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Why Does My Air Conditioner Keep Running?

air conditioner outside of homeIt’s understandable that on sweltering days your home’s air conditioning might need to run longer. There are likely days when it seems to run constantly.

While it’s entirely normal for a central AC unit to run without cycling on and off during Houston’s hottest days, if it happens every day, there might be a problem with the equipment, no matter what the outside temperature.

Pros and Cons of a Constantly Running Air Conditioner

One positive to your AC unit continually running is that it helps dehumidify your home. It can also reduce the level of wear and tear on your HVAC system, as there’s less starting and stopping.

If, however:

  • The AC never stops running
  • The thermostat temperature is never reached
  • Your utility bills are significantly higher than before

You might need to call in a qualified, experienced HVAC company to take a look.

5 Top Reasons Your Air Conditioner is Running Constantly

In most cases, it’s not normal for your AC to run non-stop all day. When it does, here are the most common reasons it’s happening.

  1. Restricted airflow:An air conditioner needs a certain amount of airflow to supply your home with cool air. If something is impeding the cooling process, the system won’t run as efficiently as it should. Dirty or clogged air filters make it impossible for AC systems to remove humidity and cool the air to the set temperature; but the system keeps trying, which means it keeps running. A blocked or dirty condenser can also restrict airflow.
  2. An undersized unit: Have you recently added on, remodeled, or changed your home’s layout? If your AC unit’s the wrong size, it will constantly run as it tries to cool the whole house. This often leads to our next problem.
  3. A frozen evaporator coil: An air conditioner that runs constantly reduces the pressure in the cooling coil until it eventually freezes over. This can cause the unit’s refrigerant to flood back to the compressor, severely damaging it. Unfortunately, a compressor is an expensive part to replace.
  4. Blower motor and fan issues: Like most major home appliances, an AC’s mechanical components need more service as they age. Eventually, the HVAC system will need to be replaced, typically about 15 years after it’s installed. You can help extend the life of your system by performing regular maintenance to keep the unit free of dirt and grime.  
  5. A low refrigerant charge: The leading cause of low refrigerant is a leak, typically in the conduit lines or near the compressor or evaporator coil. It can result in the unit running non-stop as it struggles to cool your home.

A faulty thermostat, leaky ducts, or a too-restrictive air filter, like those designed to remove pollen and allergens, can also cause your AC to malfunction.

Fixing an AC Unit That Runs Constantly

Regularly scheduled maintenance can help you avoid many of the issues that cause an AC unit to run constantly. Other problems require the expertise of a trained and qualified HVAC technician.

If your Houston home’s air conditioning unit runs constantly and you’re unable to solve the issue yourself, contact Horizon Air Solutions to have one of our qualified HVAC technicians take care of the problem right away. You can contact us online or call us at 713.679.9225. We also offer 24/7 emergency HVAC repair services to all our customers in the greater Houston area.

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