Join QRC in the Fight Against Breast Cancer!

Post a Pic, Get a FREE A/C Tune-Up!
+ Enter $200 Giveaway

Join QRC in the Fight Against Breast Cancer!

Post a Pic, Get a FREE A/C Tune-Up!
+ Enter $200 Giveaway

AC Not Cooling Well? Short Cycling Could Be the Culprit

Home > QRC Blog > AC Not Cooling Well? Short Cycling Could Be the Culprit

AC short cycling

Have you noticed your air conditioner turning on and off frequently without cooling your house? This is called AC short cycling, and it happens when the system isn’t working properly. 

Fortunately, short cycling can usually be fixed. If your air conditioner isn’t cooling well, call QRC and one of our AC experts will check it out for you. We’ll make sure you won’t need to worry about your family’s comfort when the temperatures rise over 90 degrees in the hot North Carolina summer.

What is AC Short Cycling?

AC short cycling happens when your AC turns on and off frequently, shutting down soon after turning on without cooling your home. The cool air doesn’t have enough time to mix in with the hotter air in the room before the shorter cycle. You may notice cool spots and hot spots in your home, along with increased humidity. 

Short cycling is a common problem that can happen for many different reasons. A short-cycling air conditioner can be frustrating, but it may be fixable with the right steps. Call a professional to ensure your home cooling system is working properly so you can relax in comfort. 

Why Short Cycling is Bad for Your AC & Your Wallet

AC short cycling may cause more problems than a hot house, especially if it lasts for a while. Shutting off and starting up again causes wear and tear on your air conditioner and also wastes a lot of energy. 

The unnecessary strain on the machine can eventually lead to a breakdown. In the meantime, your energy bill may continue creeping up. Calling a professional to take a look may save you money in the long term and extend the life of your air conditioner. 

5 Common Causes of Air Conditioning Short Cycling

Some of the most common reasons for air conditioner short cycling are:

1. A clogged air filter

A clogged air filter restricts airflow, which can cause the air conditioner to overheat. This can result in short cycling as the unit shuts off due to overheating and then turns back on again when the room heats up.

2. Refrigerant or coil issues

If the AC is low on refrigerant, the condenser could overheat, causing water leakage or freezing around the evaporator coils. The air conditioner then begins to malfunction, which may present as short cycling.

3. Electrical issues

Corroded wires, loose connections, and other electrical problems can cause problems inside your air conditioner, including short cycling. 

4. Wrong AC size

If your air conditioner is too big for your home, the oversized blasts of cool air may quickly lower the temperature around the unit instead of gradually cooling the room. This can cause it to turn off and start up again quickly. 

5. Thermostat issues

A broken thermostat or the thermostat’s location can contribute to short cycling. Sometimes, the air conditioner thermostat is located in a spot that’s cooled faster than the rest of the room, effectively fooling the AC into thinking it’s done its job and causing it to shut off early. 

Can AC Maintenance Fix Short Cycling?

Regular maintenance can lower your power bills and save you hundreds of dollars each year. If your AC isn’t cooling properly, a simple maintenance call is usually all it takes to get it working at full efficiency again. At QRC, our maintenance calls include a full inspection of your air conditioning unit. Our techs clean, adjust, and repair all parts to make sure your system runs like new again. 

When To Call an HVAC Professional for Short Cycling

If your air conditioner or home heating system is short cycling, it’s a good idea to have an expert check it out. Schedule an inspection to ensure your home stays at a comfortable temperature year-round. 

The HVAC experts at QRC can ensure your family is safe and cool during the dangerous summer heat waves that are becoming more frequent in the state. Whether you need AC maintenance or an AC repair, we’re here for you. 

Call QRC Today 

Contact the experts at QRC to keep your AC running smoothly during the hot NC temperatures. We serve communities throughout North Carolina and guarantee satisfaction with 24/7 availability and prompt solutions for all your HVAC and refrigeration needs. Contact the QRC team today to schedule service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal for my AC to turn on and off every few minutes?

An air conditioner should only turn on and off a few times per hour. If your AC turns on and off every few minutes, there’s a problem. If you’re in NC, a certified HVAC technician from QRC can assess the issue right away. Just give us a call! 

My AC runs constantly, but the house doesn’t feel cool – is that short cycling?

If your AC unit turns on and off repeatedly, it’s short-cycling. If it’s running constantly without turning off, it may be another issue. Call an HVAC professional to pinpoint the issue. You may need to top up the coolant, change the air filter, or have the thermostat inspected.

Could short cycling be making my home feel humid?

Part of an air conditioner’s job is to remove moisture from the air. If your AC is short-cycling, it won’t have enough time to decrease the humidity in your home. 

Could a dirty air filter make my AC short cycle?

Dirty air filters are one of the main causes of AC short cycling. The good news is that it’s a simple fix. A QRC tech is more than happy to change your air filter if you’re unsure how to do it.