Air ConditioningAir Conditioning System Runs in Short Bursts?

You’re probably wondering if short bursts signal a problem with your air conditioning system. And the answer is yes! Air conditioners are supposed to run in full and even cooling cycles. If your system keeps starting and stopping without running for a while, it’s not working the way it’s intended. That part is simple, but the trickier part is pinpointing why it’s doing this.

There are a few reasons why your air conditioner may run in short cycles. Short cycling always indicates a problem, but the severity of the problem can vary. It may have a simple fix, but it also could indicate a serious problem that requires professional repair services. Here’s why your air conditioner in Bremerton, WA may be short cycling.

You may just need a new air filter

Has it been a while since you changed the standard air filter in your air conditioning system? If so, then you may simply need to remove the dirty filter and replace it with a new one. When your air filter is dirty, the system has to work harder to force air through a filter that’s full of dirt or debris.

While your system is working harder, it may actually begin to overheat. When that happens, your air conditioner may cycle down in order to prevent damage. Typically, air filters need to be changed every 1-3 months. Make sure you check your filter regularly to ensure that it’s clean. To learn more about the importance of your air filter, read more here: Has Your AC Filter Been Checked Yet?

An important component may be compromised

finger adjusting digital thermostat

A more serious issue is a damaged AC component. When short cycling occurs, there are a few possible culprits. First, there’s the thermostat. The thermostat is what you have the most direct interaction with, and it’s responsible for making sure your system maintains whatever temperature you select. If it’s not doing this correctly, then the thermostat may be signaling the AC to shut down early.

Second, there’s a component in your air conditioning system called the run capacitor. This part is responsible for keeping the charge necessary to keep your motor running smoothly. If there is a problem with your run capacitor, your system may not be able to keep the motor reliably up and running.

Now for some bad news

Short cycling could be due to a refrigerant leak. If your air conditioning system is low on refrigerant, the system will struggle to cool your home. The evaporator coil may even ice over, which creates a barrier that makes the system’s job even harder. If you keep running a system that’s low on refrigerant, it could eventually destroy your compressor.

If your air filter is clean and your system is short cycling, do not ignore it. The problem won’t fix itself, so make sure you contact us. We may just need to swap  out your thermostat, but we’ll also be able to pinpoint and resolve any other issue. Schedule your AC services with Sullivan Heating & Cooling.


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