If your heating and air system continually turns on and off, it may be short cycling. Your HVAC system is designed to communicate with your thermostat and only operate as needed. Rapid cycles of on and off could indicate a problem and set you up for an inconvenient breakdown.
Reasons an HVAC System Short Cycles
Normally, an HVAC system kicks on when the thermostat indicates the ambient temperature is too low or too high, and it shuts off when the desired temperature is achieved. When a heating and cooling system short cycles, it generally means one of a few things.
The most common cause of heating and air equipment short cycling is it’s incorrectly sized for the space, occupancy, capacity, and so on.
Faulty Thermostat Readings
Your HVAC system reacts to the information coming from your thermostat. If your thermostat is delivering inaccurate information, your HVAC will respond accordingly.
When an HVAC technician performs routine service, or during the course of a repair, he or she will test the thermostat. If he or she detects a malfunction, this is an opportunity to repair or replace the thermostat and be done with it.
If you’re still using a manual dial thermostat, we encourage you to upgrade. A digital programmable model will improve the communication between your thermostat and your HVAC system.
When your thermostat delivers more accurate information, your air conditioner, furnace, or heat pump can respond more efficiently. In addition, programmable thermostats provide you with many benefits. Most allow you to plan settings based on your weekday and weekend routines.
Most have a “vacation” setting as well. This allows your thermostat to basically run in the background and mirror your home’s occupancy and needs.
Some models have Wi-Fi connectivity. In this case, you can change your thermostat settings remotely using a smartphone or tablet. This may be useful if you’re on vacation, and your plans change.
Or, imagine you’re upstairs and all tucked in for the night, and you forgot to adjust the thermostat for a change in the weather. Adjust it without leaving your cozy bed. If your thermostat is outdated, call a trusted HVAC contractor like Estes Services.
Some thermostats are better suited than others for the specific type of HVAC system you have. Our heating and cooling experts can recommend specific models, based on your existing HVAC system and your needs.
Other Less Common Reasons
Additional possible causes of short cycling can include icing over the coils, a refrigerant leak, compressor issues, or a damaged control board.
HVAC System Short Cycle Signs
Most of the time, the noise from your HVAC system is unobtrusive. If, however, your heat pump is ending its cycle prematurely, the lack of “normal” noises may draw your attention. You may also notice uneven temperatures throughout your home, known as “hot” or “cold spots.”
If you’re the one who pays the bills, a spike in your utility bill may be your first indicator. In the absence of a weather event like a heat wave or cold snap, your HVAC system should be examined.
Next Steps for Your HVAC System
If you suspect your HVAC system is short cycling, call Estes Services to pay your home a visit. We recommend preventative maintenance twice a year. During service, a NATE-certified technician will inspect your HVAC system from top to bottom.
He or she will note any signs of distress or malfunction and report them to you. If a repair is recommended, our technician will provide you with options.
If your HVAC system is outdated, or it came with the house and you’re interested in an upgrade, we can help there too! HVAC systems are constantly evolving, to become more efficient.
One of our team would be happy to provide a free estimate on a new system. We also provide financing, so you can enjoy better comfort, safety, and energy savings today.
Contact us today to learn more about your HVAC system options. If your heating and cooling system is short cycling, we’ll address the cause and get your comfort – and energy bills – in line.