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Why Is My AC Short Cycling and What Should I Do About It?

Air conditioning and HVAC systems can be confusing to homeowners, business owners, and tenants. The jargon that repair technicians use can sometimes be hard to follow. If you’ve heard someone say that your air conditioner is short cycling, you might wonder, “What is short cycling?” and “Why is my AC short cycling?” 

Airsmiths Cooling & Heating, a trusted provider of air conditioning services in Covington, LA, wants you to know that while short cycling is a serious problem for air conditioning units, it doesn’t have to be a mystery. We’ll show you how to recognize short cycling and how to respond to it when it happens. 

Understanding Short Cycling

During normal operation, your air conditioner does not typically run continuously. Usually, it will run for about 15 minutes, turn off for a few minutes and start up again. This process is cycling, and it allows the air conditioner to efficiently maintain an even temperature.

If something has gone wrong with your air conditioner, it might turn on and off too rapidly, a process that industry professionals call short cycling. Short cycling is not good for your air conditioner, and it can increase your energy bills.

If you think your air conditioner is short cycling, listen to the compressor while you monitor the time on your watch or phone. If the air conditioner consistently turns off after only a few minutes, instead of the usual 15 minutes, your AC is short cycling. 

Causes of Short Cycling

“Why is my AC short cycling?” you might ask? Many AC conditions can cause the unit to short cycle, including:

  • The unit is too powerful for the square footage it is attempting to cool
  • Your air conditioner’s control system is having electrical issues
  • Your air conditioning unit has a refrigerant leak
  • The temperature sensor or thermostat in your AC system is faulty
  • There is a problem with the AC compressor
  • The condenser coil overheats, causing the AC to shut down 

My AC Is Short Cycling, So What Now?

The large number of potential causes for your air conditioner’s behavior means that it is not always possible for a homeowner to diagnose the problem and find a solution. Some preliminary diagnostic steps you could take include:

  • Checking the status indicators on the thermostat display or AC control app on your phone.
  • Inspecting your AC indoor and outdoor unit for dirt or signs of damage
  • Changing your AC or HVAC filter

If the DIY fixes do not solve the problem, call a knowledgeable and licensed AC repair contractor in your area and ask them, “Why is my AC short cycling?” If they are conscientious and have strong customer service skills, they will ask you for more information about your AC unit, its history, and its recent issues. Schedule a service call so the technician can inspect the AC in person.

Calling a Professional for AC Repair

A professional technician on a service call should be prompt and attentive, armed with the diagnostic tools they need to examine the coils, check the refrigerant levels, assess the electrical control system, and evaluate the performance of the AC unit.

Depending on the severity of the problem, the technician might be able to fix the issue on-site. However, if a main component of the AC unit is faulty, such as the compressor, you might need to schedule a subsequent repair visit or talk to the technician about replacing your AC.


You cannot afford to overlook short cycling. Left unchecked, it will wear out your AC, raise your utility bills, and prevent you from enjoying your home in comfort.At Airsmiths Cooling & Heating, we have helped our customers in the Covington, Mandeville, and St. Tammany Parish tackle many pressing questions, from “Why is my AC short cycling?” to “What do I do if I have a frozen evaporator coil?” We are the neighborhood leaders in AC repair services. Call us at 985-400-5093 to speak with a trained and courteous air conditioning repair professional today.

Schedule Your AC Repair Or Replacement Services

If your Heating Or AC system is not keeping you comfortable schedule a service call today.

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(985) 400-5093

What our customers are Saying



5-Star Google Rated

We have a widely trusted name across St. Tammany Parish for our AC Repair, Quality Of Work & Honesty.

We Service All Brands

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Family Owned. Locally Operated

We are a multi-generational family-run business established in 1986, in Southeast Louisiana and serve both residential and commercial clients.

Trained & Skilled Technicians

Each of our technicians are trained, certified, and undergoes continual training to ensure customer satisfaction at all times.

Frequently Asked Questions

Regular maintenance for your heating and cooling systems is often overlooked and can go a really long way in regards to extending equipment life and maintaining operating efficiency. As one of our maintenance contract customers, you get priority scheduling, discounted repair rates, discounted equipment purchases, and much more.

Warranty terms vary greatly depending on the manufacturer and installing dealer. We can verify all warranty terms by using the model and serial numbers located on the equipment. If you have a home warranty company you should contact them directly for service.

Our service fees range from $95-$145 and it covers our initial assessment of the system. With a proper assessment, we can then provided a flat rate cost to repair the system.

We service ALL makes and models! We are also a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealers & Carrier Infinity Product Specialists. Our well trained and Nate certified technicians can work on all systems

What services do you need?

Contact Our HVAC
Repair & Replacement Team Today!

When you’re looking for HVAC services in Mandeville or St. Tammany Parish that you can trust and afford, call our team here at Airsmiths Cooling & Heating. We ensure you get the best from your HVAC system. No matter what you need assistance with, we can help. Whether you require urgent repairs or you’d like to find out more about our cost-saving heating and cooling systems, we’ll be there for you.

Reach out to the experts at Airsmiths Cooling & Heating in Mandeville, serving the St. Tammany Parish area, and experience why we stand out as the top choice for HVAC services and plumbing. Don’t wait any longer, contact us today and discover unparalleled service and expertise!