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Serving the Greater Los Angeles Area


Serving the Greater Los Angeles Area


JMS Air Conditioning and Heating Blog

Why is My HVAC Unit Short Cycling

You may not realize it or think about it, but your AC unit is made up of tiny, intricate parts that all work together to cool your home. When something happens with just one screw or bolt, the damage can quickly spread throughout your unit and lead to a fairly common problem for residential air conditioners: short cycling.

Short cycling happens when your air conditioner turns on and off more frequently than it should between cooling cycles. If you suspect that your air conditioner is short cycling, your need Los Angeles air conditioning repair. And our team can help! But first, it’s important to understand what short cycling is and why it happens.

What is AC Short Cycling? 

Your air conditioner keeps your home cool all day long, but that doesn’t mean that it is constantly running. Instead, your air conditioner works in cycles to blow cool air until your home reaches your desired temperature. Then the unit turns off again until the temperature rises enough that another cooling cycle is needed. Your thermostat monitors the indoor temperature and sends a signal to your AC unit when it’s time for another cooling cycle. 

Usually, a cooling cycle lasts for around 15 minutes and the cycles run two to three times each hour. Short cycling happens when cooling cycles are shorter than 15 minutes and more frequent than two to three times per hour. Your AC may turn on to cool your home and run for five minutes before turning it off again. Your home never reaches the desired temperature, so your thermostat keeps signaling for the unit to turn on again.

Your home never gets cool, and your compressor takes on additional wear and tear from turning on and off so frequently. Short cycling can also cost you more on your energy bill because your unit ends up running for longer than it would otherwise – but without the desired cooling results. 

Why is My AC Short Cycling? 

There are many contributing factors that can cause short cycling. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so short cycling requires a professional inspection to determine the cause. You may not think that short cycling is a big deal if your home is still cool, but it is. Allowing your AC to run in short cycles can cause even more problems and lead to expensive repairs. 

Common reasons for AC short cycling include:

  • Needing to change the air filter because it is clogged with dust and dirt
  • Having ice on your evaporator coil
  • Leaking refrigerant
  • Incorrect calibration on your thermostat
  • Holes or leaks in your ductwork that are allowing cool air to escape
  • An aging AC unit that can no longer keep up with your cooling needs
  • The unit is too large for your home

The bottom line is, you want to address short cycling as soon as you can. If you think that your AC unit isn’t working properly, our team can help. 

JMS Air Conditioning and Heating has your back. Call us today for an air purifier in Glendale, CA! 

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