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Why Does My AC Keep Shutting Down So Quickly?

woman-with-fanDang, my AC has shut down again. That’s annoying. Oh well, it will start back up in a minute, no big deal.

If you find yourself experiencing this particular issue when cooling your home, do not downplay it and write it off as nothing more than a minor annoyance. The problem has a name—short cycling—and it is far more serious than many homeowners seem to realize. There are quite a few reasons why you may experience this problem.

We are not alarmists, but we also have a responsibility to our customers. That includes ensuring that they understand just what is at stake when faced with any particular problem. Not every issue leading to short cycling has the potential to do serious damage to your air conditioner, though at least one poses a serious threat. And, whatever the precise cause of the problem, short cycling itself will do damage over time. Here’s why you may need professional air conditioning service.

Potential Causes of the Problem

Like we said, there are a few underlying causes of short cycling that you may find yourself dealing with. Not all of them are particularly worrisome, and you may not even need professional services to fix the problem. This is the case if you just have a dirty filter.

If the filter is too dirty, then your system can actually wind up overheating as it struggles to cool your home. It can then cycle down prematurely in order to protect itself from damage. By changing the air filter, you can resolve the problem and avoid the issues of inefficiency and excessive wear and tear that short cycling creates.

Then there is the issue of malfunctioning system components. Your thermostat, for instance, could be to blame. If the thermostat is registering temperatures incorrectly, then it may be signaling for your air conditioner to shut down before your house is actually cooled down enough. You’ll be paying more for less comfort, and we think that this is about as bad a deal as you could get.

There is also a component in your system called the run capacitor, which is responsible for maintaining the charge necessary for running the system reliably. If the run capacitor is not in good working condition, then the system may not be able to maintain consistent running cycles.

Remember We Mentioned the Possibility of Real Damages?

We had a refrigerant leak in mind when doing so. Refrigerant is the heat transfer fluid in the air conditioning system, and it is this refrigerant that allows your air conditioner to remove heat from the air in your home to begin with. If you have a refrigerant leak, the system can overheat as it struggles to cool your home. It can also lead to the icing over the evaporator coil, exacerbating the problem.

Just keep in mind that running a system that is low on refrigerant can result in serious damage, and may even do irreversible harm to the compressor over time. If this happens, you’ll need to replace the whole system! Don’t ignore short cycling—it is never a “minor” issue!

Schedule your AC services with Climate Mechanics LLC.

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