A properly functioning air conditioner is necessary in many parts of the world, as it helps keep homes and businesses cool during hot weather. However, air conditioners can sometimes develop problems, one of which is known as short cycling. This occurs when the AC unit turns on and off more frequently than usual, and various factors can cause it.
1. Dirty Air Filter
A clean air filter is one of the essential components of a well-functioning AC unit. The air filter traps dust, pollen, and other airborne particles before entering the AC unit. However, after some time, the air filter can become blocked with dirt and debris, reducing its ability to do its job. If your air filter has dirt, it may cause your AC unit to short cycle, compensating for the reduced airflow. Short cycling stresses the AC unit and can lead to costly repairs. Therefore, checking your air filter regularly and replacing it when necessary is vital.
2. Frozen Evaporator Coils
Evaporator coils are responsible for evaporating the refrigerant inside your AC unit, and they need to be adequately cooled to work correctly. If these coils are too cold, they can ice over and prevent proper airflow. This causes your unit to overwork in an attempt to thaw the coils, leading to short cycling. If you suspect your evaporator coils may be frozen, it’s essential to have Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning take a look as soon as possible. Frozen coils can cause extensive damage to your AC unit and may even lead to a complete breakdown. Consequently, it’s best to catch this issue early and prevent further damage.
3. Dirty Condenser Coil
One of the critical parts of your AC unit is the condenser coil. The condenser coil is responsible for transferring heat from the air inside your home to the outside air. If the condenser coil becomes dirty, it will not be able to transfer heat as efficiently, and your AC unit will have to work harder to cool your home. This can not only cause your home to be less comfortable, but it can also strain your AC unit and shorten its lifespan. To prevent this, you should regularly hire Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning to clean your condenser coil.
4. Low Refrigerant Levels
When your AC unit is low on refrigerant, it puts extra stress on the compressor, which is responsible for circulating the refrigerant. The extra strain can cause the compressor to overheat, leading to a shutdown. In addition, low refrigerant levels can cause the evaporator coils to freeze up, another condition that can trigger a shutdown. If you suspect your AC system is low on refrigerant, it must be checked by qualified technicians at Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, St. Peters. Operating a system with low refrigerant levels can cause severe damage to the compressor and other components.
5. Malfunctioning Blower Motor
The blower motor circulates air throughout the AC system. If it’s not working correctly, the airflow will be restricted, causing the AC to cycle on and off more frequently. This can be a problem because it stresses the compressor, leading to a complete system failure. Not only is this ineffectual, but it can also put a lot of wear and tear on your AC unit, leading to costly repairs down the road. If you think your blower motor might be malfunctioning, it’s essential to have it checked out by a professional as soon as possible.
6. Leaky Ductwork
Ductwork is an essential part of any AC system. It is responsible for delivering cooled or heated air from the unit to the different rooms in your home. Any spaces or holes in the ductwork can cause several problems, including AC short cycling. This occurs when the unit turns on and off more frequently than usual to reach the set temperature. This wastes energy and can lead to premature wear and tear on the unit.
In some cases, leaks in the ductwork can also cause the AC unit to freeze. If you note that your ductwork may be leaking, it is best to have it inspected by a professional. Repairing or replacing leaky ductwork is essential in keeping your AC unit running smoothly.
7. Incorrect Thermostat Settings
The thermostat works as the brain of the AC system, so it needs to be set correctly for the system to function properly. If your thermostat is too low, your AC will cycle more frequently to reach the target temperature. On the contrary, if your thermostat is set too high, your AC will turn off before it has a chance to get the target temperature, leading it to turn back on again shortly after that. The ideal way to prevent short cycling is to have a professional calibrate your thermostat. This will ensure that it is set correctly and that your AC runs all summer smoothly long.
8. Faulty Compressor
Your air conditioner works by cycling refrigerant through a closed loop system. This process involves four main components: the evaporator, the condenser, the expansion valve, and the compressor. The compressor works by pressurizing the refrigerant and circulating it throughout the system. If the compressor is malfunctioning, it can cause the system to short cycle. There are some reasons why a compressor might fail, but one of the most common is overheating. When the compressor overheats, it causes the system to short cycle to cool down. In some cases, a failed compressor may also cause the AC unit to leak refrigerant.
9. An Overheating Fan Motor
When the fan motor overheats, it trips a switch that turns the AC unit off. The AC unit will return on once the motor cools down. However, if the fan motor continues to overheat, it can cause the AC unit to cycle more frequently, leading to sudden wear and tear. In some cases, an overheating fan motor may also cause the AC unit to freeze up. In order to prevent this, it is essential to keep the fan motor clean and free of debris. Additionally, it is necessary to check the fan motor for signs of overheating.
10. Oversized AC Unit
When an AC unit is oversized, it will cool the space quickly but not run long enough to eliminate the humidity from the air. This can cause the AC unit to turn on and off frequently to maintain a comfortable temperature. This will cause your home to feel stuffy and uncomfortable. In addition, an oversized AC unit will cost more to operate, using more energy to cycle on and off. Choose a unit that perfectly fits your space to ensure your home feels comfortable and your AC operates at peak efficiency.
11. An Electrical Issue
Electrical wires link the indoor and outdoor units of an AC. A loose connection or a break in the cables can cause the AC to turn on and off repeatedly. In certain instances, the problem may be with the wiring itself. If the insulation on the wires is damaged, it can allow electricity to arc, making the AC turn on and off. Sometimes, this can also lead to the unit overheating, damaging the compressor. Another possibility is that the capacitor, which helps to start the AC unit, is malfunctioning. A faulty capacitor can prevent the AC from starting up correctly, causing it to short cycle.
Rely on the Heating and Air Conditioning Experts
At Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning in St. Peters, we offer various services to keep your home or business comfortable all year round. We focus on heating and air conditioning repair, and our team of experienced technicians is available 24/7 to respond to your call. We also provide preventative maintenance packages to keep your equipment running smoothly and help prevent future breakdowns. In addition, we offer duct cleaning and sealant services to improve your indoor air quality and increase energy efficiency. Call Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning today if you require heating or air conditioning services.