FIX Short Cycling Issue IMMEDIATELY [6 Solutions]

Dominic Mitton
By Dominic  • Reviewed by Ben  • Updated:   October 26, 2023
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Short cycling is a very common issue that a lot of people have to deal with, but sometimes the issue might be a lot more serious than you might think.

If you recently noticed that your AC works for a few minutes, take a break, then repeat the whole process – you’re dealing with a short cycling issue.

Before revealing the best ways to fix short cycling immediately, let’s first dive deep into the issue itself.

What Is Short-Cycling?

You might already be familiar with this term, but short cycling means that the compressor runs for a certain period (usually less than 10 minutes) and then takes a break, repeating the whole cycle at least two times in one hour.

Short cycling is triggered when one AC’s cooling cycle becomes shorter than 10 minutes which overwhelms the compressor as it has to turn on and off every few minutes.

Short cycling can be harmful to your unit’s overall health and durability, so it’s very important to find the real cause and fix it as soon as possible.

6 Ways To Fix Short Cycling Immediately

Thermostat placement

The best placement for the thermostat is always somewhere in the central location of your home, making it not too close to the return air register.

This is beneficial because it won’t give faulty readings which cause short cycling in your air conditioner unit.

The best way is to check again for your thermostat placement and read an in-depth thermostat wiring guide to learn more about it.

Check filters

If you haven’t cleaned your filters in a while, they most likely collected a lot of dirt and debris.

This causes the air filter to fully clog and start with short cycling.

The easiest way to avoid this problem would be to clean your filters at least once a month.

Refrigerant levels

When there’s refrigerant leakage or simply AC’s refrigerant levels become too low, it will push your air conditioner to overwhelm trying to cool the whole area.

Because it isn’t powerful enough to do so, it will usually overheat and work overtime to try to achieve a certain temperature.

This is fixed easily by adding more refrigerant, but make sure there are no leakages in your HVAC system.

Also, low refrigerant levels can cause your AC to not cool below a certain temperature.

Inspect compressor

The compressor is one of the most important parts of any air conditioner, so it’s very important that it works properly.

This issue can even expand to wiring and control boards which all cause short cycling.

This is a bit tougher problem to resolve, so you should seek an HVAC technician to inspect the compressor for you.

Too powerful unit

While most people buy weaker air conditioners than they need, it might be the case that you bought one that’s too powerful for your needs.

If it’s too powerful, it will distribute a lot of cool air and quickly achieve the desired temperature which will result in short cycling.

There’s no real solution other than buying a new unit and calculating the size of the AC for your needs.

Frozen evaporator coils

This is a common cause during cold winter days when temperatures start dropping heavily.

The first thing you have to do is to unfreeze your air conditioner by shutting down your complete HVAC system and letting the coils unfreeze for a few hours.

Once you turn it back on, if the issue continues happening, it’s time to reach out for professional help.

Hey there! I am Benas, the founder and content editor at Home Caprice. Thanks for reading the article. I hope you were able to find what you were looking for. I and my team are here to simplify heating and cooling for everyone. Please have a look at the About page for more details about our website and feel free to check out our editorial process.