We know how important cooling your home is in Hawaii. An AC turning on and off can indicate a concerning problem. Of course, this is not always the case; there could be a simple DIY fix for your AC system.

The start and stop AC cycling you notice has a name: short cycling. This type of HVAC malfunction typically results from your air conditioner overworking itself. 

Here are the most common causes of short cycling, as well as possible methods of prevention. 

What Is Short Cycling?

The term “short cycling” describes a situation in which your HVAC unit turns on and off repeatedly before completing an entire cycle. An AC cycle is complete at the point when the unit turns off after reaching your desired temperature. There are several reasons for short cycling; luckily, routine maintenance can help avoid most malfunctions.

Electrical Malfunctions

A thermostat is the control center for the entire HVAC system. When the electrical signals between a thermostat and an air conditioner unit are damaged, the AC unit turns on and off repeatedly without completing a cycle.

If changing the batteries on your thermostat doesn’t fix the problem, give our HVAC experts at Island Comfort a call for assistance.

Other electrical malfunctions include issues with circuit boards, the compressor, and run capacitors. Each failure can ultimately result in a damaged HVAC system as the unit overworks to balance the temperature.

Thermostat Location

The cause of your AC turning on and off could be the wrong thermostat location. Suppose a previous homeowner placed the thermostat near a window, air vents, or along the back wall of your kitchen. In that case, you will likely have problems maintaining a consistent temperature.

Your AC continues to cycle on and off when inaccurate temperature data is transmitted from the thermostat. If you believe this may be the cause of your AC troubles, contact your HVAC to discuss moving the thermostat to a more central location.

Oversized HVAC Unit

An oversized air conditioner can cause short cycling. In this instance, as the AC cools a smaller space at an excessive rate, the desired temperature is achieved too quickly, and the unit turns on and off more frequently. While this may not seem serious, internal components can become damaged due to excessive wear and tear.

If your air conditioner keeps turning on and off despite regular maintenance, it’s possible your AC wasn’t sized correctly for your home. 

Call your local HVAC technician to assess the size of your AC in relation to the square footage of your home. A professional installation should include a complete evaluation to avoid installing the wrong size AC.

7 Ways to Prevent Short Cycling

Short cycling continuing for long periods can lead to increased utility bills, damaged equipment, and decreased AC lifespan. It is important to know how an air conditioner works and what can cause it to turn on and off continuously.

Below are seven ways to ways to troubleshoot and prevent an AC turning on and off repeatedly.

1) Check air filters

Check for dirty filters monthly. A dirty air filter restricts airflow, which causes your AC unit to work harder. The more contaminated the filter, the more likely you’ll notice your air conditioner turns on and off repeatedly.

2) Clean or replace condenser coils

If there is a buildup of dirt or debris in the coils, this also restricts airflow. Watch for leaves blowing into your air vents during the fall season, and clean them out during this time of year.

3) Add insulation

Adding insulation to your home prevents warm air from leaking out of your home and escaping into the air conditioning system. This is important because, if this happens, it causes your AC to turn off more often due to a lack of cool air.

4) Clean the register

Dust and dirt build up on the vent registers, so make sure to clean them out every few months to prevent this issue. You can use a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool or duct tape.

5) Get an air purifier

Air purifiers filter the air in your home and remove any pollutants causing your AC to turn on and off constantly. Clean indoor air quality means less debris passing through your air filters and reaching your evaporator coils.

6) Check for refrigerant leaks

You may have a leak if your AC unit isn’t blowing cold air at all. Refrigerant has no odor or color, making it difficult to detect. Even the most mechanically-inclined DIYer doesn’t typically possess the knowledge or tools to locate a refrigerant leak. The good news is that your HVAC technician is equipped to discover and resolve this issue quickly.

7) Inspect evaporator coils

Evaporator coils work by absorbing heat and releasing that heat outside. When these coils freeze up, they can no longer do their job. Frozen coils can be caused by poor airflow, a faulty control board, or a refrigerant leak.

Inspecting evaporator coils can be tricky, but removing the panel that encloses the coils can allow a visual inspection. Again, this is a task easily performed by your HVAC technician.

Stay Cool: Call the Pros

At Island Comfort, we understand how imperative it is that your air conditioner functions correctly at all times. Our professional team ensures that all AC repairs exceed your expectations.

Contact us at (888) 781-0364 for more information regarding AC services and other products. 

Top Reasons Behind What Causes a Sudden AC Failure

November 23rd, 2021

Island life is an absolute dream for those living in the continental United States. However, as most Hawaiians attest, this dream can quickly become a sweaty nightmare when your AC is not working. If your HVAC system experiences a sudden power failure, you may think the worst has occurred. You may even fear you will need to purchase a new system.

However, in reality, an AC tech can quickly resolve most power failures. So the next time that your AC suddenly stops working, consider the following possible causes behind the power failure and remember that the technicians at Island Comfort Air Conditioning are here to resolve your problems and restore functioning as soon as possible.

Frozen Coils

The coils within your AC are responsible for transporting the hot air outward but hinder the airflow if they become dirty from built-up debris. As a result, the coils can freeze, which can lead to a sudden power failure. To stop your coils from freezing over time, clean them regularly.

Damage in the Internal Components

Damage to the internal components of your HVAC system can lead to premature failure of your home’s AC. In particular, older models are more likely to experience this type of failure, but only due to a lack of maintenance. By replacing damaged compressors, fan blades, and electrical connections and contacts, you will be able to avoid any severe damage and shutdowns as well as prolong the life of your AC.

Broken Thermostat

If your AC fails to work because of a faulty thermostat, repairs are usually quick and effective. However, when your thermostat is damaged, your HVAC system will usually cycle on and off without stopping, which can lead to the system failing by overworking itself.

The key is to catch the malfunction before any significant damages occur. You should immediately contact your maintenance team when you notice that your thermostat isn’t working correctly. Luckily, there are many thermostat replacement options today that offer an array of different features, such as room-by-room control options and WiFi connectivity.

Leaking Refrigerant

Anytime that the refrigerant levels within your HVAC system are low, there will be problems with functioning. Leakage can result from many reasons but is most often caused by an aging AC. When your AC has been running for over ten years, the components that hold the freon in the refrigerant can become damaged and result in leaks and system failure. This is typically a more severe issue, as the only practical solution is investing in a new HVAC system.

Lack of Annual Maintenance

Ultimately, it’s best to keep in mind that routine maintenance can help avoid all of these reasons behind AC failures. Schedule servicing for your HVAC system at least once a year to ensure that it is in working order. During servicing, your certified technician will be able to spot any potential damage or errors that could result in a system failure in the future. Furthermore, remember to leave all AC repairing to the professionals, as DIY attempts could result in additional problems.

Island Comfort Air Conditioning

We are happy to provide this information about the possible causes of AC failures to our customers, in addition to our HVAC installation and maintenance services.

Island Comfort is located in Hawaii and strives to provide the highest level of quality and customer satisfaction. With the help of our expertly trained technicians, you can rest assured that they will conduct all of your HVAC-related needs with the utmost care. So, if your AC stopped working or you’re interested in learning more about our products and services, contact us today!