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SPS Mechanical Inc. Blog

Your AC Should NOT Be Doing This

Okay, there might be a few things your air conditioner shouldn’t be doing, but we want to be very clear about one of them. Most problems that occur within an air conditioner can be detected through normal means by a homeowner. A clogged condensate drain will show up as leaking water or mold growth. A refrigerant leak will give off a “chloroform-like” scent as well as a bubbling and hissing sound. When it comes to short-cycling, however, many homeowners don’t even know this is a problem.

If you’re like many other homeowners, then you’re probably vigilant about your air conditioning in West Deptford. You want to know the moment when something is wrong so you can get it fixed, right?

If you’ve never heard the term short-cycling before, or you have but you’re not entirely sure why it’s a problem, then this post is for you.

An Explanation of Short-Cycling

As you might have guessed, short-cycling is a term we use in the HVAC industry to describe a system that’s running in short, frequent cycles. Whether it’s two minutes or five minutes and then abruptly shutting down, this type of cooling cycle is not good for a variety of reasons that we will get into.

Short-cycling can be caused by any number of issues, starting with:

  • A refrigerant leak.
  • Clogged air filter.
  • Broken compressor.
  • An AC that’s too large for the home.

All of these can contribute to short-cycling, since they can cause the system to start running more frequently.

If you want a solid answer as to what’s causing your short-cycling air conditioner, then you’re going to need to schedule an appointment with us so we can diagnose the problem. But, in the meantime, let’s talk about why short-cycling is as bad as we’re insinuating.

Yes, Short-Cycling Is Really Bad

The biggest reason why short-cycling is so bad is because of the strain it puts on your air conditioner.

Certain components are stressed during start-up and others are stressed during the length of the cooling cycle. This is normal wear and tear, and it’s something that your system is constructed to endure. However, when a system short-cycles, it stresses the start-up components more since it’s starting up and shutting down more frequently. This is basically like putting all the weight of a shelf on one side and expecting it to hold everything for a decade or more!

Also, short-cycling is terrible for energy efficiency. The start-up of a short-cycling system consumes more electricity than a normally functioning air conditioner.

The Opposite Is Bad as Well!

If you’ve got an air conditioner that runs in extremely long cycles, then that’s not good either! Listen to how long the AC is running. If you’re hearing it pump cool air for longer than 25 minutes, then it might be undersized and struggling to provide cool air for your home.

Time Your Cooling Cycles

A cooling cycle should take anywhere between 15–20 minutes in a normally operating unit. Anything below or beyond this is likely a sign that something is wrong and you should call us for help.

Call SPS Mechanical Inc. Comfort At Your Service.

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