Your air conditioner is short-cycling when it is turning on and off rapidly, and not running a full cycle. Short-cycling can be really damaging to the components on your air conditioner and is a reason to call in the HVAC professional immediately. There are four common reasons why your air conditioner may be short-cycling.
Dirty Air Filter
Your air filter plays a very important role in the overall functionality of your air conditioning unit. Your air filter helps to remove dirt that is in the air so that the dirt doesn't pass through your machine, into your ductwork, and into your home. The air filter essentially cleans the air and regulates how much air flows into your system.
When your air filter gets too clogged up with debris though, the amount of air that can flow through your filter becomes restricted. If the airflow is restricted too much, your air conditioner is not going to get enough air in order to function properly.
When your air filter is super clogged, your AC system will start short-cycling because not enough air is getting into the system. It is smart to change your filter every one to three months, based on how quickly it gets dirty, in order to prevent issues with your air conditioning system.
Next, the refrigerant gas that goes through your system is designed to be evaporated as it hits the evaporator coil. If something is not working correctly and the gas starts to freeze up by the evaporator coils, your system will start to short-cycle.
In this situation, you may have an issue with your compressor, which is then causing your coils to become frozen, which is impacting the overall structure of your air conditioning system.
The refrigerant in your system is designed to continue to cycle, and in normal circumstances, it doesn't need to be refilled. However, if you develop a leak within the refrigerant system and refrigerant starts to leak out, your air conditioning system is not going to work as intended.
You are going to need an air conditioning specialist to first find and fix the leak in the refrigerant system and then replenish the refrigerant in your air condition system.
When refrigerant is leaking, in addition to short-cycling, you may notice a strange hissing sound coming from your machine, and you may actually be able to see the refrigerant on the ground around your system. If you see leaking refrigerant, put on protective gear before you clean it up.
If your air conditioning system is short-cycling, it is time to call in the professionals to help you fix your air conditioning system. A dirty air filter, a compressor issue with frozen coils, or leaking refrigerant can all lead to short-cycling issues. An air conditioning repair technician can figure out what is the issue and help you to quickly fix it.