You’ve reached this page because you have an air conditioner that’s short cycling.

This is a situation where your AC repeatedly turns on and off (especially at night), and it’s a problem for several reasons. Not only is this frustrating, it’s actually costing you money on your energy bill.

The good news is that there are some easy ways to fix this problem. In this article, we’ll show you how to troubleshoot and fix your AC unit if it’s short cycling.

What Is Short-cycling?

We know you know this, but just in case 🙂

Short-cycling is when your air conditioner or heat pump turns on and off more frequently than normal.

This puts additional strain on the system, wastes energy, and can cause premature wear and tear, leading to expensive repairs.

What Causes Your AC To Short Cycle?

There are a number of reasons why your AC might be short-cycling.

Here are some other causes:

  • Dirty air filter
  • Low refrigerant charge
  • Faulty thermostat (popular problem)
  • An oversized or undersized air conditioner

Dirty air filter

If the air filter is clogged, it can restrict airflow to the point where the evaporator coils start to ice over. This can cause the AC to shut down prematurely to prevent damage.

Solution: Change the filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you have pets or live in a dusty area, you may need to change it more often.

Low refrigerant charge

If there’s not enough refrigerant in the system, it can cause the evaporator coils to ice over. This can also cause the AC to shut down prematurely.

Solution: You’ll need to have a certified technician recharge the system.

Faulty thermostat

If the thermostat is not working properly, it can cause the AC to turn on and off more frequently than normal.

Solution: You’ll need to have a certified technician check the thermostat and replace it if necessary.

An oversized or undersized air conditioner

If the AC is too big for the space, it will cool the room quickly and then shut off before it has a chance to remove all the humidity.

This can make the room feel cooler, but it can also cause the AC to run more frequently than normal.

On the other hand, if the AC is too small for the space, it will have to run for longer periods of time to cool the room, which can also cause it to short-cycle.

Solution: This is a tough one, because it will mean replacing the AC. You’ll need to have a certified technician come out and assess your space to determine the correct size unit for you.

FAQs

Should I turn my AC off if it is short cycling?

In the first instance, yes. You would then need to contact an HVAC specialist to help you fix the problem.

What is the most common cause of AC short cycling?

The most common cause of AC short-cycling is a dirty air filter.

How often should I change my AC filter?

You should change your AC filter at least once every 3 months. If you have pets or live in a dusty area, you may need to change it more often.

How do you know if your AC is short cycling?

If your AC unit keeps switching on and off, it is likely short cycling.

Why does my window fog up – AC short cycle?

If this filter gets clogged, the air conditioner’s ability to cycle air through the system may be hampered, resulting in it cycling rapidly. The humidity level in the room will stay high while the temperature decreases as a result of this.

Why does my AC kick on every 10 minutes?

The most common reason why you AC kicks on every 10 minutes is usually because it doesn’t have enough refrigerant. This can cause the evaporator coils to ice over and the AC to shut down prematurely. You’ll need to have a certified technician recharge the system.

Why does my AC come on every 5 minutes?

An air conditioner’s compressor and condenser may malfunction, causing it to cycle on and off repeatedly. Dirty, broken, or failing components or other mechanical or electrical reasons are all possible causes of an AC system cycling on and off.

Can too much Freon cause short cycling?

Yes, a condenser filled with liquid refrigerant will reduce its capacity; this condition, in addition to causing excessive sub-cooling at the condenser outlet, may cause the compressor to short cycle on high pressure cut-out; The compressor will also seem louder than usual.

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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