Pros for high-quality, reliable repairs at (844) 579-1538.


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