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Causes of Short Cycling in Your Air Conditioner

With spring here in the Andover, MA area, you’re going to start using your air conditioner more and more often in the coming weeks. And with that use, you’ll have the opportunity to look for signs of trouble, and call in a repair service to take care if it before the stifling heat of summer kicks in in earnest. Among the issues you should look out for is short cycling: when an air conditioner turns on, then off again very rapidly, then on again and so on throughout the day. AC units use much more energy turning on and off than they do simply running, which means that short cycling can be a big problem: wasting energy and raising the chances of a breakdown. The causes of short cycling can include, but are not limited to the following:

Bad Capacitors

Most Air conditioners have two capacitors: a start capacitor which provides the electrical charge needed to get the unit up to speed, and a run capacitor designed to keep it running once it is. If the run capacitor is damaged, or if the flow of electricity to it is interrupted, it could shut the system off, only to have it turn on again once the temperature hits a certain point. A bad capacitor will most likely need to be replaced.


It’s important not to get an air conditioner that is overpowered for your space. If it is, then it will cool the air too quickly, turning off only to turn on again a few minutes later. Unfortunately, where’s very little you can do except replace the system in these cases, though your technician may be able to suggest a less expensive alternative. This is why it’s very important to get your air conditioner properly sized when you first have it installed.

Call Cooling Unlimited today to solve short cycling problems in your air conditioner!

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