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What Could Be Causing My AC to Short-Cycle?


When professionally installed and serviced, a residential air conditioner can last for many years, giving you the cooling relief you deserve with no issues cropping up. Of course, just like any other important home appliance, air conditioners are not immune to problems.

As air conditioning systems become more advanced—and in turn more complex—it’s only natural that you will run into a problem eventually. One of the most common problems that exist is an air conditioner which cycles on and off rapidly while not efficiently cooling the space it’s in. This process is called short-cycling.

What Is Short-Cycling?

When your air conditioning system isn’t able to complete its full cooling cycle after the compressor comes on, short-cycling occurs. Essentially, your air conditioner is prematurely shutting the compressor off, only to turn it back on again a short time later, and repeat the process.

When this happens, your air conditioner is locked into its start-up cycle, which drains a large amount of power and puts the system’s components under undue strain. The compressor is put under the most stress, and can burn out if this problem is ignored too long. If this occurs, your entire air conditioning system may need replacing.

So, Why Does This Happen?

There are actually a few different reasons that your air conditioner may be short-cycling. One of the biggest reasons this occurs is because the AC system was improperly sized during installation. If you’ve recently had a new air conditioner installed and it immediately began short-cycling, then it’s very likely too big for your home. This is a big reason that you should only trust professional, licensed HVAC contractors to conduct your air conditioning installation and services.

However, even when professionally installed there are still other reasons an AC system might short-cycle. Your air conditioner may be leaking refrigerant, or it might have a frozen evaporator coil. Short-cycling can even occur if you have clogged filters or a malfunctioning thermostat. No matter what the cause, it’s not wise to delay repairs if you discover your system is in fact short-cycling.

For quality air conditioning repairs in Idaho Falls, ID, contact Advanced Home Services today!

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