Air conditioning season is just beginning, but soon enough, we’ll be in the grips of another heat wave, and when that happens, you need your air conditioner to work tirelessly for days or even weeks on end. (That’s one of the reasons why we recommend air conditioning maintenance every year: to make sure your system is up to the task.) If your air conditioner experiences problems during the summer, the sooner you can identify the issue and get it treated before the damage spreads. Most signs that you need air conditioning repair are subtle, but occur days or weeks before an actual shutdown. By acting quickly in the face of them, you could spare yourself a lot of grief.
Among the signs you should watch for is a process known as short cycling: the unit will turn on and run for a short amount of time, then turn off, only to turn on again a short while later. It sounds like a comparatively minor problem, but it’s actually quite serious.
Why Is It a Problem?
Air conditioners use far more energy turning on and turning off than they do simply running. As the fans and motors get up to speed, they require a lot of power and create a great deal of friction on the system’s moving parts. Once it’s up to speed, however, it consumes far less power, until it turns off and all of those running components need to be slowed down and stopped again.
Ideally, your air conditioner will run for at least 15 minutes at a clip in order to make maximum use of its energy. Otherwise, short cycling occurs. The system turns on and off far more often than it should, which drives up both the cost of running your system and the chances of a more serious breakdown in the future. When left unchecked, it can shorten the overall lifespan of your system considerably, and the eventual breakdown is apt to cost far more than a more preventative repair call might.
What Causes It?
There are a number of possible causes of short cycling, all of which require the attention of a trained repair technician. In some cases, it can be components that are overheating or otherwise present a safety hazard. In those cases, the system will shut down automatically to prevent further damage to the component, only to turn on again once the component cools down. The component will need to be repaired or replaced to solve the problem.
In other cases, it may be something easier to correct, such as a malfunctioning thermostat a clogged filter that just needs replacing. However, it may also simply be that your air conditioner is too powerful for the space in your home, meaning that it will need to be replaced with a less powerful unit if you’re ever going to properly solve the problem. (That’s one of the reasons why careful preparation and sizing is absolutely necessary when installing an air conditioner for the first time.)
Regardless of the causes of short cycling, you need to address the problem properly. For quality HVAC services in Boston, MA, call on the friendly professionals at Cooling Unlimited, Inc. today!