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Why Does My AC Keep Turning On and Off?

When you come home on a hot summer day, you expect your air conditioner to provide a refreshing blast of cool air. Your AC unit works hard day in and day out to keep your home cool and comfortable. However, if something goes awry, it won't take long for you to feel the effects.

A common problem homeowners experience is an AC unit that keeps turning on and off. If you're dealing with this issue, it's a sign of an underlying problem with your AC that needs attention. This continuous turning on and off is known as short cycling. It can make everyone in your household uncomfortable and even damage your AC system.

If your unit is constantly short cycling, our team can help you identify and solve the problem. Here are the topics we'll be covering in this guide:

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What Is Short Cycling?

Short cycling happens when your air conditioner can't complete a full cooling cycle. A full cycle begins when your unit turns on and ends when it turns off after the thermostat reaches the set temperature.

When your AC short cycles, it shuts off before it sufficiently cools your home. This results in a hot, stuffy home that leaves everyone uncomfortable. A short cycling unit can also damage your air conditioner, leading to costly repairs or replacements.

Common Causes of Short Cycling

There are many possible reasons why your AC might be short cycling. One of the most common causes is a dirty or clogged air filter. When the filter is clogged, your unit will struggle to pull in enough fresh air. This may cause the system to overheat, forcing it to shut off automatically before the cooling cycle ends.

Another common issue is frozen evaporator coils. This can occur due to a mechanical problem or if you run your AC while it's already cool outside. Additionally, if your refrigerant levels are low, your air conditioner will have to work extra hard to cool down your home. This can lead to malfunctions that cause short cycling.

Many other potential issues can trigger short cycling, so it's important to contact an HVAC specialist to identify the root cause.

Why Short Cycling Can Harm Your AC

Air conditioners aren't designed to constantly turn on and off, so short cycling can cause significant damage over time. When your AC short cycles, it puts a lot of pressure on the unit's components. The more wear and tear these parts sustain, the more your system is at risk of overheating and burning out. Burnt-out AC parts can be costly to repair or replace. In addition, short cycling reduces the lifespan of your unit, resulting in more money wasted.

You might not realize your air conditioner is slowly deteriorating until it's too late. This is why it's important to call a professional to detect the issue early.

How to Fix AC Short Cycling

Regular maintenance is crucial to prevent your AC from short cycling. Be sure to clean out the air filter and replace it when necessary. Also, avoid running your AC when it's already cool outside to prevent unnecessary strain on the parts.

If you're experiencing any specific issues with your system, such as leaking refrigerant, call for a repair promptly to avoid short cycling. The quickest and most reliable way to fix AC short cycling is to hire a skilled technician. Our experts will thoroughly inspect your unit and offer the best solution for your needs.

Keep Your Home Cool and Comfortable With Professional HVAC Service

No matter what AC problems you're facing, our pros are always prepared to tackle them with an AC repair. Our trustworthy and highly trained technicians offer fair, honest prices so you know what to expect upfront. Call (520) 792-9400 today or click the link below to schedule a service with us.