My Air Conditioner Won't Stop Running 24/7! Is That Normal?
To put it simply, the answer is no.
Your air conditioner should never run all the time. Even in the dead of summer, when temperatures reach over 30 degrees Celsius, your A/C should still cycle off.
It may run more frequently in hot, sticky weather. But if it never clicks off, you could have a much bigger problem on your hands!
And what if your AC isn't even effectively cooling your home while it's on? This could cause you to waste hundreds of dollars in cooling costs without reaping any benefits.
In this article, find out when it's normal for your A/C to run more frequently and when it's not. We also explore 8 potential issues that may cause your A/C to behave like this.
Here’s When It’s Normal
You might notice a slightly higher energy bill during an August heat wave in Ontario.
Don’t freak out if this happens! It’s actually expected.
Your air conditioner needs to work extra hard to keep your house cool during hot and humid days.
So in this particular case, it’s normal for your air conditioner to run more frequently.
Usually, your air conditioner cycles on for about 15-20 minutes each cycle. But during a hotter day, this could extend to a few hours at a time.
Here’s When It’s NOT Normal
Are summer temperatures pretty average, yet your air conditioner is not taking the hint to chill out (pun intended)? That’s when you know you have a problem on your hands.
Here are some common A/C warning signs you should look out for:
- Skyrocketing electricity bills.
- Ineffective cooling.
- 24/7 Operation.
Not only is your air conditioner wasting your hard-earned cash, but it’s also making your home practically unliveable.
Here’s Why Your Air Conditioner Might Run Nonstop
Now that we know how to recognize when it's normal and when it's not, we can start narrowing down exactly what’s wrong with your A/C unit.
After all, you don’t want to keep spending money on ineffective cooling all summer!
1. Your Thermostat is not working.
The very first thing you should check is your thermostat settings.
In fact, this could be the easiest fix in the book!
First, ensure your thermostat is set to “auto”. This allows it to cycle on and off as needed. If set to “on”, your air conditioner will continue to run no matter what. And if set to “off”, it won’t run at all!
Second, ensure the temperature settings are reasonable (around 25 degrees C). If you set your thermostat too cool during a heat wave, it’ll work overtime just trying to keep up.
2. Your A/C system is too small for your home.
During the initial installation, your HVAC technician must ensure the A/C unit and duct system are correctly sized.
If your air conditioner is too small for your home, it will have to work extra hard to keep it cool. That means CONSTANT operation. And an EXTENSIVE energy bill!
If your ductwork is too small, air won’t be able to efficiently flow through it. This causes weak airflow as air cannot distribute evenly throughout your entire home.
3. The evaporator coils are dirty or clogged.
Dirty evaporator coils make it difficult for your air conditioner to pull hot air outside.
As a result, it has to work overtime to effectively pull enough heat and humidity out of your indoor air.
This causes it to run more frequently. Or even consistently.
4. The air filter needs replacing.
We’ve mentioned the importance of changing your air filter multiple times before. And for good reason!
Not only does a regularly changed air filter provide cleaner, healthier indoor air quality. But it also makes it way easier for your air conditioner to operate!
If your air filter becomes clogged, air can’t pass through it as easily. This, in turn, causes your air conditioner to operate more frequently in an attempt to push enough cool air out.
When was the last time you changed your air filter? If you can’t remember, we suggest heading to your local home & hardware store right away.
Typically, we recommend changing your air filter every 90 days. However, if you have pets in your home, we recommend upping that to every 60 days. And if you have family members with allergies and/or respiratory issues, we up that even higher to every 30 days!
5. Ductwork needs cleaning.
Having your ductwork cleaned is an easy and affordable way to improve the airflow of your A/C, while also improving your indoor air quality.
Over time, your ductwork can start leaking - causing cool air to seep out while on route to your home.
As a result, the attic and inside of your walls might be nice and cool. But the rooms in your home will not be.
6. Your home is improperly insulated.
Cooling a poorly insulated home is like filling a bathtub without a drain plug.
In other words, pretty much useless!
The air conditioner will continue to run 24/7 to cool your home. And no matter how hard it works, it will fail to bring in enough cool air to effectively cool the home for more than a few seconds.
Plus, poor insulation can cause outdoor humidity to start seeping through to your home as well - making your air conditioner's job even harder!
7. There’s a refrigerant leak.
Here’s the thing… refrigerant should never run out. So if your refrigerant levels are running low, it's obvious that there’s a problem.
Telltale signs of a refrigerant leak:
- Ice on your evaporator coils
- Bubbling or hissing sounds
- High electricity bills
- Ongoing cooling cycles
- High humidity
- Ineffective cooling
While some refrigerant leaks come from environmental damage, others come from poor A/C maintenance, which leads us to our next point!
8. Your A/C unit needs maintenance.
Most of the above issues are solvable with a simple A/C maintenance visit.
In fact, a quick check-up is one of the surest ways to ensure your air conditioner stays in great shape all season long!
Get Expert A/C Services at Campeau Heating in Sudbury, Ontario
Your Campeau HVAC technician will inspect, test, repair and replace any equipment necessary in your air conditioner. So you can start SAVING money on your energy, instead of losing it!
Give us a call at (705) 560-2441 or contact us online!