Why is my AC Always Running?

The warm weather has finally arrived. But you flip on your air conditioner and you realize, it hasn’t stopped running! Should you be worried? Well, yes and no.

During hot summer days (we’re talking high 90s to 100s), your HVAC needs to keep up with the incoming heat. To maintain a level of coolness and hit the desired temperature in your home, it will have to run longer than usual. But there are ways you can help it out by closing blinds in the afternoon, only using large appliances in the evenings and using the grill instead of the oven.

Why is my AC Always Running, But I’m Not Cool?

Now, if your AC is always running BUT you’re never comfortable, that’s a problem. And, that’s a problem that needs to be fixed.

Below are 4 common reasons that your AC could be running more than usual (and not delivering).

Cause #1: Blocked airflow/low blower speed

Your AC requires a particular amount of airflow to cool your home. If that airflow is restricted in any way, your AC system has to work harder and ends up running longer.

Look for this sign:

  • Cool but weak airflow coming from vents

What to do:

Common culprits of this issue include dirty air filters, leaky or disconnected ducts and closed or blocked air vents. So, try this:

  1. Change your air filter
  2. Find (and fix) faulty ductwork
  3. Move furniture and window draperies away from vents
  4. Open air vents (and doors) in every room

Cause #2: Dirty evaporator or condenser coil

If your inside unit’s evaporator coil is dirty it makes it tough for Freon to absorb heat from your air. Similarly, if dirt is built-up on an outside unit’s condenser coils, it can block the release of absorbed heat from the refrigerant.

Both will cause your system to run constantly since it’s struggling to remove heat from your home.

Look for these signs:
  • Warm Air
  • Visible dirt on outside unit or inside coils

What to do:

You can clean the outside unit yourself, but leave the inside unit’s coils to the professionals. Both are included in a routine maintenance plan.

Cause #3: Low Freon (refrigerant)

When your HVAC is low on refrigerant, it will have to work harder to reach the desired temperature setting, causing it to run nonstop.

Look for these signs:
  • Ice buildup on the refrigerant line or the outside unit
  • You hear a bubbling or hissing noise
  • Warm air

What to do:

This is not the time to attempt a DIY. You need a professional to check your system’s refrigerant levels and fix the leak.

Cause #4: Air conditioner is too small

An undersized AC is somewhat like “The Little Engine That Could” but…it just can’t. It will constantly run but the system is just too small to meet the size of your home’s cooling demands.

Look for these signs:
  • Normal airflow, but home never reaches desired temp on those hot days
  • Frozen evaporator coil (cooling coil in the inside unit) due to low pressure inside unit.

What to do:

Have a professional air conditioning technician from Lawes perform a heat load calculation on your home to know exactly what size (measured in tons) your home needs to get the job done right.

Have questions or need a repair? Call the Professional HVAC Professionals from Lawes.

Keeping you and your family comfortable all year round is central to our business. That’s why, here at Lawes Heating and Cooling Company NJ, we provide certified oil and gas burner technicians, and air conditioning technicians available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. View our service plans and give us a call with any questions at 732-741-6300.