Why is My Air Conditioner Always Running?

While a continuously running air conditioner in a heatwave might be normal, particularly on days where it's in the 90s or even 100s where your AC is fighting against the incoming heat, if it's continually running but you're still uncomfortable, this could be a sign there's trouble. Here are some common causes of an air conditioner always running.

  1. Your AC System Is Too Small

If your air conditioning unit is too small, it has to work harder to keep your home cool. And, this can increase wear and tear on your system, reducing its lifespan over time. Not to mention, your home won't become as cool as you would like it, despite your AC continually running.

  1. Your AC Is Getting Old

When AC units start becoming older, they start losing their ability to cool homes properly. Different unit components can start becoming inefficient and this can make your system run more often than normal for it to efficiently cool your home down. Newer AC units have briefer cooling cycles and also use less energy.

  1. Low Refrigerant or Freon

If your unit is low on refrigerant or freon, it can have a hard time reaching the temperature you set, which causes it to constantly run. You might have a problem if:

  • The outside of the system or the refrigerant line have ice buildup
  • The air conditioner blows warm air out of the vents
  • You hear a hissing or bubbling noise

You'll require a professional to come over and check your unit's level of refrigerant. If it's low, ensure they locate and repair any leak (since leaks are what cause your unit to lose refrigerant) and ask them to add more refrigerant.

  1. You Have the Thermostat Set Too Low

If you have your thermostat set at 67 degrees and it's over 95 degrees outdoors, your unit will constantly run in order to keep up. Try to raise your thermostat to a level that's more reasonable.

  1. The Evaporator Coil Is Dirty

If you failed to have your AC unit serviced before turning it on in the summer, you could have dirt covering the evaporator coil, hindering its ability to cool your home. This could occur even if you've had it cleaned several months ago if your system is in a place, like a nearby restaurant where it could collect grime.

One way you can decrease the time your AC unit runs, reduce your energy bill and potentially save 90% on air conditioning costs is by installing a whole house fan. Whole house fans make great alternatives to air conditioners, particularly if you live in a location where you experience cooler evenings or when the outdoor temperatures are cooler than indoors.