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Serving The Greater Fresno Area Since 1970

Serving The Greater Fresno Area Since 1970


Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning Blog

Why Does My Air Conditioner Keep Turning On and Off?

working-on-air-conditionerNow that it is officially spring, many homeowners throughout the area and, indeed, throughout the country are looking forward to the summer season. Hot temperatures, fun days at the beach, and everything else that comes along with summer is too enticing to just force it out of one’s mind. Just remember that, summers around here being as hot as they are, you really need to know that your AC is going to function at peak performance and efficiency levels if you want to get through the hottest time of the year unscathed. This is simply not going to be possible if your air conditioner is short cycling.

Sometimes, people think the fact that their ACs are running at all means that they are running properly. This could not be further from the truth. If your air conditioner in Fresno, CA is starting up, running only briefly, and then cycling back down quickly, then it is short cycling. This type of operation will take a toll over time, and in a number of different. But why does short cycling occur?

There Are Many Different Potential Causes of Short Cycling

The primary reason that homeowners hire trained professionals to service their air conditioners is to guarantee that the job is done right. Another reason, though, is to guarantee that the right job is done right. As with most air conditioning issues, short cycling can be caused by a variety of different problems. We will determine precisely what the cause of your system’s short cycling is, so that we can take the appropriate action to restore proper cooling in your home.

  • Dirty air filters. Let’s start off with a best case scenario. If your air conditioner starts short-cycling, we recommend that you check your air filter before you decide that professional intervention is necessary. This is an easy fix, and you should be changing your air filter regularly anyway. Basically, a very dirty air filter can restrict airflow throughout the system enough to cause it to overheat. The system will then shut down to avoid damages, cool down, and start up again.
  • Malfunctioning components. There are a lot of different components in any given HVAC system. If even one component should malfunction, then the system as a whole, while still operational, may fail to function properly. A faulty thermostat may incorrectly read temperatures and trigger the system to shut down, for instance. A faulty run capacitor could fail to keep the system up and running reliably after starting, as well.
  • Refrigerant leaks. Faulty components will require professional services for repair or replacement. Even a malfunctioning thermostat is not as serious an issue as a refrigerant leak, though. Refrigerant plays an integral part in the overall operation of your AC system. If there is a leak, the system will fail to complete the cooling cycle properly, and the compressor can seriously overheat. If you don’t have the leak repaired and the refrigerant recharged, the damage to the system could be catastrophic. If you see ice on your outdoor unit or refrigerant lines, a refrigerant leak is very likely the issue at hand.
  • Oversized equipment. If you think that an oversized air conditioner is better than an undersized system, think again. An oversized air conditioner can actually cool your home too quickly. That may not sound like much of a problem, but it will cause short cycling and unnecessary wear and tear on the system. Ultimately, the only resolution of this problem is to replace it with an appropriately sized system.

We strive to provide honest answers and solutions to the problems our customers experience while remaining highly competitive in price, and offer the fastest turnaround you can find! Contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning for all of your home cooling needs.


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