Neighbors A/C

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AC Time Delays

AC Time Delay

Installing a digital thermostat that includes a time delay function will help prolong the life of your A/C (air conditioning) unit. The time delay will ensure that your unit doesn’t short cycle, which is when a system turns off and on too quickly. This will safeguard your A/C unit’s compressor, and other electrical components, from burning out. You should have preventative measures in place to protect your system from wearing out in certain situations, such as power surges, or if you happen to have kids who constantly change the temperature setting on your thermostat!

An A/C compressor uses high pressure to compress the low-pressure refrigerant gas coming from the air handler inside your home, into a high-pressure refrigerant gas during the cooling cycle. The compressor requires a lot of energy at startup, as it generates a lot of pressure. Once the system has done its job through a cooling cycle, the compressor is exhausted and must recover before turning back on for another cooling cycle, with it usually taking between 3-5 minutes for the pressure to equalize.

If your A/C system turns back on too soon, such as after a power surge or thermostat adjustment, the compressor and other electrical components can burn out. Having a time delay function on your thermostat will prevent short cycles and prolong the life of your system.

At Neighbors A/C, we will help you determine if your A/C unit needs a time delay. In many cases, it will depend on the age of your unit, as short cycling is a larger problem in older air conditioning units. Many newer, high-end systems are coming equipped with the time delay feature. Not all newer units include this function, however. While time delays can be installed separately, digital thermostats are made to prevent your unit from short-cycling. Older, mechanical thermostats do not include built-in time delays. If you are not sure about your A/C unit, it would be worth your while to have one of our technicians assess your system and determine if yours could use a time delay upgrade.


  • Ensure the life of your unit and increase system efficiency by preventing your unit from short-cycling (turning off and on too quickly)
  • Safeguard the heart of your condenser from burning out in situations like power outages
  • Prevent permanent wear and tear on your A/C system when kids constantly change the temperature
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    If you require emergency or same-day service, please call us at 754-222-6347 and our friendly office staff will be happy to assist you.

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