Air On Demand Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Air Conditioning Short Cycling’

Air Conditioning in Miami Question: Why Does My AC Keep Turning On and Off?

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Short cycling is the term for when your AC keeps turning on and off. It can be incredibly frustrating, produce inadequate amounts of cool air, and reduce energy efficiency. While it can be difficult to diagnose, there are some common reasons for short cycling. The most important thing to remember is that inspection, diagnosis, and repairs should be carried out by a certified professional, in order to ensure that you are satisfied with the work that has been done and that the problem is solved, not just temporarily patched up.  For air conditioning in Miami, including repair, installation, and maintenance, call Air on Demand today!

So, why does your AC keep turning on and off? Let’s review some possible culprits:

  • Electrical problem. Your AC requires a steady stream of electric current to operate smoothly. It needs to have adequate load and its electrical connections need to be free and clear of any potential damages. If there is a fault somewhere, your AC may turn on and off frequently. It can also occur if it constantly blows fuses and trips the circuit breaker.
  • Leaking refrigerant. Your AC depends upon a pressurized cycle of refrigerant, which circulates through a system of coils and valves, absorbing heat and dissipating it. If there is a leak somewhere within this cycle, it can quickly lead to short-cycling as well as inadequate cooling. Make sure that a professional handles any refrigerant level adjustments.
  • Frozen coils. If you have a clogged air filter, your evaporator coils can quickly become frosted over. When this happens, your AC may need to defrost, and therefore be subject to turning on and off. It’s important that your system remains free of any dust and debris at all times.
  • Inappropriately sized system. If your AC is too large for the volume of air in your household, then it may short cycle frequently. An inappropriately sized system can also lead to excessively cold air, lack of temperature adjustment, and decreased energy-efficiency.

If your AC constantly turns on and off during the cooling season, it can negatively affect your energy efficiency as well as reduce system life. For AC Repair in Miami, including repair, maintenance, and installation, call Air on Demand today! 

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Miami AC Guide: Why Short Cycling on an AC Unit Can Decrease Efficiency

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Your Miami air conditioner’s compressor is more efficient the longer it is on. In fact, anything less than 5 minutes shows a sharp and sudden decrease in efficiency, largely due to how long it takes for the compressor to start cooling the air. It takes time to compress refrigerant and start removing moisture and heat. It takes at least five minutes for condensate to start running down the coil to the drain. If it cannot do this it simply evaporates back into the air supply and the efficiency and comfort level go down.

Generally speaking, an air conditioner is set to run on cycles that are as long as possible. So, if the heat load on a hot day for your air conditioner is only 50%, your system will turn on for 50% of the hour, turning on for 10 minutes, then off for 10 minutes, then on for 10 minutes at so on. However, if your air conditioner is sized to reach a higher percentage – closer to 75% on a particularly hot day – the system will remain on much longer.

On the flip side, if your system is not working properly or if it is too large, it can short cycle, meaning it produces a lot of cold air and then turns off after 5 minutes. That, in turn, means it can’t reach the efficiency levels it should. While part of this has to do with proper design of your HVAC system, another part is related to the operation of that system. Two-stage compression can help with this as well by running the system at a lower level if it is not too hot outside but you still need air conditioning.

If you notice your Miami air conditioner running on short cycles, it is important that you call Air On Demand to inspect it. While it could be a design issue, it could also be related to a bad thermostat, a refrigerant leak or even a problem with your compressor. In some cases, a simple fix and an upgrade to your thermostat can eliminate the issue. In others, replacement may be needed.

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