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Professional Heating & Air Blog

What is Short Cycling?

You may have heard the term “short cycling” used in conjunction with a problematic air conditioner before. It doesn’t sound like a big deal at first glance: an AC that shuts down shortly after turning on, only to turn back on again a few minutes later, then shut down, then turn back on again and so on. Considering the heat we have to deal with in Madisonville, LA every summer, it can be hard to spot something like that so long as the house is cool. In point of fact, however, it’s a serious problem demanding immediate attention.

Why Is It a Problem?

The trouble with short cycling stems from the way the air conditioner uses energy. The short version is that your system uses a lot more energy to start up and shut down than it does to simply run. That’s why¬†all air conditioners should run at least 15 minutes before shutting down, to ensure maximum efficiency. Otherwise, the system wastes a great deal of energy, which in turn raises your monthly bills considerably. Even worse, the added strain increases the possibility of a serious breakdown. And in cases where the short cycling cuts off the air conditioner’s operation before it cools your home, you’re not even getting the comfort levels you need out of it.

What are the Causes?

In some cases, a short-cycling air conditioner is simply overpowered for the space it needs to cool. The good news is that it will usually cool the space. The bad news is it will cost you more than it should to do so, and that there’s no recourse except replacing the air conditioner. (This is why proper sizing is so important.) In other cases, the short cycling may be caused by a faulty compressor or similar malfunction, in which case a trained technician can correct it.

A Professional Heating and Air handles air conditioner repairs!

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