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Ideal Services Heating & Cooling Blog

Why Is My Air Conditioner Starting and Stopping Frequently?

service-timeDuring the summer season in North Carolina, calling an air conditioner a “luxury” is like calling the roof on top of your house decorative. You need your AC to be up and running, and you want it to be doing so at peak performance and efficiency levels. Investing in good equipment, having that equipment expertly installed, and scheduling routine air conditioning maintenance will help you to enjoy the best performance that your air conditioner has to offer. No AC is perfect, though.

At some point, you will find yourself in need of air conditioning repairs in Raleigh, NC. When you do, you are really going to want to schedule those services promptly. Otherwise, you run the risk of allowing any issues with your AC to do worse damage than they otherwise would. One sign that your AC is in trouble is if it is starting and stopping very frequently. It’s called short cycling, and there are a number of reasons that could be behind it.

Why Is Short Cycling a Problem?

You may not think that your air conditioner starting up, running briefly, and then cycling back down, only to repeat the process before long, is that big of a deal. After all, you don’t want your AC running all of the time, right? And your system shouldn’t wait for temperatures to get too high before kicking back on.

Well, all of that may be somewhat true. The fact of the matter is, however, that your air conditioner should still be running in full cooling cycles. If it is starting up and shutting down rapidly, that short cycling is going to have a number of different negative effects. We recommend checking a few items and contact us for service if you notice this problem with your system, as it can lead to increased cooling costs, excessive wear and tear on the system, compressor damage, and overall reduced performance quality.

What Causes Short Cycling?

There are a number of potential causes of short cycling, as tends to be the case with most air conditioning system issues. You could simply have a system that is too large for your home, which is likely the case if it has always short cycled. Unfortunately, there is not really much to do about this instance other than to replace the system with a more appropriate one for your home.

A relatively benign cause of the problem — provided that you deal with it promptly — is a very dirty air filter. This can do damage if given the time, but it is also a simple fix that you can handle on your own. If the filter is too dirty, it can create a lot of airflow resistance in the system. That, in turn, can lead to the system overheating and shutting down in order to protect itself from damages.

Finally, and more seriously, you could have a system that is leaking refrigerant. Refrigerant is vital to the operation of your air conditioner, as this is the fluid that allows for heat transfer to take place. If your system does not have the required amount of refrigerant due to leaks, ice can develop on the evaporator coil, the system can overheat, it will short cycle, and eventually could break down entirely.

Let Ideal Services Heating & Cooling handle your air conditioning service needs.

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