What Is Short Cycling, and Why Should I Care?

We don’t use our heaters all that much in the part of the country, obviously, but today we are going to discuss a problem that you may encounter with either a heater or an air conditioner. In this area, you’ll probably see it more with an AC than a heater, but it helps to be aware that it is a concern across the board. It’s called short cycling, and it can have a number of negative effects on your comfort, and your systems themselves.

Like many other HVAC problems, short cycling could potentially be the result of a number of different issues. It is important that a trained professional assesses your equipment and your situation, so that you can know for certain that the right issue is being addressed. Not all are terribly serious, but professional diagnosis is a must.

The cause of short cycling could be the result of something as simple as a very dirty air filter. In an AC, that will reduce the airflow running over the evaporator coil, making it more difficult for the system to absorb a sufficient amount of heat from the air. That can cause the coil to ice up, which insulates it and exacerbates the problem further. That can cause the compressor to overheat and the system to shut down.

You may also have a problem with an individual component. A faulty thermocouple in a combustion based heater, for instance, can cause the safety device to stem the flow of gas or oil if it is not sensing a hot enough temperature. In your AC, a faulty run capacitor, or even a malfunctioning thermostat, could cause the system to cycle down prematurely. The situation could also be the result of an oversized system that is attaining target temperatures too quickly, leading to short cycling. In that event, replacement may be necessary.

Short cycling can take a serious toll on your HVAC systems. It can lead to unnecessary wear and tear, causing operational problems and an increased risk of repair needs. You may also suffer shortened equipment lifespans, even as you wind up paying more for less comfort.

One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating® of Miami is here to help if your air conditioner in Miami, FL is short cycling.