HALLOWEEN SPECIAL! Book your services this Sat & Sun and receive no additional weekend fees!

What is AC Short Cycling

What is AC Short Cycling | CM Heating

You may have heard about the problem of AC short cycling but have never quite understood what it meant. In this blog, Bellingham’s top HVAC repair techs will address this important topic and help you understand what short cycling is and how it is caused. 

Short Cycling Defined

AC short cycling is when the air conditioning unit turns off within a few minutes of running. This is a very frustrating situation because when the AC short cycles, it seldom completes a cooling cycle, preventing the home from reaching appropriate temperatures. Instead of running continuously to reach the desired temperature, the system starts, runs for a short period, shuts off, and then starts again after a brief interval. This frequent cycling can indicate a problem with the air conditioner and should be addressed.

The Causes of AC Short Cycling

So how is this problem caused? AC short cycling can be caused by a variety of issues within the unit, but Bellingham HVAC repair services usually revolve around the following: 

Incorrect Thermostat Settings

Sometimes the thermostat is set too close to the current room temperature. As a result, the AC reaches the desired temperatures quickly and cycles off. Once the temperatures change even slightly, the AC will run again and turn off quickly. This constant cycling will cause high energy bills and fastener wear on the unit. 

Generally, it is best to set the temperatures as comfortably low and as high as possible in the summer to prevent frequent cycling. When the indoor and outdoor temperatures are close, the AC won’t strain as much to keep your home comfortable. 

Oversized or Undersized Unit

An air conditioner that is too large or too small for the cooling space can lead to short cycling. An oversized unit cools the area rapidly and shuts off before completing an entire cycle, while an undersized unit may struggle to maintain the desired temperature and constantly runs. Thus, ensuring that the AC unit is correctly sized for the space is crucial, and this can be done only when you have a Bellingham HVAC repair tech on hand for the installation. 

Restricted Airflow

Sometimes short cycling is caused by a restriction in the airflow which is often the result of clogged filters, blocked vents, or obstructions that cause the system to overheat. When the AC overheats, it goes into protection mode and turns off before providing adequate cooling to the home. 

To prevent this from happening, it is recommended to clean the air filters at least every four to six weeks. Also, do your best to keep the vents clear of obstructions often created by furniture, plants, and other objects. Finally, schedule a regular maintenance inspection to ensure that the internal parts, like the ductwork, are cleaned. A regular maintenance visit can go a long way to ensuring proper airflow throughout the home. 

Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioning system’s cooling capacity may be compromised if its refrigerant fluid begins to leak out. This problem can be caused by the following: 

  • Age and wear of the unit
  • Physical damage
  • Poor installation
  • Vibration and movement
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Chemical reactions
  • Poor maintenance

Regardless of the case, low refrigerant levels can cause the system to shut off prematurely, leading to short cycling. If you suspect that there may be a problem with your refrigerant fluid levels, contact a Bellingham HVAC repair tech for help. 

Faulty Components

Sometimes the air conditioning system develops faulty components, such as a poorly functioning compressor, relay, or control board. This disrupts the normal operation of the air conditioner and causes it to short cycle. This problem can be resolved with an adequate diagnosis and replacement of the faulty component. However, if tit is old enough, the technician may also recommend a total unit replacement. 


Bellingham HVAC Repair Services

Is your AC giving you a hard time? Do not hesitate to call CM Heating today for the quickest and most professional assistance for all your cooling needs. Our technicians will help you achieve the comfort you enjoy the most in your home. 

Contact us today to schedule 5 star service!

CM Heating Areas

Based in Everett, CM Heating proudly serves Snohomish County, WA, North King County WA, and Skagit County, WA

Communities We Serve

CM Heating Areas