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Douglas Cooling & Heating Blog

HVAC Help: AC Starts and Stops

If your AC starts and stops, your system is most likely short cycling. Certain system issues cause short cycling and it negatively affects your comfort as well as the energy bills for your Birmingham, AL home. Learn what it is and what to do to prevent it. Douglas Cooling & Heating offers the help you need to stop short cycling and improve indoor comfort.

What Is AC Short Cycling?

AC short cycling is a term that describes when an air conditioner prematurely ends its cooling cycle, then starts it back up soon after. These frequent starts and stops cause early wear and tear, which damages the air conditioner’s components. Left unchecked, short cycling may lead to early compressor burnout and the need for early system replacement.

In addition to the damage done to your air conditioning system, frequent AC starts and stops cause the cooling system to consume a greater amount of power. Once your air conditioner starts short cycling, your utility bills will drastically rise. Excessive electricity consumption will go on until the issue behind the short cycling is resolved.

What Causes Short Cycling?

There are multiple causes behind AC starts and stops, which the expert HVAC technicians diagnose. Common causes of AC starts and stops include:

  • Refrigerant leaks: Leaking refrigerant causes numerous problems within a cooling system, one of which is short cycling. Short cycling is one tell-tale sign that your system suffers a refrigerant leak. The short cycling combined with low refrigerant levels pose a damage threat to your system’s compressor.
  • Dirty air filter: When an air filter is clogged with debris, not enough air is able to move through the system. This prevents the evaporator coil from absorbing heat, causing the cooling cycle to abruptly stop.
  • Thermostat issues: Faulty thermostats may communicate early stops to cooling equipment. If the thermostat doesn’t take accurate temperature readings, it signals AC starts and stops at inappropriate intervals.

Prevent AC Starts and Stops

Prevent AC starts and stops when you take these steps to safeguard your Birmingham home’s cooling equipment:

  • Change air filters regularly. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for filter change frequency. This is anywhere from one to 12 months, depending on the filter.
  • Properly position your thermostat. Do not install it in direct sunlight or drafty areas, such as by the front door.
  • Sign up for a service plan. Annual preventative maintenance performed by Douglas Cooling & Heating’ technicians ensures your cooling equipment is tuned-up and working properly. HVAC techs change filters, check refrigerant levels and note signs of stress. They repair minor issues before they cause short cycling and extensive damage to your system. They clean, maintain and check all vital components of your air conditioner. This improves the performance and energy efficiency of the cooling system over the course of the warmer months.

If Your AC Starts and Stops Call Douglas Cooling & Heating for Help

Put an end to AC starts and stops today with the help of Douglas Cooling & Heating. Contact us for quick repairs that resolve short cycling, and preventative maintenance agreements to prevent it season after season. We are here to help you create a more comfortable and energy efficient Birmingham home!

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