The central air conditioner is a major upgrade from the noisy, ineffective, and inefficient air conditioning systems that so many of us have used in the past—provided that it is working properly. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners seem to think that, just because their air conditioners are functioning, they are functioning properly. This is not necessarily the case, and that type of thinking can land you in some hot water.
Now, you’ll obviously realize that something is wrong with your air conditioner if it is not pumping out cool air in your home at all. However, you should also pay attention to the way in which the system is running when it is cooling your home. Does it seem to be starting up, running only for a brief period, and then cycling right back down? If so, then it is short cycling. That is a deceptively serious problem for your air conditioning in Tampa, FL.
Why Does an Air Conditioner Short Cycle?
There are a lot of different reasons for this, actually. This is the case with most AC problems. It is also the reason why a professional and accurate diagnosis of any AC problem is always the best first step toward having that problem resolved. So what might be to blame, here?
- An oversized AC. If your air conditioner has always short cycled for as long as you’ve had it, then the reality of the situation may be that it is simply overpowered for the space that it needs to cool. The system is cooling the house too quickly, causing it to cycle down. Doesn’t sound like that big of an issue, but as you’ll see below, short cycling has a lot of negative consequences regardless of the root of the problem.
- A very dirty air filter. This is definitely the best case scenario if your air conditioner is short cycling. The dirty filter can create so much airflow resistance that the air conditioner starts to overheat. Then, it is going to cycle down in order to prevent damages from developing. Simply swapping out the air filter with a clean one will help to resolve the problem.
- A refrigerant leak. Refrigerant is used in your system to facilitate the entire cooling process. The system evaporates refrigerant in the evaporator coil. That allows it to draw heat out of the air. Then, it releases that heat outside as it is condensed. If you have a refrigerant leak, it needs to be resolved ASAP to avoid serious, even irreversible, damages to the system.
The Consequences of Short Cycling
If your air conditioner is short cycling, it won’t have the same dehumidifying effect on the air in your home. It also just won’t cool your home as effectively. It drives up energy costs since it requires more energy to start a system up than it does to keep one running, and it puts a lot of wear and tear on the system. That increases the risk of damages to your system.
So, short cycling is never a good sign, and it can put your AC at risk of serious operational problems. If changing the filter doesn’t resolve the issue, contact us right away.