Dealing with Lorton, VA’s heat and humidity can be tough even in the best of circumstances. When your air conditioning system constantly turns on and off, staying comfortable becomes nearly impossible. This condition, called short cycling, is a common issue that carries some serious ramifications. Let’s start with the basics to see what causes this problem and why it requires urgent attention.

What Is Short Cycling?

When it’s working properly, your cooling system should turn on and run until the air temperature reaches your thermostat’s setpoint. This process represents a complete cooling cycle. Sometimes, however, this normal cooling cycle can become disrupted. As the name suggests, a short cycle happens whenever your cooling system fails to complete a full cycle. When this happens repeatedly, your air conditioner struggles to cool properly and can’t effectively control your home’s humidity. Frequent cycling is also extremely hard on your AC components and can significantly shorten your system’s service life.

The Basics of System Sizing

Bigger may often be better, but that certainly isn’t the case when it comes to HVAC systems. In fact, a system that’s too large is one of the most common causes of short cooling cycles. According to studies, up to half of all home air conditioners suffer performance issues as a result of improper sizing. Unfortunately, the only practical solution is typically to replace your air conditioner with a new system that better meets your needs.

Common Mechanical Issues

In addition to poor sizing, a variety of mechanical issues can also cause rapid cycling. This includes dirty air filters or evaporator coils, low refrigerant, faulty wiring, and malfunctioning thermostats. No matter the root cause, professional AC repairs are required to diagnose and correct the issue. You can also avoid future problems and keep your air conditioning system in great shape with an HVAC maintenance plan.

If your air conditioner isn’t completing its cooling cycles normally, it’s important to act quickly. Check out Commonwealth Cooling & Heating’s air conditioning services or call 703-436-8028 for timely, high-quality AC repairs.

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