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Serving All of Southern California Since 1954


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Greenleaf Heating & Cooling Blog

Short Cycling Causes Long-Term Problems

AC-techsOne of the most damaging assumptions that homeowners can make is just because their air conditioners start-ups and cools their home, it’s working properly. That is not necessarily the case, and ignoring signs of trouble with an operational system is going to put you on the express path to a broken-down system. Something like short cycling cannot be ignored and may indicate that you need serious air conditioning repair in Torrance, CA.

What is short cycling? Why should you be concerned? Should you always be concerned? Those are the questions that we are going to answer in today’s post. Short cycling may not always indicate a very serious issue,  but the possibility is there. Regardless of what causes the problem to begin with, letting it continue can and will lead to more serious issues eventually. Whatever the cause of your system’s short cycling, it is a problem that you want resolved ASAP.

What We Mean By “Short Cycling”

Your air conditioner is not going to cool your home down immediately in one frigid blast. It is designed to adjust temperatures over the course of even cooling cycles. If your system starts up, runs only very briefly, and then cycles back down before starting right back up again, it is short cycling.

And that’s a big problem.

Issues Caused By Short Cycling

Well, it’s starting and stopping a lot—but my home is cooler than it is outside, so no big deal. 


If your system is short cycling, there are already problems that you just may not be aware of. These include:

  • Reduced cooling output. Even if your AC is doing a decent job of cooling your home, you deserve more than decent. You deserve the very best performance that your air conditioner has to offer, and that just won’t be the case if your system is short cycling.
  • Increased energy costs. Talk about adding insult to injury. It takes more energy to start a system up than it does to keep it running, which means that a short cycling AC isn’t just resulting in a lesser performance—it’s costing you more, too.
  • Excessive wear and tear. Not only is short cycling going to cost you money due to decreased energy efficiency, but it is also going to make it much more likely that you’ll wind up with potentially costly repair needs. Don’t run a short cycling system and not expect wear and tear to build up.

What’s the Solution?

That depends on the cause of short cycling. The most benign cause is a very dirty air filter. If your air filter is very dirty, it can restrict airflow to the point where the system overheats. That can cause short cycling as the system tries to prevent damage. It can also cause ice to develop on the evaporator coil, and that can result in excessive strain and overheating, too.

If your filter is fresh, then you may have a refrigerant leak on your hands. That is a very serious problem that requires professional repairs immediately. It could also be a faulty run capacitor. Whatever the case, AC repairs are something we excel in!

Schedule your air conditioning repairs with Greenleaf Heating & Cooling.

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