If your air conditioning unit is frequently turning on and off, it is a sign of an issue that you must look into. The best way to fix this problem is by hiring an HVAC repair service. However, DIYers can use this guide to find out the major causes of an AC turning on and off repeatedly (short cycling of an AC).
Clogged Air Filters
Air filters are used to keep the evaporator coil and the air ducts clean. Dust and debris can clog the filters and they may require cleaning. If clogged air filters are not cleaned, the evaporator coil may freeze which can lead to various issues one of them being short cycling of the AC unit.
Moreover, clogged and dirty air filters restrict the airflow. This puts stress on the unit and can cause your air conditioner to turn on and off repeatedly.
Keep in mind that dirty air filters not only cause HVAC issues, but it makes the air conditioner use more energy increasing your energy bills. Therefore, clean or replace the air filters of your HVAC as required.
AC short cycling doesn’t always mean a problem with the air conditioner. In some cases, the culprit is the location of the thermostat.
If the thermostat of your AC is installed near the supply air vent or near a window through which sun rays impact the readings of the thermostat, your AC may turn on and off repeatedly without completing its cycles. It happens because when a thermostat is near a supply air vent, it will receive cool air and signal the AC to turn off much before the whole room or house is cooled.
Low Or Leaking Refrigerant
When the refrigerant (Freon) levels of an air conditioner are low, the AC might turn on and off frequently. Refrigerant is the coolant that is required to absorb heat and cool air. But when the refrigerant levels are low, the required amount of it to absorb heat and cool air is not present. The compressor doesn’t get the required aid to keep functioning normally and the AC starts turning on and off frequently.
Similar things happen if the refrigerant is leaking because a leak will reduce the levels of the refrigerant. In major leakages, the air conditioner may not turn on at all.
Refrigerant levels can be checked by a professional so whether you think that the refrigerant is low or leaking, consult an expert.
Oversized AC Unit
An improper HVAC size can lead to short cycling of the AC. If your AC is bigger than required for your home, keeping the temperature cool would be far easier for the unit. So, it will cool down much more quickly and turn off. This will appear as short cycling.
It may appear as a good thing that the AC is cooling your home and shutting down quickly, but this can lead to the breakdown of the unit because it is not completing its cooling cycle fully. Moreover, an oversized unit increases energy bills as well.
On the other hand, if you have an undersized AC unit, it will keep running constantly without cycling off.
The problem of an undersized or oversized unit can’t be fixed and the only way to fix it is by replacing the unit and installing an AC of the correct size.
If your thermostat is miscalibrated, it won’t correctly detect the temperature of the room. Because of this, it will send on and off signals to the AC at the wrong times causing the HVAC unit to short cycle. So, calibrate your thermostat or have an expert do this.
Moreover, a faulty thermostat can cause the same problem as a miscalibrated thermostat. The thermostat won’t detect the temperature correctly due to malfunctions. For example, the room won’t be cool enough but the thermostat will send the off signal to the AC. In some other cases, it will keep the AC on even when the set temperature is reached causing the unit to run constantly.
A short cycling AC means that one or more components are not working as they are required. Consult air conditioning companies Fairfax to have a technician visit your place and inspect your HVAC unit.