Your air conditioner should NOT be running all the time. 

However, it depends on what you mean when you say ‘all the time’. Sometimes it’s normal for an AC to operate more frequently.

Your Air Conditioner Should Run More than Normal When…

It’s hotter outside. The warmer the temperature is outside, the longer your AC will run to get your home to your desired temperature.

Longer runs times are good in these conditions: it means your air conditioner is working the way it should.

But even then, you should still be able to hear your air conditioner turn off and on as needed.

When You Should Be Concerned

  • Your air conditioner never turns off. It’s literally running all the time.
  • Your energy bills are going through the roof, yet you aren’t operating your air conditioner any differently.
  • The air temperature doesn’t seem to be changing, no matter how low your thermostat goes.

If you notice any of the previous stated issues, especially the first one. It’s time for you to diagnose and fix the issue in order to have a cool home and an air conditioner that isn’t slacking. 

What’s Causing Your Air Conditioner to Run All the Time?

Several things can cause your air conditioner to run all the time.

1. Air Flow is Blocked

Your air conditioner needs to be able to breathe.

If air flow to or from your air conditioner is blocked, your air conditioner is going to struggle to work. That means it’s going to keep running.

Things that can restrict air flow to your AC are: 

  • The air filter is dirty and clogged
  • Ductwork leaks
  • Closed or blocked vents

You can test this theory by holding your hand up to an open vent. You’ll feel a cool but weak stream of air.

Turn off your AC and change the filter. Then double check for any blockages. 

If you’re still not noticing a difference, you should call a professional HVAC technician to help you out. 

2. Dirty Evaporator Coils

Refrigerant runs through the evaporator coils and absorbs the heat from the air in your home. When the evaporator coils are clean, this is a smooth process. 

As more dirt and grime builds up on the evaporator coils, the harder it is for the refrigerant to absorb heat. All those layers create a barrier, and your AC just keeps running. Yet your home does not get any cooler. 

This is something that is included in tune-ups and should be left to the professionals. 

3. There’s a Refrigerant Leak

When you don’t have enough refrigerant, your AC runs all the time trying to make up the difference.

Refrigerant is never supposed to run out or need topping up. The only time it is necessary is when there’s a leak. 

You’ll know you have a leak if there’s icy buildup on your AC, your home isn’t getting any cooler, or your AC hisses at you.

If you do have a leak, get it fixed as soon as possible.

4. Your AC is Old and Needs to Be Replaced

Most air conditioners that receive annual maintenance last approximately 15 years. After  that you should upgrade your system. 

As it ages, your air conditioner will have to work a little harder to give you the same results. But an AC that runs all the time, is over 10 years old, and needs regular repairs is just costing you money.

We recommend you talk to our home comfort specialist about getting a new air conditioner.

5. Your Air Conditioner is the Wrong Size

An air conditioner that is too small for your home will have to run constantly to keep it cool. This means more wear and tear on your AC. More wear and tear = more repairs and a shorter lifespan.

Unfortunately, the only way to solve this problem is to get a properly-sized air conditioner, which costs a lot more money.

If you’re due for an air conditioner, choosing the right installation company is the first step to avoiding this problem.

Get your AC a Tune Up

The best way to make sure your air conditioner is working as it should is to call a professional hvac service technician and treat your AC to a tune-up. 

Get a thorough inspection and make sure your AC is in the best possible shape it can be in.