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Serving the Treasure Coast


Serving the Treasure Coast


Mechanical Air Conditioning Blog

Short-Cycling: The Reason Your HVAC System Keeps Shutting Off Early

The best way for your home to stay comfortable this winter is for your HVAC system to work effectively and efficiently. But sometimes problems can contribute to short cycling and your home may not be as comfortable as you would like.

Of course, other times your home is perfectly comfortable, even when short cycling is happening. But if your HVAC system is unable to complete a heating or cooling cycle, you need to schedule HVAC repair in Martin County, FL. You can keep reading to learn more about what short cycling is and why it is bad for your HVAC system.

What is Short Cycling?

If your HVAC system is short cycling that means it is turning on and off at more frequent intervals. Typical heating or cooling cycles last for around 15 minutes and turn on and off at regular intervals. If your HVAC system turns on to heat or cool your home and turns off again within a couple of minutes, this is a red flag. 

There are steps in each heating and cooling cycle that your HVAC system needs to complete for the best comfort and indoor air quality. Short cycling prevents all of the steps from being completed. For example, exhaust air may get trapped in the system during the winter instead of blowing outside as it needs to for better indoor air quality. 

Why is Short Cycling Bad?

Short cycling puts a major strain on your HVAC system. Heaters and air conditioners were not designed to turn on and off every couple of minutes. One major problem with short cycling is that when the system turns off after a couple of minutes, the heater won’t reach your desired indoor air temperature is. 

Your thermostat will then continue signaling for your heater or air conditioner to turn back on as this cycle continues. Aside from the wear and tear that this puts on your HVAC system, it’s also a major red flag that something is preventing the unit from completing a full cycle. There could be a safety concern that is triggering a system shut down. 

Long-Term Effects of Short Cycling

Aside from your short term comfort and indoor air quality, short cycling also shortens the lifespan of your HVAC system. Turning on and off at frequent intervals is hard work no matter what type of air conditioner, heater, or heat pump you have. This additional strain can create wear patterns that are not reversible by making standard repairs. 

You may need to replace components inside of your air conditioner or heater during upcoming repair appointments. And even then, your system may have a shorter lifespan than it otherwise would. And HVAC system installation is pricey, so most homeowners want to get the most they can out of their existing units before making that major financial investment. Short cycling can have you replacing your heater or air conditioner a lot sooner than you otherwise planned to.

Contact Mechanical Air Conditioning for your central air conditioning needs. Schedule an appointment for HVAC service today.

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