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Ask John Ac Constantly Running Main Image

Why Is MY AC Constantly Running?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

Find Out Why Your AC Runs All the Time

Have you noticed that your air conditioning system seems to be running nonstop? It doesn’t seem like it but a constantly running AC can be a cause for concern. An AC that continuously runs not only impacts your comfort but can also lead to increased energy consumption and higher utility bills.

But don’t worry because this article will explore why your AC is constantly running. We will discuss the common causes behind this issue and provide potential solutions to address it. Read on to find out if you can fix your AC or if you need the help of a professional.

Checking AC Control Dial
Review the most common reasons your AC won’t stop running below.

Why Is My AC Constantly Running? Causes and Solutions

You’ve been asking yourself these past few days, “Why does my AC constantly run?” It should turn on and off periodically, but you notice it hasn’t been doing that. Let’s see if we can solve the problem!

Improperly Sized System

One of the possible reasons behind “Why is my AC running constantly?” is an improperly sized system. If the unit is too small for the space it needs to cool, it may struggle to reach the desired temperature, leading it to run continuously. Conversely, an oversized system may cool the space too quickly, causing the cycle to turn on and off frequently.

The solution here is to consult with an HVAC professional to evaluate your home’s cooling needs. Hiring them also helps you determine if your AC system is appropriately sized. If necessary, you may have to replace your unit with a properly sized one.

Air Leaks and Insufficient Insulation

Air leaks in your home’s windows, doors, and ductwork can allow cool air to escape. This forces the AC to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. Similarly, inadequate insulation can lead to heat gain, resulting in the AC running longer to compensate.

In this situation, you can try sealing air leaks by weatherstripping windows and doors. You can also apply caulk or sealant to gaps and cracks. Consider adding insulation in areas such as the attic or walls to improve efficiency and reduce heat transfer.

Thermostat Placement and Settings

The location of your thermostat can influence the AC’s behavior. If it’s exposed to direct sunlight, heat sources, or drafts, it may inaccurately detect the room’s temperature. This can result in the system running longer than necessary. In addition, incorrect thermostat settings or fan mode selection can lead to continuous operation.

If this is the case with your AC, you should check and ensure that the thermostat is installed in an appropriate location away from direct heat sources or drafts. Also, verify that it is set to your desired temperature and that the fan mode is auto instead of constantly on.

Refrigerant Issues

Another possible reason why your AC is constantly running has to do with the refrigerant. Low refrigerant levels due to improper system charging or leaks can affect the cooling efficiency of an air conditioning system. The system may compensate by running continuously in an attempt to reach the desired temperature.

If you suspect a refrigerant issue, it’s crucial to contact a licensed HVAC technician to inspect and repair any leaks. The technician can also handle recharging the refrigerant to the appropriate levels, which ideally should fix a constantly running AC.

Equipment Malfunctions

Various mechanical or electrical problems within the AC unit can cause it to run continuously. Faulty components, such as a malfunctioning compressor or a malfunctioning control board, can prevent the system from cycling properly.

In the case of equipment malfunctions, it’s best to schedule a professional inspection and repair services from a qualified HVAC technician. They can identify and address any specific issues that affect your air conditioning system.

Heat-Generating Appliances

The presence of heat-generating appliances, such as ovens and dryers, can increase the heat load in your home. When you ask yourself, “Why is my AC constantly running?” The AC probably runs longer to counteract the added heat from your heat-generating appliances.

Minimize the use of heat-generating appliances during the hottest parts of the day. Consider using them in the early morning or evening when the outdoor temperatures are lower. Proper ventilation or the use of exhaust fans can also help dissipate the heat.

Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, has provided a list of common reasons why your AC is constantly running including, some DIY suggestions and solutions.

Dirty Condenser Coils

Over time, the condenser coils located in the outdoor unit can become covered in dust, dirt, and debris. This buildup restricts heat transfer, reducing the system’s efficiency and causing it to run longer. Regular maintenance is the best solution for this, so you should schedule one for your AC system. Also, ensure that the area around the outdoor unit is clear of debris.

Insufficient Maintenance

Why does your AC run nonstop? Lack of regular maintenance is a possible culprit, as it can lead to various issues. For instance, worn-out components, like a faulty blower motor or a malfunctioning fan, can prevent the system from cycling properly.

This makes it crucial that your AC system undergoes regular maintenance, including inspections, cleaning, and necessary repairs. Ideally, let a professional HVAC technician perform routine maintenance tasks and identify any potential issues before they become major problems.

High Heat Load

Excessive heat gain in your home, such as inadequate insulation, intense sunlight, or inefficient windows, can place a higher demand on the AC system. This can cause the appliance to run continuously in an attempt to maintain the desired temperature.

The solution is to implement measures to reduce heat gain. Some tricks you can try include using window treatments, improving insulation, or upgrading to energy-efficient windows. Consider shading outdoor areas or using reflective coatings on windows to minimize heat transfer.

Ductwork Issues

Leaky or poorly insulated ductwork can lead to air loss, which again can reduce the AC system’s cooling efficiency. The unit may run longer to compensate for the loss of cooled air. Have a professional inspect and seal any leaks or gaps in the ductwork. Additionally, ensure proper insulation is installed to minimize air loss and improve system efficiency.

Clogged Air Filters

A dirty or clogged air filter restricts airflow, reducing the AC’s cooling capacity. This can cause the system to run continuously as it tries to compensate for the reduced airflow. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to remedy.

You need to check the air filters regularly, cleaning or replacing them according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. In general, filters should be replaced every one to three months, depending on usage and filter type.

Remember, while these reasons can contribute to an AC running continuously, it’s important to assess your specific situation. More importantly, seek professional assistance if needed.

Changing Blocked AC Filter
There are many reasons your AC is struggling to cool and can’t shut off intermittently.

AC Constantly Running FAQs

Should I contact a professional if my AC is constantly running?

If you have tried basic troubleshooting steps and your AC still runs continuously, it’s advisable to contact a professional HVAC technician. They have the expertise to diagnose and address specific issues related to your AC system, ensuring proper repairs and optimizing its performance.

Can continuously running AC increase my energy bills?

Yes, an AC that runs constantly will consume more energy, leading to higher utility bills. Identifying and resolving the underlying causes of the continuous operation can help improve energy efficiency and reduce your energy costs.

Is it normal for the AC to run longer during extremely hot days?

During extremely hot days, it’s normal for the AC to run for longer periods as it works harder to cool your home. But if the AC is running excessively or without cycling off, it may indicate an issue that requires professional attention.

How can I determine if my AC running constantly is a problem?

If your air conditioner is running constantly, you can check various things to confirm if it’s a problem. For instance, there’s the temperature. Check to see if inside your home has a significantly higher temperature than the thermostat setting. This means your AC is struggling to cool the space. Next, monitor the cycling – if the AC never seems to turn off and continuously blows cool air, it suggests a problem. Normally, the AC should cycle on and off periodically. Higher energy consumption is also a sign an AC constantly running is a problem.

Hire a Local HVAC Pro

An HVAC technician can provide a thorough evaluation of your system and offer tailored solutions to address the underlying issues of your constantly running AC. Hire a local pro using the phone number or form on this page.

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