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ac maintenance can help prevent AC short cycling

Is AC Short Cycling the Culprit for a Warm Home? 

In Texas, an AC that isn’t cooling is a major issue. If your air conditioner is constantly running but not cooling your home, it could be that your AC is short-cycling.  

What is AC Short Cycling?

Short cycling occurs when your air conditioning system rapidly turns on and off without completing a full cooling cycle and fails to lower the temperature in your home. This can be caused by various issues, such as an oversized or undersized AC unit, a malfunctioning thermostat, low refrigerant levels, or a dirty or clogged air filter.

Short cycling reduces energy efficiency and can also lead to unnecessary wear and tear on the system. But here’s the good news: you can take control. Regular maintenance, including changing air filters and checking refrigerant levels, can help prevent short cycling. If you believe you are experiencing short cycling with your AC, having an HVAC technician diagnose and fix the issue is best.

What causes AC Short Cycling?

Air Filter Needs Changing

Many AC issues stem from a dirty or clogged air filter. Changing your HVAC air filter is an important task that should not be overlooked, as it is your HVAC unit’s first line of defense against dirt, pollen, and dust. When your air filter becomes clogged, air to the rest of your HVAC unit is restricted.

Thermostat Issues

A malfunctioning thermostat can also cause your AC unit to short cycle. If your thermostat registers an inaccurate temperature, it will lead to frequent on-off cycles. If your AC unit is not properly cooling your home, it could be time to replace your thermostat.  

AC Compressor Motor is Failing

If your AC compressor motor malfunctions, it can lead to short cycling. The compressor will have difficulty maintaining the required pressure levels within the AC system, resulting in early shutdowns. When the compressor motor loses efficiency or stops working, the system might cycle on and off more frequently to sustain cooling capacity. This will lead to inefficient operation and increased wear on components.

The Evaporator Coil is Frozen

If your evaporator coil is frozen, it may be due to a clogged air filter, a refrigerant leak, or a dirty coil, restricting how much heat it can absorb. When the evaporator coil is unable to effectively absorb heat due to freezing, it can lead to overheating or short cycling.

To thaw the evaporator coil, turn off the air conditioner for a few hours to allow it to melt. To prevent the evaporator coil from refreezing, we recommended changing your air filter and calling an AERO technician to recharge the refrigerant or clean the coil, if necessary.

Why we recommend maintenance to avoid AC Short Cycling:

You don’t want to be stuck in triple digits with no AC. Your unit will need fewer repairs if it is receiving biannual professional maintenance. Scheduling these repairs in the fall and spring allows your technician to prepare your unit before the weather changes.

If your unit has been out of use, it could accumulate dust and debris you can’t see. A professional will ensure your unit is cleaned up and ready to go when you need it the most. 

When it comes to maintenance procedures such as checking your level of refrigerant or checking out the status of electrical components, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.  Scheduling a routine checkup for your air conditioner can save you money in multiple ways. If the technician finds a small problem, it can be repaired quickly, possibly saving you from a major repair. Schedule an appointment today! 


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