What Causes Compressor Short Cycling? Find The Answer Here

A frequent problem that can happen in refrigeration and air conditioning systems is compressor short cycling. This occurrence happens when the compressor cycles on and off too frequently, which can reduce system efficiency and even harm it. We’ll look at some of the major reasons why compressors short cycle in this piece, along with some preventative measures.

Low Levels of Refrigerant

Low refrigerant levels are one of the main reasons of compressor short cycling. The compressor will cycle on and off more frequently to attempt to maintain the desired temperature when the refrigerant levels in the system are too low. The compressor may eventually suffer wear and damage as a result of this extra work. A qualified HVAC technician must inspect and fix the system if you think that low refrigerant levels are causing compressor short cycling.

Compressor Short Cycling

Unclean Air Filters

Another frequent reason for compressor short cycling is dirty air screens. The airflow is restricted when air filters are clogged with dirt and debris, which makes it harder for the system to keep the intended temperature. Compressor brief cycling results as a result of the compressor operating on and off more frequently to make up for this. Your HVAC system’s general efficiency can be increased and compressor short cycling can be avoided by routinely changing the air filters.

Read also: How to Prevent Your AC from Freezing

Defective thermostat

Another frequent cause of compressor short cycling is a broken thermostat. The compressor may cycle on and off too frequently if the thermostat is malfunctioning properly and giving the system the wrong signals. As a result, the system might run longer than required and cost more to operate. It’s crucial to have your thermostat replaced by a qualified HVAC technician if you think that a malfunctioning thermostat is to blame for compressor short cycling.

System: Oversized or Undersized

A system that is not correctly sized is another reason why compressors short cycle. The system may not be able to maintain the desired temperature and may turn on and off too frequently if it is too large or too small for the area it is cooling. This extra strain on the compressor can result in wear and tear and a reduction in overall efficiency. A qualified HVAC technician must assess the size of your system and make recommendations for the best size for your area.

Contaminated condenser coils

Compressor brief cycling may also be brought on by dirty condenser coils. Short cycling of the compressor occurs when the condenser coils cannot effectively discharge heat because of dirt and debris. Condenser coil maintenance can reduce brief cycling of the compressor and boost overall performance.


In conclusion, a number of things, including low refrigerant levels, filthy air filters, broken thermostats, an inadequately sized system, and dirty condenser coils, can result in compressor short cycling. It’s essential to carry out routine maintenance, such as replacing air filters and cleaning condenser coils, to avoid compressor short cycling.

You must have a qualified HVAC technician inspect and fix your system if you think that it is short cycling. You can increase the lifespan of your HVAC system, reduce energy costs, and avoid compressor short cycling by taking preventative measures and taking care of problems as soon as they arise. Always seek the advice of a qualified HVAC technician before performing any repairs or maintenance to guarantee that your system is operating properly and safely.