Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

Air Conditioner Short-Cycling: What You Need to Know

Have you ever noticed your air conditioner turning itself on and off every couple of minutes? If so, you may have a short-cycling problem. Short-cycling is a very serious threat to the health of an air conditioner, decreasing its effectiveness dramatically and increasing the chance of a breakdown. In order to address air conditioner short-cycling, you should first understand what causes it. Let’s take a look at why short-cycling happens, and how to address it.

The Causes of Short-Cycling

There are two main causes of short-cycling in an air conditioner: thermostat issues and a faulty compressor. The thermostat is responsible for sending signals to the air conditioner, telling it when to start or stop. If the thermostat starts to malfunction for any reason, it can start to send conflicting signals to the air conditioner and cause it to short-cycle. The compressor is a gas pump that is designed to circulate refrigerant through the air conditioning system. A damaged or faulty compressor often throws off the rhythm of the air conditioner, causing it to fall in and out of its startup cycle.

Damage Caused by Short-Cycling

Short-cycling locks the air conditioning system into its startup cycle, which is the most stressful part of its operation. Not only does this prevent the air conditioner from really cooling your home, but it also puts the system under an enormous amount of stress that it wasn’t designed to handle.  This makes it more and more likely to break down under the strain, which is why you should call for repairs as soon as you notice this problem. If not addressed quickly, short-cycling can cause an air conditioning system to die permanently.

If your air conditioner is short-cycling, call Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing. We provide air conditioning repair services throughout Chevy Chase, MD.