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Air Conditioner Short Cycling: How To Avoid It

February 9th, 2021 by Airedale Cooling

Air conditioner short cycling is one of the most common issues people experience with their AC unit. It’s not good for you, the unit or your overall mission of keeping an area cool – and it is especially important when it concerns staff and server rooms.

With this in mind, we’ll take a look at what air conditioner short cycling is, what causes it and how you can attempt to stop this from happening.

Having issues with your air conditioning? Call our engineers on 0800 998 1311 today!

What is air conditioner short cycling?

When your air conditioner is working as it should, it will work on long cycles which then work to meet the temperature you set on the thermostat. Once it reaches the desired temperature, the system will shut off until needed again. However, with short cycling, that’s not happening.

Short cycling means that your air conditioner is turning off before reaching the desired temperature, which means it will almost inevitably turn on again to start cooling sooner as well. This constant on and off, without reaching the desired temperature, is what we call short cycling due to the short cooling cycle pattern which emerges.

Why air conditioner short cycling is bad

You can probably already imagine why a short cycling air conditioner is a bad thing, but here’s a rundown of the numerous reasons why it’s not a good thing to have going on with your system.

1. You never get the desired temperature

All you want is to be kept cool but you’re always finding the temperature in the room never reaches a comfortable point. Frustrating, and not what you’re paying for.

2. Raised energy bills

Speaking of what you’re paying for, with the air conditioner turning on and off repeatedly, your electricity bills will certainly rise as it’s not an efficient way to cool a room or building.

3. Wear and tear

The more your air conditioner short cycles, the more it’s wearing on the parts and components within. These are meant to last a long time and stand up to hardship but aren’t designed to cope with the strain that short cycling causes. This means you’ll need repairs sooner, costing you more money overall.

So you’re uncomfortable and it’s costing you money – let’s find out what exactly could be causing the problem.

What causes an air conditioner to short cycle?

The reasons why your air conditioner might be short cycling are numerous, making it tricky pin down and solve. The following are just a handful of the main causes:

Air filters are clogged

When the air filters become clogged, it stops the flow of air which makes the system either work harder or cause the coils to freeze because cold air isn’t being blown away.

Evaporator coils are frozen

If your evaporator coils are frozen, the system will think that a low enough temperature has been reached, making it shut off.

The system is not the right size for the space

If you don’t have the right size air conditioning system for your space, the system may cool the space too quickly, causing the system to shut off and come on again too rapidly.

Thermostat placement

While not always a definite issue, if your thermostat is too close to a vent, it will cool down quicker than the rest of the space, making for short cycling without ever really letting the system do its job.

Refrigerant is leaking

There are so many reasons to have your unit checked and leaking refrigerant is one of the big ones. It causes a whole host of problems but can also lead to short cycling as the system will shut down if there isn’t enough refrigerant to work with.

How do I stop my air conditioner short cycling?

Once you know your air conditioner is short cycling, you’ll want to know how to stop it. The tricky part is figuring out why it’s doing it. Since there are so many reasons it may be happening, unless you know definitively what the issue is and how to safely rectify the situation, then it’s always recommended that you get help from a professional air conditioning repair and maintenance team.

If you have clogged filters and can safely get access to clean them, it’s advised you try this first to see if it solves the problem, but for refrigerant, thermostat or evaporator coil issues it might be time to call in the experts.

At Airedale Cooling Services, we provide repair and maintenance for air conditioning units across West Yorkshire, including Bradford, helping you save money and get the best performance from your system.

Contact our professional team of engineers today and we’ll help you get to the root of the problem – we can even offer hassle-free maintenance plans so that you can ensure your air conditioning system is running in top condition at all times.

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