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What Causes Air Conditioner Short Cycling

If you ever hear your air conditioner turning on and off every couple of minutes, you have a pretty serious problem. That behavior is called short cycling, and it dramatically increases the wear and tear on the system. A unit that is left to short cycle for a prolonged period of time will be far more likely to have parts break down in groups, and will have a shorter lifespan overall. You should call for repairs as soon as possible if you notice your air conditioner behaving this way. If you want to prevent the issue from happening in the first place, though, you should know what causes it. Let’s take a look at the causes of short cycling.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

The thermostat is what dictates when the air conditioner turns on and off. So, a problem with the thermostat could easily lead to issues with the air conditioner short cycling. This is most often due to a short in the wiring between the thermostat and the air conditioner. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with either system, but the commands are getting scrambled on their way to the system. This also poses a pretty serious fire risk, so it’s not something you want to leave alone for any length of time.

Damaged Compressor

The compressor is a part of the system responsible for pushing refrigerant gas through your air conditioning system, after it’s been evaporated in the evaporator coil to absorb heat. The compressor also helps keep the rhythm of the air conditioner, so that it can consistently move heat out of the home during operation. If the compressor becomes damaged, either by icing over (as can sometimes happen) or by having liquid refrigerant make it into the chamber, it can start malfunctioning. This will throw off the rhythm of the air conditioner, possibly contributing to short cycling.

Celco Heating and Air Conditioning offers air conditioner repair services throughout Westport, CT.

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