Short Cycling Air Conditioning: Causes and Fixes

Have you ever noticed your air conditioning unit turning on and off frequently? This is called short cycling. Short cycling is not only irritating, but it can also damage your AC unit and increase your energy bills. This piece will discuss the causes of short cycling and ways to fix it.

Clogged Air Filters

One of the most common reasons for short cycling is dirty or clogged air filters. When the air filter is clogged, the air conditioner unit has to work harder to draw in air and cool it down. This extra effort causes the unit to shut down for a few minutes and then start again. To fix this issue, clean or replace the air filters regularly.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant leaks can also cause short cycling in air conditioning units. The refrigerant gas is in charge of air cooling. When the refrigerant level is low, the AC unit needs to exert more effort to cool the air, resulting in frequent shutdowns. In such a case, call a professional HVAC technician to identify and fix the leak and refill the refrigerant.

Faulty Thermostat

Short cycling can also happen due to a malfunctioning thermostat. The thermostat is crucial in regulating the room temperature. When the thermostat malfunctions, it can cause the AC to turn off and on frequently. To fix this issue, consider investing in a programmable thermostat that is accurate and reliable.

AC Unit Size

The functioning of the AC unit is also influenced by its size. If the unit is too small, it will run continuously to cool the room, causing it to wear out quickly. On the other hand, if the unit is too big, it will cool the room too quickly, forcing it to shut down and restart. In case of a wrong-sized AC unit, consider replacing it with an appropriate-sized unit.


Regular maintenance of the AC unit is crucial to prevent short cycling. Hire an experienced HVAC technician to clean and inspect your unit regularly. They will check for refrigerant leaks, clean the coils and fins, and ensure all components are functioning optimally.

Short cycling in air conditioning units can cause increased energy bills and damage to the AC unit. By identifying and fixing the cause of the short cycling, you can avoid unexpected bills and enjoy a comfortable atmosphere. Ensure to regularly replace or clean the air filters, seek assistance from an HVAC technician for refrigerant leaks, invest in a dependable thermostat, take into account the size of the AC unit, and consistently maintain the unit. With the right steps, you can keep your AC unit functioning correctly year-round.

Contact a local HVAC company to learn more about air conditioning systems.