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Potential Causes of Short Cycling

If you’ve ever talked to an air conditioning specialist, they’ll tell you that short cycling is a serious concern. It means that the air conditioner turns on, then off again very quickly, only to turn on again a few minutes later and so on.  Short cycling is a big issue because the system uses much more energy starting up and shutting down that it does simply running.  That translates to higher than normal monthly bills, wasted energy, and strain on your system that could eventually lead to a serious breakdown.

Ideally, your system should run at least 15 minutes at a stretch before turning off. Any sooner — especially if it does so without adequately cooling your home — and you have a significant situation on your hands. With summer on its way here in Bountiful, UT, that can lead to huge expenses in the next few months.

What are the potential causes of short cycling? We’ve listed a few of the more common ones below:

  • Overpowered.  The biggest cause of short cycling is simply an air conditioner that is too powerful for the space it needs to cool. It actually does its job too well, cooling the air quickly and shutting off, then starting up again when the heat drives the temperatures back up.
  • Frozen Coils. Frost on the coils can be caused by low refrigerant levels, excessive dust on the system or clogged filters among other reasons. But it prevents the air conditioner from cooling the air properly, and can often lead (ironically) to the system turning off to prevent overheating, only to turn back on again once the pertinent components cool down.
  • Electrical Issues. A frayed wire or malfunctioning electrical component may cause the system to shut off unexpectedly, only to turn on again shortly thereafter.

Trust At Your Service Plumbing, Heating and Air to handle short cycling in your system.

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