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Short-Cycling: What It Is and Why You Don’t Want It

When your air conditioner operates normally, it rotates through cycles of being on to cool your house and then back off again once your desired indoor temperature is achieved. These cooling cycles have a standard length and if your AC does not stay on long enough it can lead to short cycling. 

If you pay attention, you can easily identify the signs of short cycling. And if you do, it’s time to call for AC repair in Bellevue, WA. If you’re not sure whether or not your AC is operating correctly or not, you can keep reading to learn more about how to identify short cycling and why it’s such a big problem. 

What is Short Cycling? 

Short cycling is when your air conditioner does not stay on long enough to cool your home. As a result, your indoor air temperature never gets reached, and the unit continues to turn back on in an effort to lower the temperature. Your air conditioner basically keeps turning on and off again frequently without ever being able to call your home as you expect. 

Signs of Short Cycling 

The most significant indication that your air conditioner is short cycling lies in how long your air conditioner runs. If you notice your air conditioner staying on for less than about 15 minutes during a cooling cycle, that’s a red flag. It’s also a red flag if your air conditioner is turning back on frequently after ending a cooling cycle.

When your AC turns on and off while short cycling, you may hear unusual sounds. Sometimes a blower motor or the air compressor are to blame for short cycling. If something is wrong with one of these major components, the problem can be noisy. Don’t ever ignore unusual sounds that come from your air conditioner, especially if your AC is showing signs of unusual operation.

You may also notice that your home is warmer than it should be. You can check your thermostat settings and even invest in an indoor thermometer to compare the indoor temperature to the settings on your thermostat. If your AC is turning on and off frequently, it’s never cooling your home enough to lower the temperature significantly.

The Problem with Short Cycling

If your home still feels reasonably comfortable, you may be wondering why short cycling is such a big deal. The problem is that short cycling causes a lot of wear and tear to your AC. This can lead to more frequent repairs in the short term and a shorter lifespan overall. You may have to spend more money on repairs over the years and replace your air conditioner sooner than what is considered average.

The good news is, you can combat short cycling in a single step. Schedule annual maintenance for your AC diligently every single year. This is a great opportunity for our team to take a close look at your air conditioner and identify any problems that might be contributing to short cycling.

If you’re really busy, you may not even notice that your AC is short cycling until it’s too late. But our team can identify short cycling based on wear patterns and other signs of problems inside your unit. We can help you address short cycling before it gets out of hand. 

Connecting you to comfort. Schedule an AC service appointment with our WSB HVAC professional technicians today.

May 8, 2023 | Air Conditioning