Your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) unit helps to keep the temperature inside of your home comfortable for you. When it is cold, the unit heats your home. When it is hot, the unit cools your home. Your unit should run as long as is needed to heat or cool your home and then shut off. But if there is an issue with the unit, it may cycle on for a short period, shut off, and then cycle right back on over and over again. This is called short cycling. Here are a few common reasons why this may be happening.
A Dirty Air Filter
The number one reason why your HVAC unit may cycle on and off repeatedly is because of a dirty air filter. If an air filter is dirty, it has trouble pulling air in. What ends up happening is that your unit can't pull in the air it needs, and in turn, has less air to heat or cool. It cycles on and off to try to pull in more air to try to heat or cool your home to your desired setting. Replacing the air filters should solve the problem if this is the cause, and your unit should stop short cycling.
Your Refrigerant Is Running Low
Another reason why your HVAC unit may cycle on and off over and over again is that your refrigerant is running low. This problem only occurs when you are attempting to run your air conditioning unit. Your unit relies on refrigerant to cool air. If the refrigerant is running low, it may be unable to cool the air to your desired setting. As such, the unit senses that the air in your home is not cool and keeps cycling in an effort to make your home cooler. A professional can quickly refill the refrigerant and solve the problem.
Your Unit Is Not the Right Size for Your Home
The last common reason why your HVAC unit may short cycle is that the unit is not the right size for your home. It is important to select a unit that has the right heating and cooling capacity based on the size of your home. If you select a unit that is too small or too large, it may not be able to heat or cool your home efficiently. If you have recently purchased a new unit and it is short cycling, chances are, it is not the right size for your home.
If your HVAC unit is constantly cycling on and off, you will want to have an HVAC specialist inspect and repair your unit as quickly as possible. Short cycling can cause your HVAC unit to wear out prematurely, and it can drastically increase your utility bills. If you are experiencing a unit that won't stop cycling on and off, contact an HVAC specialist today.