Is it Normal For My Air Conditioner to Turn On and Off?

Aug 30, 2018 | Air Conditioning

Hand turning a home thermostat knob to set temperature on energy saving mode. fahrenheit units. Composite image between a photography and a 3D background.

When an air conditioner (AC) turns on and off in rather quick successions without running for longer periods, this is called short cycling. It’s fairly common but when it happens it means there’s something wrong with the AC. Do not ignore these occurrences. This will increase your energy costs, usually indicate a larger problem, and could lead to permanent damage of your unit, thus requiring a costly replacement. Short cycling also shortens your AC’s life span. Call a professional technician and have your unit inspected. Any one of our experts at AA-AIR Company can diagnose and repair this issue for you. Don’t delay. Call us at 865-689-529, so we can get your AC back to the most efficient state for you.

While there are many possible reasons for short cycling here are a few of the most common ones and what can be done to fix them.

Low Refrigerant

The coolant that flows through your system, helping to absorb heat and cool down the air inside your home, is called refrigerant. When your refrigerant is low the needed compressor-pressure levels are affected. This triggers your compressor’s low pressure control and shuts off your compressor. When the pressure equalizes it triggers your AC to restart and causes short cycling. If your refrigerant level is low the indication is that there is a leak. Low refrigerant can also cause frozen coils. A professional technician can find the leak and prevent any further issues or damage.

Thermostat Location

Your thermostat acts as the sensor for your AC telling it when to cool your home. If its location is not optimal, such as near a window or too close to a vent, your thermostat will be sending misleading information to your AC. Suppose your thermostat is in the direct line of airflow from a vent. This will cause the thermostat to think it’s cooler in your home than it really is and your AC will shut off thinking it’s reached its desired temperature. Since the cool air is no longer flowing through the vent the thermostat realizes your home is actually still too warm and triggers your AC to start up again. This is short cycling. Be sure your thermostat is located in a central location away from direct sunlight and vents.

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Dirty Air Filter

Dirty air filters are one of the most common and easily remedied problems with ACs we see here in Knoxville, TN. The dirty filters restrict airflow, which in turn causes so many problems, one of them being a frozen coil. This can cause your AC to malfunction and short cycle. Be sure to change your filters regularly to avoid any issues.

Oversized AC

An AC unit that is too large for your home short cycles because it cools your home too rapidly and doesn’t dehumidify properly. This will cause it to shut down and start up frequently. You’ll more than likely also find that your home has hot and cold spots, and you’ll experience higher energy bills. If your AC is newly installed, talk to the technicians who installed it to see what they can do to help you. Call one of our qualified system designers to do a Manual J heat load calculation to determine the proper-sized unit for your home.

Short cycling causes a whole host of problems with your AC so if you notice your AC doing this, call one of our technicians to assess the situation. You want your AC to cool efficiently and to last for years to come. Short cycling will short change you.

AA-AIR Company

Need Service?

Call Us at 865-689-5290
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AA-AIR Company provides heating and cooling services in Knoxville, Farragut, Lenoir City, Alcoa, Louisville, Maryville and surrounding communities. Call us at 865-689-5290 or request HVAC service online today!

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