See How Solar Looks On Your Home Read More

Skip navigation

Serving The Greater Fresno Area Since 1970

Serving The Greater Fresno Area Since 1970


Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning Blog

Help! My AC Is Rapidly Turning On and Off

AC-topviewIf your air conditioner keeps turning off then on then off, rapidly, it is a sign that you’ve got something serious going on with your system. This phenomenon is often referred to as short cycling, and it is a symptom of various potential issues!

Here’s the thing — you don’t want your AC to start short cycling. Not only does it put a lot of strain on the system, but it is also extremely inefficient. Let the issue go long enough, and you’ll see higher energy bills and maybe even a new air conditioner. Of course, we don’t want this to happen, so below, we’ve explained why short cycling happens in the first place. Keep reading to find out more!

First Off, What is Short Cycling?

To put it simply, short cycling is when your air conditioner repeatedly turns on and off without ever completing a full cooling cycle. Basically, this means that your AC will prematurely shut off the compressor, turn it back on again a short time later, repeating that process continually.

When this occurs, your AC is essentially locked into its start-up cycle. This not only wastes a ton of energy, but it puts your AC’s components under unnecessary stress, particularly the compressor. Therefore, it is important to schedule your air conditioning repair in Hanford, CA right away if this start happening in your home!

So, What Causes It?

There are a number of things that can cause your air conditioning to short cycle:

A Clogged Air Filter

When your air conditioner’s air filter becomes too clogged with dirt and debris, airflow in and out of the system becomes restricted. Hot air trapped in the system can cause the AC to overheat and shut down as a safety precaution. When it cools down, the AC will start back up only to begin the process all over again. Therefore, we recommend changing out your air filter every 1 to 3 months during the summer season.

A Damaged Compressor

The compressor is a part of the system responsible for pushing refrigerant gas through your air conditioning system after it’s been evaporated in the evaporator coil to absorb heat. The compressor also helps keep the rhythm of the air conditioner, so that it can consistently move heat out of the home during operation. If the compressor becomes damaged, either by icing over (as can sometimes happen) or by having liquid refrigerant make it into the chamber, it can start malfunctioning and lead to short cycling.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

Your thermostat is what dictates when the air conditioner turns on and off, so any issue with it can easily lead to short cycling. If the wiring between the AC and the thermostat is faulty, or if the thermostat is miscalibrated, your AC may begin to short cycle. Your thermostat may not properly register the temperature inside your home, forcing the AC to repeatedly start and stop in order to reach the desired temperature.

To schedule your air conditioning repairs this summer, contact the team at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. 

Comments are closed.