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Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Blog

AC Tip: Don’t Ignore Short Cycling

AC-unit-outdoorsWe know that it can be easy to avoid dealing with air conditioning problems. This is especially true when your air conditioner is still technically up and running. The last thing that you want to do, though, is give any problems with your air conditioning system the opportunity that they need to get worse. The longer that you wait to have any problems resolved by a professional HVAC contractor in Altoona, IA, the worse off your system is likely to be.

Short cycling is one such problem that too many homeowners ignore until they are suffering from the further problems that it can create. If your system is short cycling, then you’ll want our help and you’ll want it fast. This begs the question, though: what is short cycling, anyway? Read on to learn more about this problem and the toll that takes on air conditioners.

Your System Should Run in Full Cycles

Air conditioners are not designed to run full blast for a few minutes, shut down, then start back up again before much time has passed. Your air conditioner should instead run in full, even cooling cycles. If you notice that your AC is running in short bursts, then it is short cycling. It’s a fairly easy problem to recognize, but a more difficult one to understand completely.

Why It’s Such a Problem

Your air conditioner is not going to work as effectively as it should if it is short cycling. It is going to have trouble cooling your home effectively and evenly throughout. The dehumidifying effect that it has on the air in your home will also be impeded.

Worse yet is the fact that your system will actually cost you more to run, even as you’re getting less and less from it in return. This is due to the fact that starting a system up uses more energy than running it regularly would.

So What’s the Cause?

There are a few different reasons why your air conditioning system may short cycle. It could be that you have a failing component, such as a faulty run capacitor. Maybe your thermostat is not registering temperatures properly. You may even just have a very dirty air filter that needs changing. The filter could create so much airflow resistance that the system overheats and shuts down to protect itself from damage.

However, you could also be dealing with something as serious as a refrigerant leak. If your system is low on refrigerant due to a leak, then it is going to have a hard time removing a sufficient amount of heat from the air in your home. Overheating will occur, and ice can form on the system’s coil, further exacerbating the heat transfer problem. Run your system under these conditions long enough, and you could wind up with a compressor that is damaged beyond repair. That means that you’ll need a full AC replacement!

Schedule your air conditioning services with the professional technicians on the Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling team.

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