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Touchstone Heating & Air Inc. Blog

The Problem of Short Cycling

Have you noticed your air conditioner turning itself on and off every couple of minutes this summer? If so, you have a big problem. That behavior is called short cycling, and it places a huge amount of stress on the system. If you don’t call for repairs right away, you may end up replacing your air conditioner years sooner than you otherwise would. Read on to find out what causes short cycling, and the damage it can cause.

Short Cycling

Short cycling has a number of different possible causes. One of the more common ones is thermostat issues. A malfunctioning thermostat could send erratic signals to the air conditioner, causing an otherwise healthy system to malfunction. There could also be a short in the wiring between the thermostat and the air conditioner, which poses the added problem of a fire risk.

The other possibility is that the compressor is damaged or faulty.  The compressor is a gas pump that is responsible for circulating refrigerant gas between the two parts of the air conditioner. This part helps the air conditioner to operate properly, as well as maintain the rhythm of the system. If the compressor malfunctions, the air conditioner can short cycle before breaking down entirely.


Short cycling places the air conditioner under far more strain than it was designed to handle. Various parts of the system will start to wear down at an accelerated rate, eventually breaking down entirely. If the short cycling isn’t dealt with, the air conditioner’s lifespan will be cut short and you’ll have to replace it. If you hear your air conditioner short cycling, the best thing to do is to turn it off immediately and call for repairs right away.

Touchstone Heating & Air offers a full range of air conditioner repair services throughout Starke, FL.

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