Why Does It Seem Like My AC Is Always Running?

Closeup of AC condenser unit outside of a residential home

It can be frustrating when you feel like your air conditioning unit is always running. You may not be sure why it seems to be on all the time and may worry that there's something wrong with your unit. This blog will help you answer questions like, does the outside AC fan always run, and why is my AC always running? We'll also provide some tips on how to know if there is actually an issue with your AC and when it's time to call in a professional.

What You Can Do

Regular maintenance is one of the best things you can do to help your AC unit work efficiently. If it seems like your outside AC fan is always running, there are a few things you can do to help improve the efficiency of your AC unit:

  • Replace Air Filter. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow and cause your AC unit to work harder than necessary. In fact, if the fan on your AC unit always seems to be running, this is a common culprit. To improve airflow and efficiency, check your air filter monthly and replace it as needed.
  • Adjust Thermostat Setting. If it feels like your AC unit is always running, it may be because your thermostat is set too low. During the summer months, it may be tempting to keep your home extra chilly inside. But this can put a lot of strain on your AC unit. For maximum efficiency, set your AC between 22 and 25 degrees. Every degree can add up to saving an additional eight percent on your energy bill!
  • Reset Thermostat. If you have a programmable thermostat, it's important to reset it regularly. Different seasons and even different days of the week mean that we are using our homes at different times. If you only run your AC when you need it, you can reduce how often your AC unit runs and save money on your energy bill, too. If you don't have a programmable thermostat, now may be the time to invest in one!
  • Minimize Air Leaks. Small air leaks in your home can cause big problems for your AC unit. If cool air is escaping through cracks and gaps, your AC will have to work harder to maintain the temperature you desire. This makes minimizing air leaks so important. Do a walk-through of your home and look for any places where outside air might be coming in. Caulking and weatherstripping can help seal up these gaps and improve the efficiency of your AC unit.

Related Topic: Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

What a Pro Should Do

There are other ways to make sure your AC unit only runs when it should. If you're handy and have the proper tools and experience, you may want to try the pro tips below. Otherwise, or if you want to make sure the job is done correctly, it’s best to contact a pro.

  • Determine Correct Air Conditioner Size. One common reason why an AC unit seems to be running all the time is because it's too small for the space it needs to cool. This causes your AC unit to run non-stop in an attempt to reach the temperature you've set on your thermostat. But it will never quite make it, leaving your home feeling uncomfortably warm. A professional can help you determine the correct AC unit size to efficiently cool your home.
  • Fix Duct Size or Leaks. Ductwork that is too small or has leaks can also cause your AC unit to run constantly. If your ducts are not the right size, this can restrict airflow and make it difficult for your AC unit to cool your home. Leaks in the ductwork can also cause problems by allowing conditioned air to escape before it ever reaches your rooms. A professional can help you determine the right size for your ducts and repair any leaks.
  • Correct Faulty Installation. If your AC unit was not installed properly, this could be another reason why it seems like it's always running. Improper installation can cause all sorts of problems, including restricted airflow and improper refrigerant charge. A professional can inspect your AC unit to make sure it was installed correctly and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Repair or Replace Blower Motor. The blower motor is responsible for circulating air through your AC unit. If the motor is not working properly, it can cause your AC unit to run constantly. A professional can inspect the blower motor and repair or replace it as necessary.
  • Replace Air Conditioner Unit. In some cases, the best solution is to replace your AC unit entirely. This is usually only necessary if your AC unit is old or not working properly. Like most things, an AC unit will wear out over time. If your unit is more than 15 years old, it may be time to replace it. A professional can help you determine if this is the best option for you.
  • Replace or Repair Thermostat. At the same time, if your thermostat is not working properly, it can cause your AC unit to run constantly. A broken thermostat is certainly easier and more affordable to replace than an entire AC unit, so testing your thermostat is always the first place to start. If you're not sure how to do that, a professional can inspect your thermostat and repair or replace it as necessary.

Contact the Pros for Help

Learning how to properly maintain your AC unit and to recognize signs of trouble is a great first step toward keeping your system working efficiently. To ensure long-term efficiency and minimize the risk of expensive repairs to your AC system, contact the local professionals at Aire Serv. We can troubleshoot potential problems, find a solution, and keep your system running smoothly all year long. Call us or schedule service online today.