How To Fix A Short-Cycling Air Conditioner

If you have recently moved into a home that has a central air conditioner, then you may not be entirely familiar with the way the system works. This means that you might not think that there is an issue if your AC turns on and off all throughout the day. However, this is a typical or common problem that often occurs with central air conditioners, called short cycling. This problem is not a serious one, but it should be investigated. When a central air conditioner turns on and off constantly, then the blower, fan, evaporator pump, and the various other parts throughout the system will be placed under a good deal of stress. This can cause the moving parts to wear down fairly quickly. Sometimes, a short-cycling system can be repaired easily. Keep reading to learn about a few ways to resolve the problem.

Investigate Your Thermostats

If you did not inspect the vents in your home closely when you first moved in, then you may not have noticed that one or several vents are located close to your thermostats. Look around your home to see if this is the case. If the vents do sit near the thermostats, then cold air will blow into your home and across the thermostats. Thermostats contain two separate thermometers. One thermometer displays the temperature and the other controls the cooling system. Both thermometers are supposed to read the ambient temperature of the room. However, they will read a cooler temperature when a cold blast of air moves past the thermostat. The thermostat signals to the AC system to turn off when the colder temperature is read. As the cold air dissipates into the room, the thermostat activates the air conditioner again. The cooling system then turns on and off continually until your house reaches the correct temperature. 

If you notice air vents near your thermostats, then purchase air vent deflectors or diverters. These devices are plastic vent covers that snap over your vents and force air in a specific direction. Purchase deflectors that help to force cool air out into the middle of each room. Magnetic vent covers are a choice as well, but use these only in smaller rooms that are not used as often. Otherwise, the temperature in your home will be inconsistent. If you have furniture close to your air vents, then a vent extender may be best. The extender looks like a long deflector that can fit underneath a couch or a bookshelf.

Change The Filter

If you purchased a home that sat on the market for a period of time, then dirt and debris may have had a chance to settle in the central AC air filter. If there was any moisture in the home, then mold may have formed inside the filter as well. These things can cause problems with air flow. If air cannot flow through the system properly, then cool air may start to build around the evaporator coil. This cools the coil and causes it to form a layer of ice. An icy coil will not work properly, and the AC unit will need to work hard to cool air. In some cases, the extra work may cause the air conditioner to overheat. Most central air conditioners will have a sensor that detects whether or not the air conditioner is becoming too warm. If it does, then the air conditioner turns off automatically. When it cools down, the unit will turn on again and attempt to blow air into your house.

If air does not seem to blow out of your vents, but gently seeps out, then check the AC filter. Most homes have split air conditioning units with an indoor and outdoor system. The filter is typically attached to the indoor part of the system. The filter compartment will sit either on the back or top of the air conditioner, wherever the ducts attach to the system. Make sure the air conditioner is turned off, pull out the filter, and replace it with one that is the same type and size. Also, use a rag to remove any debris from the filter compartment.

Turn the AC unit back on when you are finished. 

If your air conditioner is still short cycling, contact a company like R & B Inc Heating & Air Conditioning for assistance.