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The Problem of AC Short-Cycling

ac short cycling we kingswell

The AC unit is supposed to start up, run until it reaches the desired temperature setting, and then shut off again.

May is finally here. It won’t be long until summer begins, either. What this means is that it’s almost time to keep your air conditioner running all day. You might even need to run at night; getting overheated while you sleep is never comfy. But what if something goes wrong, and you don’t even notice? Unfortunately, this issue might have something to do with a technical flaw known as short-cycling.

The Importance of a Normal Cycle Length 

First of all, let’s talk about why a so-called “normal” cycle length is so important. The AC unit is supposed to start up, run until it reaches the desired temperature setting, and then shut off again. As the room temperature goes up, this cycle starts over again as necessary. Although you might worry about the noise produced and the energy consumed, this refresh will only occur two or three times inside an hour. 

Brief cycles won’t provide enough cooling, which can be a major problem on muggy days or when outdoor weather conditions are absurdly high. In other words, even if you are staying at home all day, you’ll feel uncomfortable and maybe even a little bit ill. Brief cycling causes other secondary problems, such as energy waste and damage to your air conditioner’s cooling components. This wear-and-tear leads to breakdowns and shortens the overall expected service life. 

Solutions for the AC Short-Cycling Problem 

Fortunately, there are some easy ways to resolve this issue. In some cases, you may be able to fix the problems by yourself. However, be advised that in other scenarios, you’ll need to lean on professional expertise instead. So, what changes can make a difference? Let’s discuss: 

Clogged air filters: When air filters are too clogged, they stop working the way they should. This situation, in turn, affects how easily the airflow can travel through the filters. Putting in a new filter should help tremendously. 

Dirty evaporator coils: Likewise, debris-covered coils can cause your air conditioner to be overworked and underwhelming. Make sure to prioritize coil cleaning during the system’s annual PM tuneup.  

Insufficient coolant supply: Inadequate refrigerant levels are bad news for your HVAC. That’s mainly because your AC unit can’t motivate airflow to continue moving.  At this point, you’ll want a maintenance professional to diagnose the problem and refill the refrigerant materials.

The equipment is too big: Sometimes, the solution could be as simple as evaluating the size of the air conditioner that your home uses. Oversized equipment is another potential culprit for the problem of short-cycling. Fortunately, HVAC maintenance professionals can redo load calculations and recommend a replacement system for your consideration. 

We Are Proud of the Company We Keep

William E. Kingswell has remained a distinguished provider of commercial and residential heating and cooling services since 1937. We have provided unmatched customer service to all of our clients. We enjoy being the preferred HVAC equipment distributor of countless customers. We offer a comprehensive range of high-quality heat pumps, boilers, unit heaters, HVAC accessories, and more. William E. Kingswell works with businesses and homeowners throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia, including Baltimore, Frederick, Annapolis, Fairfax, Manassas, Richmond, Fredericksburg, Virginia Beach, and Leesburg. To learn more about our extensive range of SpacePak, Concord, Allied Commercial, and Bard HVAC equipment, give us a call at 301-937-1900 or contact us today!


This entry was posted on Friday, May 7th, 2021 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.