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Why Is My AC Always On? Homeowner’s Guide To Fixes

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Two Ac Units

Troubleshooting Constant AC Operation

When your AC can’t seem to take a break, it’s not just the machine that wears out; your patience and budget can wear thin, too. Constant operation is a common problem for homeowners that can be solved with a little DIY effort and professional help. If your AC is always on but not cooling your home efficiently, this guide is for you.

The HVAC experts at Patriot Air are here to break down how ACs work, why they can run constantly, and why that’s an issue. We’ll provide practical tips for troubleshooting and advice on when to call a professional. 

Understanding AC Operation

Air conditioning is a staple of modern comfort, especially during those scorching summer months. But how exactly does an AC system keep your home cool and comfortable? At its core, air conditioning operates on the principles of heat transfer.

  1. The AC unit takes in warm air from inside the home.
  2. The warm air cools by passing over a set of evaporator coils containing refrigerant.
  3. The cool air is redistributed throughout the home.
  4. The absorbed heat is expelled outside through condenser coils.

This process involves a few key components working together: the compressor, which pumps the refrigerant through the system; the evaporator coils, which cool the indoor air; the condenser coils, which release the absorbed heat outside; and the thermostat, which regulates the overall operation based on your preferred settings.

What It Means If Your AC Is “Running Constantly”

When we say an AC is “running constantly,” we mean that the AC is not turning off when the set temperature is reached. An air conditioner is expected to work harder and longer on extremely hot days but it should still turn off periodically.

Is Continuous AC Operation A Sign Of Trouble?

It’s essential to differentiate between an AC system that’s working hard to combat extreme outdoor temperatures and one that’s struggling with underlying issues. On hot summer days, your AC will run longer cycles to reach the set indoor temperature. An efficient AC should be able to cool your home without running non-stop, even on the hottest days.

When does continuous operation signal that your AC is working too hard?

The key thing to look out for is a change in comfort and performance without a change in usage.

Continuous operation is a sign that something has malfunctioned in the AC. This can increase wear and tear, shortening the lifespan of your system. It also drives up energy consumption, leading to higher utility costs. If your system can’t keep up without continuous operation, it’s likely experiencing problems that need attention.

Common Causes For Continuous AC Operation

An AC that runs constantly isn’t just a quirk; it’s a clue that something in the system needs attention. The issue may be as simple as a thermostat reset or a complex parts failure.

DIY Fixes & When To Call A Professional

Issue DIY Fixes

When To Call A Professional

Dirty Air Filters Replace or clean the air filters every 1-3 months. If you are unsure which filters are best or how to access them.
Thermostat Issues Ensure the thermostat is set to “auto,” replace batteries, and adjust the temperature settings to be more realistic. If the thermostat is malfunctioning or needs recalibration or replacement.
Continuous Operation WIthout Cooling Check for open windows or doors. Improve home insulation. If the AC still doesn’t cool efficiently after basic troubleshooting.
Strange Noises Or Smells Identify if the noise is coming from a loose part that can be easily accessed and tightened. For electrical smells, burning odors, or if the source of the noise cannot be safely accessed or identified.
High Energy Bills Implement energy-saving practices, such as using fans and closing blinds during the day.
If bills remain higher or you suspect duct leaks or system inefficiency.

Keep Your AC Running Efficiently With The Patriot

Understanding the common causes behind your AC’s refusal to take a break is the first step towards resolving the issue. Regular maintenance, including cleaning and timely component checks, can prevent many of these problems.

When in doubt, calling in HVAC professionals from Patriot Air is the safest course of action. Our technicians can diagnose and remedy issues ranging from simple fixes to complex repairs, ensuring your AC can finally take a well-deserved rest.

Is your AC always on? The Patriot has you covered! Contact us online or call 701-238-9037 to schedule your air conditioner service in the West Fargo, ND, area.

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