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Problem: Air conditioner or heat pump cycling off and on too much

Problem: Air conditioner or heat pump cycling off and on too much

Solution: Air conditioners and heat pumps that cycle off and on too much are caused by having a unit that is too big for your home. In the summer time you want a unit that runs a long time so it will remove the humidity from your home. An over-sized unit will cycle off and on too much and not remove humidity as well. I would suggest having a licensed contractor install your air conditioning and heat pump system and make sure that contractor has completed a heat gain and heat loss load calculation on your home to make sure you are getting the right sized system. I also see air conditioners and heat pumps cycle too much when you purchase some thermostats that do not have a long enough temperature swing. Many of the high tech thermostats cycle off with one degree temperature swing. Most of these thermostats can be adjusted to have longer temperature swings so you do not get the constant cutting off and on all the time. We sell a delay on make timer below that will help protect your air conditioner or heat pump from cycling too much. If you have any other questions please feel free to email us at:

Prevent Your Air Conditioner or Heat Pump from Cycling Off and On too much with a
Delay On Make Timer. Beacon Model TDOM:

This Beacon Delay on make timer replaces the following timers: ICM102B, EAC700, EAC701, TD69, 3310-06, 3239, 32367, IC-310, IC-213, & AC-800.

You might consider purchasing and installing the following device if:
1. You have to reset your air conditioning circuit breaker often.
2. If you have electrical storms where the power is going off and on. I have many calls after electrical storms. Please always turn your air
conditioner off during a storm.
3. If the power goes off and on often in your home. If the power goes off and on often in your home then this can ruin a compressor. When your air conditioner is turned off you should wait at least 3 to 5 minutes before you turn it back on. If you do not wait the 3 to 5 minutes then this causes a tremendous strain on the compressor motor because the motor is trying to start without the pressures being equalized. Please give your compressor and air conditioning system time for the pressures to equalize before starting your air conditioner again.
4. If you have children living in your home, renters, or other people who do not understand that you should wait 3 to 5 minutes before cycling and air conditioner off and on.


Solution: Purchase a delay on make timer pictured below. You can set this timer to the length of time you want to wait for the air conditioner to come back on from .03 of a second to 10 minutes. What this timer does is delay the amount of time you want your air conditioner to come on when low voltage power is applied to the timer. This low voltage timer is simple to install. *Some of the new thermostats have this delay feature built into them. If you have a thermostat that has this delay feature, then you do not need to purchase the Delay On Make Timer pictured below. If you want to protect your air conditioning system from short cycling and possible compressor damage, then the Delay on Make timer is for you! Please remember to turn off all power when working on air conditioning equipment.


11 thoughts on “Problem: Air conditioner or heat pump cycling off and on too much

  1. I have an American standard heat pump. The fan turns on and runs for a few seconds and then cuts off. It will do this repeatedly over the course of a few minutes. I pulled the fuses to cut power off to the unit. What is going on? It was working just fine last week.

    1. Hi Doug! More than like you are going to need a new fan motor to fix this problem. I would like to suggest that you check your motor capacitor to make sure that it is in good condition. If you would like me to look up parts for your American Standard unit then please send me your unit’s model number to our email address I will be glad to look up any parts for you. I hope you have a great and blessed New Year! Steve

  2. Hello sir, I live in Phoenix and purchased a complete new Ruud split system last year-2 new 16 SEER compressor/air handlers. It is cooling ok, but the AIR HANDLER on one side keeps turning in and off-NOT the compressor, just the air handler-we are using Ecobee controllers-the air handler/fan will be blowing-power down and then turn right back on-but I can hear the compressor running the whole time.
    Thank you for your help

    1. Hi Chris! I really have no idea what your problem could be. I would suggest that you make sure you are getting a minimum of 24 volts between the G (green) and C (common) terminals on your air handler when the air handler starts acting up. I have heard that some of the high tech thermostats require larger low voltage transformers to run properly. If you are getting below 24 volts then make sure all your low voltage connections are good and tight. Make sure if your thermostat uses batteries that the batteries are good. If you are still getting low voltage, below 24 volts AC then you might have to install a stronger VA transformer. Other than the fan relay on the control board going bad this is the only thing I can think might be your problem. Sorry that the can not be of much help. Steve

  3. Just had a new ruud unit outside installed and the unit in the house is 4 years old the a coil in the house was also replaced. The unit seems to run alot and wont keep the house at 70 degrees tec said it has plenty of freon in it ?? im outa ideas.Do i need to have another company come and check it out ? Thanks Rich

    1. Hi Rich! I would suggest having a Ruud dealer come and check your unit out. Many of the Ruud, Rheem units have been having trouble with their TXV valves getting clogged up. You might have a problem with your TXV valve. I am just guessing. A good service person should be able to determine this when they hook gauges up to your system. I must say that not many units can keep a house at 70 degrees on a 90 degree day. Most of the time the design temperature is 72 degrees. So you might not have a problem at all. If you have noticed a change in cooling capacity over the 4 years then, yes I am sure you have some kind of a problem. I hope you can easily and inexpensively find the problem and get it fixed. Steve

  4. I will be happy to try and answer any questions you have. Thanks so much for your interest and support in our website! Hope you have a blessed day! Steve

    1. House built 18 years ago with new heat pump installed. Has worked fine for many years. In the past few years, when switching from heat to a/c, the whole system, (blower and outside unit) will short cycle in the evening after it cools off outside, yet a/c is still needed. This is only in the spring, and after a day or two of this, it will work well for the rest of the season. It has grown worse in the past few years and is now unusable. Funny thing is, the heat side heats great, the incoming line to the evaporator is very hot, and the air out of the ducts is warm, heating performance has not changed. When the a/c is started, the out put air at the ducts is cold, it just will only run like 20 seconds or so, and shut down, restarts in perhaps a minute or so. On the heat side, it never misses a beat.

      1. This sounds like you might have a restriction in the refrigeration cycle when you switch the unit to cooling. I would suggest that you or a service tech take a look at the pressures on the gauges when in cooling mode. A thermostat that is not working right or a weak reversing valve solenoid could also cause this problem. I wish I had a definite solution to your problem. With a volt meter and some gauges you or the service tech should be able to easily find the problem. Steve

      2. Thanks so much for the reply. Last fall when it got to where it wanted to short cycle all the time, I connected to the suction side, and I think it was around 55-60 lbs pressure, but it would move down and at 49 psi., it would stop like clockwork at this pressure, so I thought it may be low on gas. I am familiar with the shift valve and will take a look at it, but was wondering since it shuts off every time at 49 psi if that would be helpful for you to know. Thanks for your consideration, and after looking around your site, I see we both grateful for the unspeakable gift!!! God be praised!!!

      3. Hi Mr. Garber! Yes! God be Praise for Everything! If the low side pressure stays at 49 psi and does not continue to move down when the unit runs, then I would say your unit is low on charge. If your unit’s pressure continues to move lower and lower then I would think you have a restriction in the system. You might have a low pressure shut off safety switch that might be shutting your unit off, protecting your unit if the pressure gets too low. You might have to by-pass this low pressure switch to see if the low pressure stabilizes or continues to move lower. They have had lots of trouble with TXV valves and a faulty TXV valve could cause the problem you are having. I hope your unit is just low on charge. God bless you and your family today and always! Steve

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