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Deciphering Your AC: What Does Short Cycling Mean?

A lot of people encounter short cycling air conditioners. Sometimes they can sound similar to regularly functioning systems, to the point where it’s already too late when something else goes wrong. The truth of the matter is short cycling is a big problem, and one that should be detected as early as possible.

But how can you tell if your system is short cycling so badly that it requires air conditioning repair in Lake in the Hills? It can almost feel like your air conditioner is speaking a different language, one that you’re just not keyed in on.

Don’t worry. Consider our team the AC whisperers, as we decipher your air conditioner’s hidden language and teach you the way to decipher it.

The Signs of a Short Cycling System

Short cycling sounds exactly like the name implies, but that might not be intuitive for some people. Think about it, you’re busy, you probably don’t have time to learn about all the different sounds and struggles of an air conditioner.

In short, an AC that runs in brief, frequent cycles is operating incorrectly—in a way commonly known as short cycling.

A short cycling air conditioner will turn on for a shorter time than usual, cool down your home, and then shut down abruptly, either due to overheating or because it has reached the temperature demand on your thermostat early.

Why Short Cycling Is Bad

Air conditioners are designed to function in specific cycles. Each component shares in the burden of cooling your home equally, and it eventually reaches the temperature set on your thermostat.

Short cycling is bad for a number of different reasons. It could be a result of another sinister issue, like leaking refrigerant or an overheating system.

But one of the main reasons why short cycling is so devastating is because it’s extremely inefficient. The most energy-intensive part of your AC’s cycle is the start-up, which happens more often when your system is short cycling. This means you’ll end up paying a lot more in energy costs over time!

Is Your AC Oversized?

One of the more common reasons for an air conditioner to short cycle is a botched installation. No, we’re not talking about any particular mess-up during the installation process when it comes to setting up the wires or refrigerant lines. We’re talking about right from the start—the load calculation component of the installation process.

An air conditioner needs to be sized accordingly for a home. If it’s too small, your home will never feel cool enough on a hot day because the system just isn’t designed for such a large space. But if your air conditioner is too large, it will short cycle because it cools the air down too quickly. This stresses the system out over each cycle and can lead to an early replacement and multiple problems in the future.

So, if your air conditioner is short cycling and it was recently installed by an amateur, a family friend, or an unlicensed person, then it could have been sized incorrectly and is operating on borrowed time.

Schedule repairs or a diagnosis with Your Heating and Cooling Specialists at 24Hr Home Comfort Services Inc.

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