Why Is My A/C Constantly Running?
If your a/c unit is constantly running, that is not a good sign. There are many reasons for it to continually run, and some are easy fixes, while others can be more expensive. The bottom line is this: an air conditioner that is running non-stop is wasting energy and shortening its lifespan. Here are some possible causes and what to do.
- Filter – the job of the filter is to remove dust, pollen, dander, and other particles from the air to keep things clean. If you neglect the filter it can become clogged and the HVAC system has to work harder to push the air past the clog. This could be the reason that your a/c is constantly running, and that is a sign that things are not running efficiently. The easiest thing you can do to improve your a/c is to regularly change the filter. It helps clean the air and allows your a/c to run more efficiently. Why is efficiency important? Efficiency leads to lower energy bills and a longer lifespan for the HVAC, which saves you money.
- Leaks – if your home has leaks, it could be the reason behind a constantly running air conditioner. Leaky doors and windows can allow warm outdoor air to infiltrate your home. Meanwhile, air ducts that leak can allow cooled air to seep into unwanted spaces of your home, like your attic or basement. These can all be reasons for an a/c that runs all the time. It is working hard to cool your home, but if the cooled air doesn’t arrive at the desired destination, the thermostat will never register the proper temperature. Hot air from outside can dilute the cooled air and again the thermostat doesn’t measure the desired temperature. It tells the air conditioner to keep running to achieve the set temperature. Making sure your home is properly insulated is important throughout the year, especially during the summer and winter months. You pay to cool and heat your home, but if not properly insulated, that air can seep outside or into unwanted areas like a crawl space or attic. Depending on your budget, there are different options to insulate your home. Some are DIY methods like caulking, while others might involve hiring a contractor to install new windows or better insulation in the attic. If you suspect you have leaky air ducts, contact Weather Crafters to help determine where the leak is. Scheduling regular maintenance visits with a professional HVAC specialist can help catch any problems early on, so think about making a maintenance appointment soon.
- Thermostat – if you set your thermostat too low, that can cause your air conditioner to run constantly. For example, you come home from vacation. To save energy, you turned the air conditioner off while you were away, so the indoor temperature is 85 degrees. It’s hot so you want to cool things down quickly and set the thermostat to 68 degrees. By setting it low, it seems logical that the temperature will lower quickly. However, that is not a great idea. A thermostat that is set too low will leave the air conditioner running constantly and this doesn’t allow the HVAC system to run through a proper cycle. It won’t be able to keep up with the demand and it will just continue to run, without really lowering the temperature. Instead of drastically lowering the temperature, do it in increments. First set it to 80 degrees, and then lower it to 78, and so on. Another great idea is to install a Smart thermostat so that you can adjust the temperature remotely. Talk to our team at Weather Crafters to see what Smart thermostat will fit your needs.
- Size – another reason your a/c might be running all the time is that it is too small for your home. Air conditioners are rated by size – 1.5 tons up to 5+ tons. A 1.5-ton unit is rated for a space that has 1,000 square feet while a 3-ton unit can handle anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet. If your a/c is too small for the space you are trying to cool, it will constantly be running. It can’t produce enough cool air and because of this it will not run through a complete cycle, it will just keep going. This puts a lot of strain on the system, shortening its lifespan and increasing your bills.
- Time to Replace – a constantly running a/c can also be a sign that the system is nearing the end of its life. It may be too worn out to meet the demands of cooling your home so it is constantly running to try to keep up. Some systems just stop working, but many reach a point where they aren’t operating efficiently anymore. Compare your energy bills over the past few years, and if this summer the cost has increased significantly, it is probably time to consider a replacement. If well-cared for, many air conditioners can last 15 to 20 years. However, if your system is over 10 years old, it is time to plan. To increase your a/c’s lifespan, make sure you have regular maintenance completed. Also, start setting aside money to buy a new air conditioner and begin researching what type you may want as your replacement.
An air conditioner that is constantly running is not a good sign. It means things are not being cooled efficiently and this can put a strain on your HVAC system. A shortened lifespan and higher energy bills are costly additions. You need to determine the source of the problem and then make an action plan to fix it. Talk to a certified HVAC specialist to figure out the best way to resolve these issues so that you can stay comfortable this summer without breaking the bank. Call Weather Crafters today to schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable team.