Reasons That An Air Conditioner Can Short Cycle

Do you have a problem where you notice your home's air conditioner turning off and on in quick succession? This is a problem known as short cycling, which can happen to any air conditioner after years of use. Here are a few reasons why your air conditioner is short cycling.

Dirty Air Filter

Sometimes short cycling occurs because of restricted airflow in the system. All that cold air becomes trapped inside the unit's air handler, and the main condenser coils will start to freeze. The unit will immediately shut down as soon as it turns on because it needs to allow the coils to defrost. The ice melts, the system kicks back on, and then the coils freeze once again. The only way to break this cycle is to replace the air filter with a new one so that the air does not have a problem flowing out of the air handler.

Refrigerant Leaks

One problem that can affect any air conditioner is a refrigerant leak, with the symptoms being very similar to those of a dirty air filter. Without the refrigerant in the system to remove the heat from the air, the coils end up freezing due to cold air inside the air handler. This problem cannot be resolved until the refrigerant leak is repaired and more refrigerant is put back into the system. You'll need the help of an HVAC technician to make sure that the system is charged to the proper level with refrigerant.

Dirty Condenser Coil

Do you have a frozen condenser coil, but you checked the refrigerant and air filter and found those two aspects to be fine? It could be a problem due to the condenser coil being dirty. If there are enough debris and dirt on the condenser coil, then it will have a problem with allowing the refrigerant to extract the heat found in the air. The coils then become frozen, which leads to the problem of the unit shutting down to allow the coils to defrost. This problem can be fixed by cleaning the coils, which is done by spraying the coils down with a special cleaning solution and scrubbing them down.

Oversized AC

If the air conditioner in your home is much too big for your house, then the system itself can cause short cycling. This happens because a room reaches the set temperature very fast, and then quickly reverts when the air is turned off. This problem may require replacing the air conditioner with a smaller unit since bigger is not always better when it comes to an air conditioner.

For more information, contact a local air conditioning repair company. 


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