My Air Conditioner Runs Continuously, What’s Up?
First, let’s get the obvious out of the way. If your air conditioner runs continuously, it is obviously having some trouble keeping the temperature steady in your home and it is running non-stop to make up for this.
Talk about an easy way to incur high electric bills! With that being said, let’s dive in to 7 common causes for this issue.
Speaking of obvious, it is pretty well known that if your furnace filter is dirty and clogged, no air will be able to pass through it to cool your home. This is always the first step in the diagnostic process, to change your furnace filter.
Simple fix and definitely the cheapest as well! If you’ve changed that baby out and noticed your air conditioner still running all the time, it’s time to move on to some more complicated causes.
First, it’s important to note that your air conditioner is a “closed loop” system, meaning that your refrigerant should never leak out. It’s not like gas in your car that needs to be re-filled after so many miles.
If you are low on refrigerant, that means that you have a leak in your system somewhere and unless it gets fixed, the refrigerant will just leak right back out again (talk about throwing money away, literally).
However, if you don’t have the proper amount of refrigerant in your air conditioner, it will not be able to cool your home properly and your unit will have to run much longer to achieve the temperature you have set on your thermostat.
This is a pretty common ac repair issue surprisingly. In order to have this issue diagnosed properly, you would need a professional HVAC company out to take a look.
Dirty or Clogged Evaporator Coil
This cool piece of equipment sits on top of your furnace and is largely responsible for cooling down the air as the air passes through it.
It kind of looks like the letter “A” from the side, so you may hear it referred to as an “A-Coil” as well.
Just like your furnace filter, if this becomes clogged with dirt and other debris (if you haven’t changed your filter in forever this could definitely be an issue) then not much air will be able to pass through to cool your home.
This is definitely not good on your air conditioner as it strains it and really makes it work much harder than needed.
If you’re ever looking for an easy way to take life-span off of your AC, this would be a good choice.
Frozen Evaporator Coil
Adding onto the previous issue we just discussed, if your evaporator coil is a frozen block of ice, this will also cause your air conditioner to run non-stop.
Your evaporator coil essentially removes humidity (water) from the warm air as it passes over it.
Therefore, if your evaporator coil is clogged with dirt, the water cannot properly drain down the evaporator coil into the drain pan and becomes a frozen piece of ice.
Multiply this effect over time and your evaporator coil can literally turn into a block of solid ice.
If your unit is running non-stop while also producing warm air from your vents, this is likely the culprit.
Before your air conditioner can be fixed, the evaporator coil would need to completely thaw out (generally 24 hours).
If your air conditioner runs continuously, sometimes the culprit is the thermostat. If your thermostat doesn’t know when to turn off, it will just keep running.
An easy way to diagnose this is to simply look at your thermostat. Is the temperature below what you have your thermostat set at and your ac is still running? Sounds like you have a bad thermostat!
Old, Leaky Air Ducts
Do your air ducts look like they are from 2017 B.C? (yes, I know they didn’t exist then but you get my drift).
If your duct work (old or new) has gaps or cracks in it, air will simply escape and cool areas of your home you don’t want cooled (i.e. the space between the walls and the house).
It’s a good idea to look over your air ducts and seal any gaps or cracks you may find.
If you seal them all and are still having issues, it’s time to call a professional.
Dirty or Clogged Outdoor Condensor Unit
Just like we talked about with the clogged evaporator coil, your condensor unit that sits outside needs to be clean and free of all debris.
Your unit can become quite warm at times while running and by having no way to breathe, you’re cutting years off of it’s useful life.
An HVAC Maintenance Plan will generally take care of this process for you twice a year.
Need Some Professional Help?
Have you exhausted our checklist and still your air conditioner runs continuously? No worries! Give us a call at 614-475-1800 or contact us online here and we will give your air conditioner the proper rest time that it needs.