AC Problems? Understanding Short Cycling


An air conditioner is supposed to turn on when a house gets too warm and blow cold air until the house has cooled down to the temperature set on the thermostat, then turn off. Short cycling occurs when an AC is unable to complete a full cooling cycle for some reason and shuts off before it should.

Short cycling can make it hard to keep your house at a comfortable temperature on a hot summer day. When an AC turns off more often than it should, it can also raise utility bills and stress the system, which can cause it to wear out prematurely.

What Causes Short Cycling and What to Do About It

Short cycling can occur for several reasons. Depending on the cause of your AC’s problem, you might be able to diagnose and fix the issue yourself, or you might need to call a professional.

Short cycling can happen if an AC’s air filter is clogged. That can prevent the air conditioner from pulling in enough fresh air, which can make it overheat and turn off sooner than it should. Check your AC’s air filter regularly to make sure it is clean and replace it if it is clogged, or according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule.

The evaporator coils can freeze if your AC runs while the temperature is cool outdoors. Evaporator coils also sometimes freeze as a result of a mechanical problem. Check the coils for ice. If you see any, you can try turning off the AC and allowing it to thaw out. If you continue to experience problems, call an AC repair company.

Air conditioners frequently leak refrigerant. If the refrigerant level falls too low, the AC will have to work harder than it should to keep your home cool, which can lead to short cycling.

Sometimes short cycling is caused by an electrical problem. If you think there may be an electrical issue, stop using your AC until it has been inspected and repaired by a professional.

Short cycling can also occur if an AC unit is too large for the home it is cooling. In that situation, the air conditioner will release too much cool air and then shut off. If your AC is too big for your home, you may need to replace it with a smaller unit.

Have Your Home’s AC Inspected and Serviced

If your home’s air conditioning system isn’t working as well as it should, you may be experiencing a short cycling problem. There are many possible causes. If you can’t identify and fix the problem yourself, call Arbor Energy. We can send a professional to your Connecticut home to diagnose the source of the issue and make any necessary repairs to keep your home comfortable on these hot summer days.

Routine maintenance and regular inspections can often prevent short cycling problems. If your home’s AC is overdue for an inspection and service appointment, contact Arbor Energy today.