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HVAC Systems Should Not Run in Short Bursts


This topic covers both heating and air conditioning systems. If your heater or air conditioner is running in short bursts, then it is short cycling. There is never a circumstance in which short cycling is normal. It is not a sign of proper function. In fact, it could mean that your system needs heating or air conditioning repair in Cary, NC. However, it is not always indicative of a severe problem. So why worry about it?

Because, while your system may not break down entirely right away, and even if the issue is relatively simple to resolve, continuing to run a short cycling HVAC system will negatively affect that system and you in several different ways. The fact of the matter is that no problem with your HVAC system is ever truly “minor” enough to ignore. So let’s take a look at why systems may short cycle, and what kind of toll that may take.

Rule Out a Dirty Filter First

If you use a forced-air HVAC system, like a central AC, a furnace, or a heat pump, then a very dirty air filter may in fact be enough to cause the system to short cycle.  Of course, that isn’t very pleasant, but it is also the best case scenario. Why? Because this is a problem that you can resolve on your own.

When an air filter is too dirty, it creates so much airflow resistance that your system can start to overheat. That system might then cycle down to protect itself from damages caused by overheating. If this is the case, then changing the filter is all that you need to do in order to resolve the issue.

Then It’s Time to Call in the Pros

We know that a heater or AC that is turning on and off and failing to do its job effectively is frustrating. Don’t try to take matters into your own hands, though! Doing so will only cause more problems. The other causes leading to short cycling are a lot more complex than a dirty air filter, and you’ll need a professional to resolve them. These may include:

  • Faulty run capacitors in heat pumps and ACs.
  • Faulty thermostats or thermocouples.
  • Thermocouples that are actually working just fine and shutting down your system due to unsafe combustion conditions.
  • Refrigerant leaks in heat pumps or central ACs that will do serious damage if left unresolved.

When your heater or AC is short cycling, it costs more to run. It does a subpar job of heating and cooling your home. It also incurs a lot of unnecessary wear and tear that would otherwise be avoided. So, while it may not be an emergency, resolving issues with short cycling is definitely a priority. Don’t let these issues do serious damage to your comfort, your system, and your budget.

Schedule your HVAC repairs with Ideal Services Heating & Cooling.