Short Cycling Is a Problem with Your Air Conditioner

air-conditioning-repairWe’re early into air conditioning season, but chances are you’ve already run yours on a reasonably frequent basis. Soon enough, summer will be here and your system will be called upon to run every day. If there are repair issues or other problems with your system, now is the time to act. Doing so will usually cut down on the cost of repairs since the damage hasn’t had as much time to spread. It also gives you the flexibility to schedule repairs at your leisure, instead of reacting to a sudden breakdown and letting it disrupt your life.

Among the things you should check for in your system in the phenomenon of short cycling. What is it and why is it a problem? The answers can be found below.

The Problem

Short cycling is simply the process of the air conditioner turning on, running a short amount of time, and then shutting down again, only to turn on and repeat the process a few minutes later as the heat of the day warms your home.

It can be extremely irritating to listen to, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problems being caused in your system. Air conditioners use far more energy turning on and turning off than they do simply running. Individual components undergo a great deal of friction as they power up, and the electrical surge required to get them up to operating speed is far more than what is required to simply keep them at that speed.

Not only does that cause your monthly air conditioning bills to spike, but the strain it creates can quickly cause far more expensive repairs as individual components break down. Ideally, you want your air conditioner to run for at least 15 minutes at a time to make the best and most efficient use of the energy it consumes. Short cycling disrupts that, which is why it is such a serious problem.

Repairs Are Always Necessary

Anytime your system is short cycling, something is very wrong. Ideally, it’s a malfunctioning component or something is threatening to overheat in your system. Air conditioners will often short cycle by automatically shutting down rather than risk the component overheating. In these cases, short cycling is an excellent way to alert the homeowner to the problem.

Sadly, there’s another common cause of short cycling which can’t be fixed as readily. Overpowered air conditioners have a tendency to short cycle – cooling the home too quickly and turning off and on before they should – and while you can mitigate the effects in some cases, the only long-term solution is to replace the entire unit with one more properly sized. This is why it’s important for your technician to examine your home before performing installation, and why you should never buy an oversized unit for your home.

If your air conditioner is short cycling, and you need air conditioning repair services in Santa Fe, NM, call Santa Fe Express Plumbing & Drain today!

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