The compressor in a car’s air conditioning unit is a vital component for the unit to function properly. However, there are many complex parts that could malfunction and cause your A/C compressor to short cycle.
A short-cycling compressor can lead to several costly consequences if not repaired. When a compressor short cycles, it puts stress on other parts that work to keep the desired temperature. It will usually make it difficult, if not impossible, to cool your home or car down.
If your compressor is short cycling, you can make an appointment with our A/C repair and replacement mechanics at AAA by calling (305) 909-6127.
What Causes Air Conditioning Compressors to Short Cycle?
A car’s A/C compressor is a vital component in every air conditioner unit. If you have ever wondered why your A/C unit kicks on and off in certain intervals, it is because is running through a cycle to reach the desired temperature. During the cycle process, the compressor pressurizes the refrigerant or cooling agent before sending it to the evaporator to convert it to air. Once the cycle is complete, the A/C unit will shut off until the cycle begins once more. However, your compressor might be short cycling if you notice it shutting on and off in faster intervals.
You’re A/C unit should cycle about every 20 minutes. However, if there is a problem in the unit, it might start cycling too quickly, or “short cycling.” If your car’s A/C unit cannot seem to cool the area down or warm it up, a short-cycling compressor could be the culprit. Short-cycling compressors will likely decrease the efficiency of your A/C unit and can contribute to further damage the unit’s systems.
Air conditioning units are complex and the compressor relies on several other parts to function properly. If another component is damaged or fails, it could cause the compressor to short cycle. However, there are many issues that can cause short cycling in a compressor.
Common Reasons Compressors Short Cycle
Because air conditioning compressors are vital components of a car’s A/C units, there could be several reasons why one would begin to short cycle. In some cases, a unit’s refrigerant might simply be low or could be leaking somewhere. Other issues can be caused by the environment around the unit. Regardless of the cause of your short-cycling compressor, our A/C repair and replacement mechanics can help repair the damage and get your air flowing again.
Low Levels of Refrigerant
Low refrigerant levels are a common cause of a compressor short cycling. If your refrigerant levels are low, your car will not cool down properly. In some cases, the refrigerant will only need to be refilled. In other cases, a leak somewhere in the coolant’s delivery line could be leaking. It is critical to address the issue quickly since finding the source of the leak could take time. Further, lower refrigerant levels will cause the other components in your A/C unit to work harder, which can increase the chances of other expensive damage being done.
Clogged or Dirty Air Filter
Another common cause of short-cycling compressors is clogged or dirty air filters. Air filters are an important component of an A/C unit as it catches dust, dirt, and other particles to prevent them from being distributed into the air. However, the can become full of debris quickly and need to be replaced. Unfortunately, not everyone replaces their air filters as regularly as they should be. A dirty or clogged filter puts additional stress on the compressor and can cause it to overheat and short cycle. Failure to fix the problem quickly can result in your A/C unit breaking down, leading to costly repairs. In some cases, the fix might be as simple as replacing the air filter in your car.
Problems with the Evaporator Coil
In other cases, a short-cycling compressor is caused by an iced or dirty evaporator coil. If individuals do not have routine A/C maintenance done on their units, evaporator coils can collect grime and dust. If too much debris collects, it can cause the evaporator coil to malfunction. Ice can also form on the coil and freeze it, causing stress on the other components that rely on the evaporator functioning. If the evaporator coil is not working properly, hot air will not be removed as quickly, causing your unit to work harder and your compressor to cycle more. This can cause your car’s A/C unit to overheat and potentially shut down. Our A/C repair and replacement mechanics can help repair the damage that is causing your compressor to short cycle.
How Do I Know My Compressor is Short Cycling?
When your compressor is short cycling, you will likely know. In many cases, a malfunctioning compressor will make unfamiliar noises as it is short cycling. You might also have a short-cycling compressor if your notice your home will not cool down or heat up. If you notice your A/C unit powering up and down more often than usual, our A/C repair and replacement mechanics can determine what is causing your compressor to short cycle.
One thing you can do is check the fan on your car’s A/C unit to see if it is only blowing hot or lukewarm air. If so, your unit likely has a refrigerant or coolant leak that is causing your compressor to short cycle. Getting this repaired can help increase the longevity of your current A/C system.
Our AAA AC Repair and Replacement Mechanics Can Help
To learn more about how we can help you, set up an appointment today with our A/C repair and replacement mechanics at AAA by calling us at (305) 909-6127.