If your HVAC system turns off before your home has reached the correct temperature so it's forced to turn on again immediately, it's called short cycling. Since turning on and off demands more energy—and contributes to more wear and tear—than running continuously, it poses a bit of a headache for homeowners. Fortunately, if you're familiar with the most common causes of short cycling, you can take steps to prevent it with help from your HVAC contractor

3 Common Causes of Short Cycling 

1. Blocked Air Filters 

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The air filters in your system should be changed every 30 to 60 days. Once they're full of dust, pollen, pet dander, and other debris, airflow is hindered, which forces the system to work harder than necessary. As such, the motor is inclined to overheat, and once it does, the system will shut off automatically until it has cooled down again—even if the environment hasn't reached the desired temperature. 

2. Control Board Issues

If the electrical connections are loose or the control board is otherwise malfunctioning, the system may keep turning on and off at inopportune times. Should this be the case, call an HVAC contractor to locate the source of the problem. While replacing blocked air filters is an easy fix, repairing electrical connections or control board components demands the knowledge, skills, and experience of a seasoned professional. 

3. Oversized Units

Purchasing the largest equipment you can afford might seem like a good idea—you might assume it will heat and cool your home in record time—but it can lead to constant short cycling. When an HVAC system is oversized, it will inevitably overshoot the temperature setting, so it has to cycle off. Until, of course, the temperature changes, and it has to cycle back on. Your HVAC contractor can help you pick the right equipment for your home. Generally speaking, an air conditioner needs 20 Btu per each square foot it must cool. 


The knowledgeable technicians at Pointon Heating & Air Conditioning are well-versed in the many issues that cause short cycling. If your system keeps turning on and off, this Wisconsin HVAC contractor can address the underlying cause of the problem once and for all. To discuss your concerns with a technician in Baraboo, call (608) 356-4177. To talk to someone in Portage, call (608) 745-4616. And to learn more about all the heating and cooling services they offer, visit their website