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Everything You Need to Know About Short-Cycling

As summer winds down to a close, its easy to forget about your air conditioner while you start to get your heater ready for winter. However, there are still a few hot and muggy days to come, and if you’re not careful, your AC could still be showing signs of a major problem that you haven’t noticed yet. This isn’t just a bad sign for your system this year, but could become prominent when you get your AC system ready for next year!

Short-cycling is one of those problems that you should always be on the lookout for. There are many things that can cause short-cycling but believe us when we say, it’s never good. That’s why vigilant homeowners with a good ear can catch short-cycling early and can get proper service for HVAC in Sewell, NJ as fast as possible.

But, as with all AC problems, the devil is in the details.

What Is Short-Cycling?

Short cycling is when your AC turns on and then turns off again too quickly to perform a full cooling cycle. This puts unnecessary stress on certain parts of your AC, which adds wear and tear on these components while lowering their lifespan. Also, an air conditioner takes more energy and stress to turn on than it does to cool moderately- so by not completing a full cycle, your air conditioner performing its hardest job more frequently. This wastes energy in the process as well.

What Causes Short Cycling?

There are various different things that can be causing short cycling. For the most part, they’re all pretty serious concerns and should involve your HVAC technician- since you shouldn’t repair them on your own.

  • Incorrectly Sized AC. When it comes to air conditioners, there’s a common misconception that “bigger is better.” But this couldn’t be further from the truth. An air conditioner needs to be sized appropriately for your home when it’s installed, otherwise, it will short cycle (no matter if it’s too large or too small). This can require an entire system replacement and can be extremely expensive.
  • Dirty Air Filter. This happens regularly. A dirty air filter is going to make it difficult for your system to push air through the unit, forcing it to work harder and eventually short-cycle.
  • Refrigerant Leak. A system leaking refrigerant can often clue you in by making a “hissing” or “bubbling” noise. If it’s doing this while it short-cycles, that means your AC is leaking refrigerant and eventually is going to be unable to cool your home if it’s not addressed.
  • Most air conditioners only live for 10-15 years in the best of cases. It wouldn’t be surprising to a technician if your 20-year-old air conditioner is short-cycling since problems get much worse and much more expensive as the system gets older.

Notice anything that all these points share? They’re all bad and should be addressed by a professional HVAC technician. Don’t try to fix these yourself, and don’t just ignore them. The life of your AC system could be on the line.

When it comes to quality HVAC service for your short-cycling system, contact SPS Mechanical Inc. Comfort at your service!

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