AC Cycling Guide

Do you find your air conditioner shutting on and off frequently during hot temperatures, perhaps more frequently than it should? This could indicate an irregularity with its cycle time.

After reading today’s blog, you can check out this article to learn how long your AC should stay off in between cycles.


Your AC unit could be turning on and off frequently for reasons other than short cycling; for instance, a clogged air filter may contribute to its cycling habits as well as overall comfort levels.

Thermostats use heat energy to measure the temperature in your house. They do this by measuring thermal expansion and contraction in bimetallic strips that measure thermal expansion/contraction. Under normal circumstances, one metal expands more than another which bends the strip slightly before changing position allowing electricity to stop flowing to your heating system and the thermostat shutting off as necessary.

Put your thermostat in an ideal location away from direct sunlight, drafts, doors and windows to avoid inaccurate readings. Furthermore, its placement should correspond with natural air movement in the room (warm air rising, cold air sinking) rather than near artificial sources of heat such as heater vents or fireplaces.


The compressor is the core component of an AC system. Its primary responsibility is compressing refrigerant gas into smaller volumes for cooling purposes; without working compressors, no cooling can occur, and therefore, no system works effectively.

The spinning rotor of a compressor forces air into its cylinder through two pistons. Each of its three cylinders are divided by adjustable arms that divide their spaces in several ways to displace different amounts of air at each pumping stroke.

Compression reduces the dynamic range of sounds, commonly known as “squashing”, to make them sound more polished and professional. Most compressors feature various controls such as ratio, threshold, and hold release that can be altered to alter how they squash sounds.


If your AC unit keeps cycling on and off frequently, it could be caused by several issues: incorrect thermostat placement (bad placement on poorly insulated wall or too little airflow), overworking compressor, tripping the pressure switch or low refrigerant levels; however, it could simply be too hot or humid outside that forces it to constantly turn on and off repeatedly as an attempt at compensation.

AC refrigerant transports heat from indoor air to its outdoor unit and releases it as condensation, changing back to liquid form before returning to pick up more heat before repeating this cycle until your thermostat senses that your home has reached your ideal temperature and signals for it to shut off.


Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system in your home utilizes ductwork to transport conditioned air around. This process works by sucking air from living spaces through return vents into the furnace/air conditioner unit before blowing it back out through supply vents throughout your home.

Ducts can be constructed from various materials depending on the size and composition of your building. Galvanized mild steel ductwork is often chosen, since its zinc coating protects it from corrosion. Other commonly-used duct materials include aluminum, phenolic foam panels and flexible plastics.

Leaky ducts can waste energy and money. Furthermore, clogged ducts can make your house uncomfortable and unhealthy; rodents, bugs and mold may gain entry through damaged or obstructed ductwork and pollute your conditioned air with harmful bacteria. Furthermore, too-small ducts will increase electricity and gas bills because they need to work harder for their intended destination.