Air conditioner short cycling refers to a situation where the AC keeps on turning on and off. When this happens, the unit doesn't complete a cooling cycle; thus, it won't cool your home properly. Besides creating an air imbalance, short cycling can cause extensive damage to your AC components. The short cycles signal a problem with the unit. Therefore, note the following repairs that can help fix the problem.
Repair Damaged Electrical Wiring
Electrical problems with your AC can cause short cycling. If the electrical wiring is worn, corroded, or loose, it can hinder adequate electrical flow to the air conditioner. As a result, the heat pump temporarily loses power, causing the unit to shut off and on. Frequent short cycling speeds up the rate of wear and tear of the AC components. Check and fix any electrical wiring issues with the air conditioner to prevent short cycling.
Fix Refrigerant Leaks
The refrigerant is the fluid that absorbs heat from your home and transfers it to the compressor. Maintaining the right refrigerant levels is key to optimizing system performance. Worn refrigerant lines can cause leaks, which lower fluid levels. With low refrigerant, the AC won't provide adequate cool air. The unit overheats and shuts on and off at brief intervals to prevent further damage.
Once the AC overheats, it speeds up the wear and tear of critical parts such as the compressor. If your unit is short cycling, check refrigerant levels in the system. If they are low, contact an HVAC contractor for refrigerant line repairs and fluid top-up.
Check for Frozen Condenser Coils
Condenser coils are a part of the compressor. They facilitate the release of heat from the refrigerant and enable the cooling process. Condenser coils can freeze due to these reasons:
- If you have not winterized your outdoor unit, the low temperatures can cause the coils to freeze.
- A dirty or improperly sized air filter can restrict airflow to the coils, causing them to freeze.
- Broken AC fans can hinder airflow and cause frozen coils.
Frozen coils cannot properly remove heat from the refrigerant. As a result, your AC won't cool the home properly. It turns on and off as a result. Also, the frozen coils can cause moisture issues in and around the outdoor unit. If you have frozen coils, inspect and repair the air filter and fans. Check for mechanical problems too. Winterize your outdoor unit, mainly if you use it to warm your home during the winter.
Short cycling can significantly reduce the lifespan of your air conditioner. If you notice any of the above issues, contact an expert for a thorough diagnosis and an AC repair.