Short Cycling and Other HVAC Malfunctions Explained

If you've noticed that your HVAC system is just not working as well as it used to, it may be time for you to contact a professional. Several types of common malfunctions can happen with HVAC systems. Understanding their symptoms and causes can help you know how to prevent them and when it is time to call an expert.

Here are some of the most common HVAC issues and their causes.

Short cycling

If your HVAC system turns on and off frequently, it may be experiencing a malfunction called short cycling. When your system goes through short cycles, it has to work harder to maintain your desired temperature until it ultimately fails. Some of the root causes of short cycling include the following:
 

  • Improper unit size

  • Recent power outage

  • Breaker problems

  • Clogged condensate drain

  • Poor maintenance

  • Thermostat issue
     

Energy Star reports that having an improperly sized HVAC unit can cause short cycling and increases in your utility bills. You can identify the cause of the issue with your HVAC system by scheduling an inspection and repair.

Lack of airflow

A common problem with HVAC systems is a lack of airflow. If this problem is not addressed, it can lead to compressor failure. Some of the common causes of airflow issues include the following:

  • Obstruction of the condenser unit

  • Blocked registers or vents

  • Clogged filter

  • Faulty thermostat

  • Blower motor problems

  • Dirty coils

  • AC unit that is too large

An HVAC pro can diagnose what is causing your airflow problems and complete the needed repairs.

Strange noises and odors

When it comes to your HVAC system, paying attention to your senses is important. While strange smells might be normal when your heating system first fires up, certain odors and sounds could indicate problems.

A dirty-sock smell: If your HVAC system produces a distinct dirty sock smell, the evaporator coils are likely a breeding ground for mildew. The bacteria will circulate throughout the house, creating a real respiratory concern. Contact a pro immediately.

A burning odor: A continuing electrical or burning smell can mean an electrical problem or an oil leak (if you have an oil-burning furnace.) Have it inspected right away.

A rotten egg smell: If you have a gas system and smell an odor of sulfur or rotten eggs, you need to call the gas company immediately. This could indicate a gas leak, which could be dangerous.

Several sounds might indicate that repairs are needed. Squealing sounds suggest a belt needs to be changed. Rattling could be a loose part. If you hear scraping sounds, metal is likely rubbing against metal. All of these noises are cause for concern and require the attention of a professional.

Turn to the Experts

The professionals at RR Electric, Heating & Air have the expertise you need to diagnose the problems and perform quality repairs accurately. Contact us today to schedule an appointment by calling us at (805) 900-0123.