Think back to last summer for a moment. How did your AC perform? Did it exceed expectations or was it struggling to get by? Asking questions like these now can help you be prepared or get prepared for the coming summer.
We’re going to address a common issue that some homeowners may have brushed off last season which really shouldn’t be ignored: irregular AC cycles. Here’s what you need to know about what is and isn’t normal for your AC cycles so you know when to reach out for an AC repair.
How long the average cycle should last?
Let’s start by looking at just how long the average cooling cycle is supposed to be.
Most air conditioners have a cooling cycle that lasts between 10–15 minutes long. This may end up being a little longer if you have an AC that uses inverter technology. However, this may mean longer pauses between cooling cycles as a result.
The next step is looking at how long your AC is supposed to stay off in between cooling cycles. Too short may cost you extra cash and too long will cause temperature peaks and lows.
On average, barring the use of inverter AC units, your air conditioner is going to rest for around 7 to 10 minutes between cycles.
The problem you may have: a never-ending AC
Now that you know what you are supposed to expect, you may be realizing that your air conditioner is not running properly.
If your AC seems to run for far too long, then you have probably started to notice the negative impact this can have on your home comfort. For starters, it is going to leave things too cold, if the system is actually cooling. If the system isn’t cooling though, it may keep running non-stop to try to reach the desired, but unattainable, temperature.
So what’s going on? There’s more than one potential cause:
- A refrigerant leak can make it harder for your AC to remove heat from the air, forcing your system to run longer to try to get the job done.
- Airflow issues may hinder the cooling process, leaving your AC running for longer amounts of time to try to get enough air to cool down the house.
- A thermostat malfunction may mean that your thermostat can’t tell when things have cooled off, translating to an AC that is never told to stop.
The opposite problem: Short cycling
Let’s say that you may not have an AC that is running nonstop and is, instead, running only in short spurts. This is known as short cycling and, much like nonstop cycling, can be harmful to your air conditioner over time.
This can also be caused by problems with your thermostat, airflow, and refrigerant level.
Ultimately, you need to make sure that your air conditioner is able to run for the right amount of time. More or less time spent cooling, or resting, is going to cost you in terms of comfort and energy costs.