Why Does an HVAC System Short Cycle?

March 16, 2023
HVAC Repair in Nacogdoches, TX

Among the many issues an HVAC system can experience, short cycling is one of the most common. Have you noticed your system turns on and off every few minutes? If the system runs on quick, back-to-back cycles and never seems to reach your desired temperature, then it’s most likely short cycling. With harsh, arid weather during the day and cold desert temperatures at night, short cycling can be a big concern here in Nacogdoches, TX. At Nacogdoches Sheet Metal, Plumbing & Air Conditioning, LTD., we can accurately diagnose the root cause of HVAC short cycling and make professional recommendations regarding repair or replacement. In the meantime, we’d like to provide some important information about short cycling and its causes.

What Is Short Cycling?

HVAC short cycling is usually caused by a mechanical or electrical issue that interrupts the normal cycle. A full cycle spans the length of time from when the system initially turns on to when it reaches your desired temperature. A short cycling furnace may be able to reach the programmed temperature, but it will require much more time and energy than a healthy furnace. However, some short cycling furnaces will never reach the correct temperature.

In addition to being hard on your utility bills, short cycling also takes a toll on your HVAC. Individual components and moving parts may wear out and break down much sooner than normal. This can lead to an unpleasant cycle of mounting repair bills followed by a premature replacement. If you notice your system is short cycling, it’s important to have it serviced as soon as possible to minimize damage and repairs.

Below are a few of the most common causes of HVAC short cycling:

Dirty Air Filter

Your heating system contains an air filter designed to protect the internal components from dust and debris. Over time, the filter gets clogged and makes it harder for air to pass through. In other words, the hot air can’t effectively leave the system and cold air is blocked from entering. As the system overheats, it switches off for safety reasons. In this case, restoring regular heating service is as easy as changing out the air filter. As a rule of thumb, you should change your filter out each time the seasons change. You can check your local hardware store for budget-friendly, disposal air filters. But if you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, that’s okay too – a technician from Nacogdoches Sheet Metal, Plumbing & Air Conditioning, LTD. can change the filter during a tune-up.

Frozen Evaporator Coils

Frozen evaporator coils are one of the most common causes of HVAC short cycling. This component is located in your cooling system’s condenser unit, which is located on the exterior of your home. On cold nights, it’s possible for the evaporator coils to freeze up. Frozen coils can also be caused by dirty filters or certain mechanical problems. If this occurs, you should have the system inspected by an HVAC technician.

Incorrectly Sized System

Many homeowners don’t realize this, but HVAC units come in several different sizes. If the unit is the wrong size for your home, it can overshoot your desired temperature. This causes it to suddenly shut down, only to kick back on as your home cools off. Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for this situation. You’ll have to replace the unit with one that’s been properly measured for your home. Nacogdoches Sheet Metal, Plumbing & Air Conditioning, LTD. carries an impressive lineup of dependable, high-efficiency replacements for you to choose from.

Problems With the Electrical System

Short cycling is also caused by certain issues with the electrical system and wiring. Loose electrical connections and corroded components can cause your system to experience temporary outages. Touching faulty wiring can cause painful and sometimes fatal electrocution, so troubleshooting and fixing this issue should always be left to the experts. We also recommend scheduling service as soon as possible, since faulty wiring can lead to housefires.

Air Conditioner and Furnace Repair

If you’re tired of dealing with a short cycling HVAC system, the team at Nacogdoches Sheet Metal, Plumbing & Air Conditioning, LTD. is here to restore consistency and comfort. Our expert technicians have handled countless short cycling repairs over the years. We’ll arrive at your home with a fully stocked truck and ready to perform thorough diagnostics. Once we understand the problem, we’ll administer a long-lasting solution. Nacogdoches Sheet Metal, Plumbing & Air Conditioning, LTD. is the go-to source for heating and cooling repairs, maintenance, and replacements in Nacogdoches and East Texas. Call us today to schedule a service appointment!