Air conditioners play a vital role in keeping homes cool and comfortable during the hot summer months. But, if you have central air conditioning in your home, it is a good idea to pay attention to how often it is running. If your air conditioner is short cycling, which means that it will run for an extended period of time, turn off for a few minutes, and then begin running again, it can indicate a problem. Don't assume that air conditioning short cycling is normal and ignore it -- it is important to have your air conditioner looked at by an HVAC professional to determine the issue and have repairs made. Some of the most common reasons an air conditioner short cycles include:
Dirty Air Filters
Changing the air filter is incredibly easy, but since the air filters are hidden behind vents it is not uncommon for homeowners to forget about them. When an air filter becomes dirty and clogged, air can't flow through the system properly. When this happens, it can cause your air conditioning unit to overheat and turn off before the interior temperature has reached the temperature set on the thermostat. After the A/C unit cools down, it will begin running again. If your air conditioner is short cycling, the first thing to do is check your air filter.
Frozen Evaporator Coils
An air conditioning unit does not actually create cold air; instead, it uses a process to remove heat from the air, leaving cooled air that flows into the home. Your air conditioner's outside condenser unit has a set of evaporator coils that play a role in removing heat from the air. If the evaporator coils freeze, the condenser unit will not be able to efficiently remove heat from the air, which can lead to your air conditioner turning off, resetting, and starting up again. An HVAC professional will be able to inspect your condenser unit to determine if the evaporator coils are frozen.
Low Refrigerant Levels/ Refrigerant Leak
All air conditioning units rely on refrigerant to help with the process of removing heat from the air. If refrigerant levels get too low, the A/C unit will not be able to operate properly. This can lead to the unit turning on and off regularly as it tries to remove heat from the air. It is not good for an air conditioning unit to run with low refrigerant caused by a leak. When your A/C is low on refrigerant, it is important to promptly call an HVAC repair company to have the source of the leak repaired and refrigerant refilled to the proper level.
Call an HVAC contractor for more information.