Short cycling is a situation where your air conditioner starts up then shuts off too soon. It's not normal for your AC to do this, so when you notice short cycling, it's time to look for a solution to the problem. If you don't identify and repair the malfunction, the short cycling could run up your energy bill. Plus, your AC might overheat and shut down. Here are two reasons your AC might short cycle. One has an easy fix, and the other needs the assistance of an air conditioning repair technician.
Replacing The Filter Is An Easy DIY Fix
The first thing to check when your air conditioner short cycles is the filter. If the problem is a clogged filter, you can save yourself the expense of a repair call. When the filter is clogged up with dust, air can't flow in easily, and that causes the equipment to struggle and shut down.
Replace the filter and watch your air conditioner for a few cycles. You should notice that it runs longer when it turns on. If so, the problem may be fixed, but you should keep an eye on your air conditioner for a few days to make sure the clogged filter didn't cause any other problems with your air conditioner.
Fixing A Refrigerant Leak Requires A Professional
Even if you want to fix a refrigerant leak yourself, you need to let a professional air conditioning repair technician do the work since laws require a licensed professional to handle refrigerant. A leak in a refrigerant line can be a complicated problem unless the technician finds an easy solution, such as a loose connection that needs to be tightened.
The first step is to verify that the AC is short cycling due to a leak. The technician can do this by testing the pressure in the refrigerant line. If refrigerant is low, there won't be enough to cool your house, so the AC will run longer than it should. This can cause your system to overheat and shut down to protect itself. When the AC starts back up, it may shut down quickly a few times and then stay off until the problem is fixed.
The air conditioning technician finds the leaky area and repairs it, which might entail soldering since the lines are made of copper. Once the leak is fixed, the refrigerant is filled and your AC should cycle normally again.
An air conditioning repair professional may not top off the refrigerant without making repairs first because the refrigerant will just keep leaking out. The refrigerant coils shouldn't leak, so when they do, it's a sign they need to be repaired. Contact a company like ZAP Cooling & Heating to learn more.