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Why Is My Air Conditioner Short Cycling?

Delivering Quality Comfort to the Homes and Businesses of Hartford County and New Haven County

Well, it’s certainly not feeling very warm out there yet, is it? Temperatures aren’t even warm enough for it to feel like spring, let alone as though summer is on its way. On its way summer is, though, and now is a great time to ensure that your air conditioner is ready for it. Scheduling routine AC maintenance is a must if you hope to cool your home effectively and reliably once the summer season is finally upon us. Just remember, though, that even the most well-maintained air conditioners may stumble from time to time. If you encounter problems with your AC, such as short cycling, let us know right away.

What Is Short Cycling?

Short cycling is the phenomenon of an air conditioner starting up, beginning its cooling cycle, but then cycling off before that cycle has been completed. It is an extremely frustrating situation, and can have a number of detrimental effects. It wastes energy, as your system draws more energy when starting up than when running in a full cycle, and it puts unnecessary wear and tear on your AC. It also negatively affects your comfort, obviously, and will inhibit the natural dehumidification of your AC cycle. But why does it happen?

  • Improper Sizing: If your air conditioner is too big for your home, it will bring down the temperature too quickly. That may not sound like a problem to you. However, it will result in short cycling, and even though your home is cool, the problems mentioned above will still prevail.
  • Bad Capacitors: Your air conditioner uses a run capacitor to maintain an even and sufficient current through the system. If that capacitor is failing, your system may not sustain enough current to stay up and running. That is why short cycling is such a common sign of a failing capacitor.
  • Faulty Thermostat: This is something of a best-case scenario, as it is probably the easiest problem to resolve with a short cycling system. If your thermostat is not reading temperatures accurately, then it may lead to short cycling. Fortunately, we can outfit your system with a new, more accurate and reliable thermostat.

Remember to schedule your AC services in Bristol, CT with Dynamic Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning.

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