Why Does My AC Keep Running? Tips for Fixing a Constantly Running AC Unit
A properly sized AC unit keeps your home comfortable during those long, hot summer days. The key to efficient AC performance: Regular maintenance. A spring tune-up will do wonders for your AC unit this summer.
Yet, even with regular service, AC units can still have performance issues. One of the most common summertime AC problems: The AC unit runs constantly. Not only does an over-running AC create cooling issues in the home, it can also increase your electricity costs and put undue stress on the AC unit.
An efficient, well-functioning AC unit will run frequently during the summer months. But you can tell it’s over-running when you notice:
- Unexpected increases in your electricity bill
- Uneven cooling throughout the home
- The AC unit runs for long periods of time, with little effect on the home’s temperature
All of these symptoms may be a sign that your AC unit isn’t running at optimal performance. In these cases, you should call an HVAC specialist to help you diagnose the problem. If you’re experiencing any of the above issues, call or contact Comfort Pro today.
What Causes AC Units to Run Constantly?
A few common problems can cause your home’s central AC to run constantly, and these problems typically fall into five categories. They include:
- AC Unit Is Improperly Sized
For maximum efficiency, a central AC unit must be fitted accordingly to the size of the home. An AC unit that’s too small or too large will cause issues with uneven cooling, inefficiency or rising electricity costs.
- Is the Unit Too Small? A unit that’s too small must work harder and longer to cool the home. This increases the wear and tear on the unit, which will shorten the unit’s life. Additionally, this can cause costs to rise, due to the added runtime necessary to cool the home.
- Is the Unit Too Large? An AC unit that’s too large will run for shorter periods of time. Yet, this is a problem, because the unit will not run long enough to remove moisture from the air. As a result, the home will have damp, clammy air. Additionally, because it runs for shorter periods, it turns off and on more, and as a result, wear and tear do occur more quickly.
- Your AC Requires Maintenance
Irregular maintenance is one of the most common causes of AC inefficiency. It’s recommended that you have the unit serviced twice per year – once in spring, and before winter. Regular maintenance ensures the coils, ducts, and air filters are clean, which maximizes airflow and cooling power. A few common maintenance issues include:
- Dirty condenser
- Clogged or restricted air filters
- Low refrigerant charge
- Dirty evaporator coils
- Thermostat Problems
Your home’s thermostat tells the AC unit the current temperature in the home. When the thermostat is faulty and does not properly register the current temperature, your AC will likely run longer or stop running too soon. The result is typically an unevenly cooled home.
You can test your thermostat by placing a thermometer nearby. After an hour or so, the temperature readouts should be very close. If not, you likely need to have the thermostat replaced. Additionally, the connection may have come loose, which can also cause your AC unit to over-run.
- Leaking Ductwork
Insulation and well-sealed ductwork contribute to the efficiency of your AC unit. A home that’s drafty, or that has old, improperly sealed ductwork will “leak” cool air out. As a result, the AC has to work harder to compensate. Properly insulated windows, ductwork, and attic spaces can all improve the efficiency of your HVAC unit.
- AC Unit Is Too Old
Finally, when AC units reach the end of their lifespan, they become much less efficient. As a result, they have to work harder and longer to cool the home, resulting in increased runtimes and ballooning electricity costs. Replacing your home’s AC unit with an energy-efficient model will reduce runtime and can help to keep your home more evenly cooled.
Is your central AC ready for summer? Comfort Pro can help. Schedule an AC tune-up today!