What Causes Short Cycling In Your Heating Or Cooling Systems?

Short cycling is when your heating or cooling system turns on and off repeatedly without your living spaces getting to the desired temperature. No only is it annoying to hear the blower turn on and off over and over again, but your rooms are likely not as comfortable as they should be when this happens. In addition, short cycling causes your system to use more energy than necessary (negating most of the system's energy efficiency) and can put excess wear on your system, causing it to fail and need to be replaced more quickly than normal.

Reasons for short cycling

A number of things can cause your system to short cycle. Some are easy and inexpensive to fix; others take the skill and expertise of a good HVAC technician.

  1. Your thermostat is malfunctioning. One reason your system may be short cycling is a problem with your thermostat. If this essential and easy-to-fix element is telling your system the incorrect temperature, your furnace or cooling system won't know when to turn on and off, hence the short cycling.
  2. Your system is too big for your home. Bigger is not necessarily better, especially when it comes to your cooling system. A system that's too big won't properly dehumidify the air, making your rooms feel clammy and uncomfortable, even when they are at the desired temperature.
  3. Your air filter is dirty. Another easy-to-fix reason that your system is short cycling can be a dirty air filter. When you system is clogged with dirt, it can overheat, causing the system to shut down before the desired temperature is reached. While this is an easy thing to fix, ignoring a dirty filter can shorten the lifespan of your heating or cooling system.
  4. Ice on your cooling system's compressor coils. Yet another reason for your cooling system to short cycle is a build up of ice on the compressor coils. This can be due to overgrown bushes impeding the air flow around the compressor or a leak in the lines that carry the refrigerant around the system.

If you find that your heating or cooling system is short cycling and not keeping your rooms at their optimum temperature, it's time to call your local HVAC contractor, such as A Bailey Plumbing. He or she can quickly evaluate the problem and have your system working at its peak performance so you and your family stay comfortable all winter (and summer) long.