What Causes an AC to Frequently Turn On and Off

June 12, 2023

There’s a sense of relief when you feel the AC system start up on a hot and humid day in Virginia Beach, VA. The last thing you want is for it to switch off before you’re comfortably cool. Unfortunately, it’s not an uncommon problem. Short cycling — that’s what HVAC professionals call it when your cooling system suffers from frequent on/off operation. Below are three reasons why your AC might deliver quick bursts of cool air rather than longer periods of sustained cooling.

Dirty or Clogged Filters

This is one of the most common problems that plagues many an AC! Short cycling is often a sign it’s time to change the filter. Clogged filters can cause malfunctions that impede your system’s ability to maintain a consistently cool indoor temperature. Frequent filter cleanings or changes help ensure your AC runs efficiently and effectively.

Calibration Problems with Your Thermostat

We tend to take for granted that AC thermostats are accurate. That’s not always the case. Whether from a power outage or an accidental bump, thermostats can miscalibrate the temperature. Fortunately, checking the accuracy of your thermostat is relatively easy but should only be done by a trained HVAC professional.

Oversized AC System

Unfortunately, improper sizing during the installation process is often the root cause of frequent on/off cycles. In HVAC terminology, system size refers to its cooling power. It’s critical to size the equipment correctly. An oversized system forces air through the ductwork quickly but shuts off just as fast. If your AC system is noisy, needs frequent repairs, or turns off before the thermostat reaches its set point, chances are it’s too big for its britches.

Whether you need a quick repair or a new installation, trust Bennett Air Conditioning to satisfy all your cooling needs throughout the year. For more information, explore our air conditioning services or call us today. We look forward to working with you and ensuring you become a valued cool customer.

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