Is your AC shutting down randomly? Well don’t worry there is an explanation for this. It’s a phenomenon that is referred to as short-cycling. Short-cycling actually damages your AC system, and burdens it with wear and tear that it is not designed to withstand. This creates a double blow for you: First because of the wear and tear that reduces the lifespan of the unit, and requires more repairs than it usually does. Secondly, the additional load on the system will make it run inefficiently, and increase your energy bills.

Causes of Short-Cycling

We’re sure you want to know what’s causing the issue- There are four common sources:

1. Thermostat Location

Your thermostat functions by tracking the temperature in the room. When it notices that the room is too warm or too cold, it takes the required action. If the thermostat is placed in a location that has a different temperature than the rest of the room, it won’t be able to take an accurate reading.

This will obviously result in it sending mixed signals to the AC unit. This would explain why the AC keeps shutting off early. Examples of inappropriate locations for a thermostat are under a vent, near a window, or close to a door that leads outside.

2. Blocked Air Filter

The air filter on your system takes in warm air from the room, sends it through the evaporator coils, and then releases it back into the room. If excess dust is blocking the filter, it will restrict the air supply. Without air getting in, the coils will start to freeze over. This will eventually create short-cycling.

3. Leaking Refrigerant

Your compressor comes with a low-refrigerant pressure fail-safe. When the pressure in the system drops, the compressor detects this and switches off. Once it does so, the pressure in the system begins to build up once again. This prompts the compressor to switch on.

Do you see the problem? The compressor can’t work with low pressure. If your system is leaking refrigerant, the short-cycling will continue.

4. An Oversized AC

It’s possible that your AC is too large for the area it’s supposed to be cooling. If this is the case, the AC will cool the room too quickly and then switch off until it detects the need to switch back on. This is bad because constantly switching on and off is inefficient, resulting in higher power bills as well as heavy wear and tear on the AC.

What Can You Do?

For starters, always take preventive measures like arranging for regular maintenance for your AC. If you happen to spot a problem like this, do not attempt to handle it yourself. Only certified professionals know enough about the system to safely repair it.

The team at TNC Mechanical Cooling & Heating, Inc. in Monson, MA., is ready to assist. Serving clients throughout Western MA, the family-owned company offers a wide range of HVAC services. Visit us online for more information or call (888) 284-3892 to schedule an appointment.