One particularly troublesome issue that can plague air conditioners is short cycling. This is when the cooling cycle, which should only begin every fifteen minutes or so, is cut short, only to begin again moments later. It’s a sign that a problem already exists, and it is a potential cause of even more problems. What causes an air conditioner to do this? Can a thermostat cause short cycling? We’ve got the details for you on how it happens and what to do about it.

What’s the Big Deal about Short Cycling?

The startup is the part of the cooling cycle that uses the most energy. Short cycling causes that startup to happen much, much more often. This means you’ll be paying a lot more when your utility bill arrives. But it’s also the part of the cycle that puts the most strain on the compressor, and that is the one component of your air conditioner that you don’t want to damage. A burned-out compressor usually means that you’ll have to replace the whole air conditioner!

Is the Thermostat Causing Short Cycling?

The answer to this question is a resounding… maybe. The thermostat is, after all, the component that sends the signal for the cooling cycle to start. And if it’s sending the wrong signals, that can cause the cycle to start at the wrong times. This can be as simple as a loose connection in the wiring. A technician can determine the exact cause, and provide the necessary repairs. But what if the thermostat isn’t the problem?

What Else Can Cause Short Cycling?

Somehow, your air conditioner is getting the idea that it’s time to start cooling, and then that it’s time to stop cooling, and then that it’s time to start again, all in very short order. So if it’s not the thermostat, what could it be? The limit switch is a component that prevents overheating. If it’s malfunctioning, it could be erroneously signaling that overheating is occurring and shutting the air conditioner down. Or there could be some actual overheating going on, for example, if the blower fan motor is burning out. This can happen from an excess of dust or a lack of lubrication, both of which can be prevented by diligent annual maintenance. Or it could be that there’s already a problem with the compressor, and it is simply not able to keep running once it starts.

What Should You Do About Short Cycling?

When this problem starts, it’s time for repairs. Whether the root of the problem is the thermostat or something else, a technician can put things right as long as it’s caught early. So don’t delay in getting a professional diagnosis and repair! In the future, making sure to get AC maintenance done every year will dramatically cut down on your risk of encountering this or any other air conditioner trouble.

Our professionals are ready to take care of you when you reach out. Contact Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating today to schedule an appointment with our professionals.

company icon