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Serving the South Puget Sound and Western Washington Areas Since 1976

Serving the South Puget Sound and Southwest Washington Areas Since 1976

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Sunset Air Blog

Why Short Cycling Is a Threat to Your Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner is turning itself on and off every couple of minutes, you have a problem. That behavior is called “short cycling,” and it’s a very big threat to the health of your cooling system. Short cycling can shorten the lifespan of your air conditioner considerably, and also makes breakdowns much more likely. Read on to find out how short cycling occurs, and why it is such a problem for your air conditioner.

Causes of Short Cycling

There isn’t just one cause of short cycling, though some causes are more common than others. The two most common causes are a bad thermostat or a malfunctioning compressor. If the thermostat is bad for whatever reason, it can send conflicting signals to the air conditioner, causing it to turn on and off rapidly. A faulty compressor actually throws off the entire rhythm of the system, causing the cycle to become erratic and unpredictable. It is also possible that there is a short in the wiring between the thermostat and the air conditioner, which can make it seem as though the thermostat itself is malfunctioning. What you should be worried about, though, are the effects of short cycling.

Consequences of Short Cycling

Short cycling puts the air conditioner under a lot of strain, far more than it was designed to handle during normal use. Prolonged short cycling increases the amount of wear and tear on the air conditioner, making it more likely for the system to break down and decreasing its overall lifespan. As soon as you realize that your air conditioner is short cycling, you need to shut it down and call for repairs immediately.

If you need air conditioner repair services, call Sunset Air. We serve the entire Olympia, WA area. 

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