How Long Does an Air Conditioner Cycle?
Your home’s air conditioner is designed to keep you comfortable no matter how hot or humid the air outside becomes. To do so, it works by cycling on and off as needed to keep your home at the temperature set on your thermostat.
How long it takes to reach and keep that temperature before your air conditioner cycles off can depend on several factors.
The most basic indicator of how long your air conditioner will run is the temperature at which you set your thermostat. If it’s 80 degrees outside, and your thermostat is set to 78 degrees, it shouldn’t run as long as it would if it were set to 72 degrees.
In either scenario, however, the unit should reach your desired temperature – typically within 15 or 20 minutes – and should cycle off for at least seven to 10 minutes. It’s important to note that your home will not cool off any faster if you set the thermostat to a low temperature.
If your unit turns off and on rapidly – say every 10 minutes or less – then your air conditioner is short-cycling. This means something isn’t operating as it should. Causes of short-cycling include:
- Insufficient refrigerant
- Thermostat malfunction
- Oversized HVAC unit for your home’s square footage
When your AC’s cooling cycle runs too long, this could also mean something isn’t quite right. Sometimes, it can mean your AC takes up to an hour to cycle off or stays off for an extended period.
This is problematic because it wastes energy and money and can impact your system’s life span. Reasons your system might be long-cycling include:
- Thermostat is set too low
- Extreme heat
- The coils are dirty
- AC is over 10 years old
Preventing Short- & Long-Cycling
There are several things you can do to ensure your air conditioner cycles properly, including:
- Change your air filters every 30 to 60 days.
- Ensure your thermostat is centrally located in your home.
- Schedule routine HVAC maintenance with a trained HVAC professional.
With routine, annual maintenance, a trained technician can check your system’s refrigerant levels, ensure your compressor is working properly, test your thermostat, clean your coils, and more.
Choose Air America
Air America is here for all your HVAC needs throughout Florida. We understand how important your cooling system is to your daily comfort.
Whether you need routine maintenance to keep your AC cycling properly or you need an air conditioning repair to address short-cycling or long-cycling, we can help. Our team is experienced, highly trained, and customer-focused. We also offer 24/7 emergency services.
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