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 5 Causes Behind the Most Common AC Repairs

December 21st, 2021

Air conditioner repairs are not always a result of damaged components. Repairs are regulatory when ensuring the projected lifespan of a unit. However, as a homeowner, you’re most likely curious about how, why, and when air conditioners need repairs. Don’t worry! More often than not, AC problems are to be expected when units have been working for a number of years.

To clarify the importance of AC repairs, our specialists have listed the key reasons air conditioner repairs may be necessary. In Hawaii, air conditioners typically run year-round. So, it’s no surprise why a homeowner should have their system inspected—or even require AC repairs from a professional—every once in a while. Here you will find the top problems that may require professional air conditioner repairs.

Top 5 Air Conditioner Problems

1. Refrigerant Leaks

Sometimes, AC units begin to run low on refrigerant. It should be noted that this depletion of coolant isn’t the result of normal AC processes. Low refrigerant levels are often a result of leaks or undercharging during the installation process. If your system is experiencing a leak, adding more refrigerant is never a sound solution. The leak will ultimately need to be fixed and the AC system itself will need to be recharged. 

It’s important to utilize the expertise of a trained and licensed AC technician near you who can identify the issue, fix the leak, inspect refrigerant lines, and properly charge the air conditioning unit with the appropriate amount of coolant. Your system should never be undercharged or overcharged with refrigerant, which is why this process is best left to HVAC experts.

2. AC System Corrosion

It’s no “shock” that when wires and other components are exposed to high levels of vapor or moisture, they are prone to corrosion. Don’t worry, this exposure will not be a cause for any immediate safety concerns. Instead, this exposure will cause your AC to struggle to reach optimal efficiency due to the effect corrosion has on the terminals and wires of your unit. 

In some cases, corrosion may cause your system to come to a complete stop altogether. While corrosion isn’t a dangerous issue to deal with, it’s still best practice to leave relevant repairs to a professional HVAC technician. 

3. Clogged Drains

When your unit is functioning normally, it removes moisture from the air and disperses it via drain lines. Moisture then drips into the pan underneath the AC unit, and eventually travels down a pipe that drains the excess moisture outside of your home. If your pan is full or the drain has become clogged, the condensation can accumulate and begin to overflow. This can damage floors or ceilings, and even stop your system from cooling altogether. 

4. Dirty Air Filters

Air filters should be changed at least once a month to ensure proper airflow and avoid any health problems, ranging from trouble breathing to dizziness and headaches that result from inhaling debris. Too much debris coating or lining specific components of your unit can reduce system efficiency. Air blowing through dirty filters can even pump dirt, dust, pollen, and dander into your home, causing poor indoor air quality. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable about changing or cleaning your filters, an experienced HVAC technician can clean or replace your filters during a tune-up for optimal efficiency. 

5. Frozen Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils in an air conditioning unit are responsible for capturing hot air. These condenser coils require warm air circulating around them in order to avoid freezing over. Too much cold air on the evaporator coils will create ice buildup, which can be harmful to your AC unit’s efficiency. It’s best to have frozen coils diagnosed and treated by a professional in air conditioning system repairs.

Do You Need HVAC Service?

The air conditioning repair specialists of Island Comfort have been offering their expertise and professional HVAC system services to Hawaii residents for years. If you require AC repairs, you can count on us to solve the issue fast and restore indoor comfort! Contact us for a service call today! Be sure to ask about your preventative maintenance services to avoid common air conditioning problems in the future.