What is Short Cycling and how it affects your HVAC System?
Short cycling is very important and any HVAC professional worth their salt should know what short cycling is and the different things that can cause it. The average homeowner won’t know these terms which is why we want to share that info with you. When your air conditioner quickly runs through cycles, turning off and on quickly, it damages the internal components of the unit. This is called short cycling.
How does Short Cycling happen?
Your HVAC system is designed to run in cycles. Every cooling cycle consists of the time it takes for refrigerant to absorb your home’s heat, travel to the outside condenser, send the heat away from your home, and recycle back to the inside unit. This cycle takes place repeatedly until your home’s temperature reaches the temp set on the thermostat. One cooling cycle should last about 15 minutes give or take, and your home should be comfortable in that time. If you notice your system runs for five or ten minutes and turns off, then it’s likely short cycling. Short cycling can cause extreme wear and tear on system components over time, and it will also cause your energy bills to spike since the highest energy use is drawn when the system kicks on.
Three Causes of Short Cycling
- You could have a refrigerant leak. When your air conditioner leaks refrigerant, it needs to run in short cycles which will ultimately cause components to wear down or break completely. Eventually, your system might lose enough refrigerant that it will be unable to cool your home at all.
- It could be a clogged air filter. Your AC requires consistent air flow in order to do its job efficiently. When the air filter gets clogged, it can overheat, leading to short cycles.
- The system you have is too large for your home. When an air conditioner is oversized for a home, it will cool the home down too quickly causing short cycling. This can wear down a unit so much that it requires replacement.
If you feel that your HVAC system may be short cycling, give Air Design a call today. We can get it fixed for you before you end up needing to replace the entire unit.