Short cycling is a term you might hear when a technician talks about what could be wrong with your heating and air conditioning system. It means the unit is turning on and off too frequently. If your system is short cycling, it needs to be repaired or replaced.
Why Is Short Cycling Bad?
The simplest way to explain why your air conditioning system’s short cycling is bad is because it can cause damage to the system that’s typically expensive to repair. In the worst case, you may have to replace the entire system, especially if the reason behind the issue is that you’ve got the wrong size of unit.
What Causes Short Cycling?
Wrong unit size. The most common reason for short cycling is installing an air conditioner that’s too large for the home. Many homeowners think it’s better to buy a bigger unit because it will take less time to cool the house, thus it will consume less energy while making their home more comfortable. However, an oversized furnace or air conditioner will actually warm or cool the room too quickly, so it will shut down immediately, then turn back on again and again. Short cycling doesn’t save power; the continuous on-and-off cycle does the opposite, in fact.
This is why hiring a furnace or AC contractor is better than buying the unit yourself and DIYing it or asking an inexperienced person to install it.
Poor unit condition. This usually occurs when you don’t maintain your air conditioner or furnace. The lack of upkeep may cause the unit to short cycle. For example, if you ignore a dirty filter, which restricts airflow, your unit will start working erratically.
Faulty components. Some issues don’t directly involve the AC or furnace, such as power outages, a corroded flame sensor, an issue with the breaker, a blocked outdoor unit and more.
Broken thermostat or wrong placement. A broken thermostat can cause the HVAC unit to turn on and off too quickly. The same thing can happen if the thermostat is located near an area where it’s exposed to direct sunlight, such as near a window. When a thermostat is exposed to heat, it will misread the room’s temperature, possibly causing short cycling.
To make sure your HVAC unit doesn’t have short cycling issues, hire a reputable contractor like The Ice-Man. We offer AC repair and installation services. Call us today at (609) 466-9020 or fill out this form.