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Why Does My Air Conditioning System Run So Much?

air-conditioner-evaporator-coilWhen it gets hot outside, you can expect your air conditioning system to run for longer and spend less time cycled down. This is the AC operating as it’s supposed to, and usually nothing to worry about. You can work to reduce heat in your house by closing shades, and you can raise the thermostat to a higher (but still comfortable) temperature to shorten how long your AC runs.

But if the AC does seem like it’s running constantly, especially if it also doesn’t seem to be making the house appreciably cooler, then you may have a problem. Sometimes the solution is simple, but in other cases, you’ll need to call us for air conditioning repair in New Port Richey, FL. Let’s take a look at some of the common causes of the “runaway AC.”

Clogged air filter

We suggest that you check the air filter for the AC when it starts running too much. A dirty air filter often causes trouble for an air conditioner because it restricts how much air the system can cool. If the AC can’t cool off enough air, it will have to run for longer to lower the temperature of the house. We advise changing the filter every 1 to 3 months to help prevent this.

Check the return air vent

The return air vent is where the AC draws warm air to cool. If it’s blocked, it will have the same effect as a clogged air filter: the air conditioner will run longer because it doesn’t have enough air to cool and send to the rooms. Make sure nothing is blocking this vent. (The house may have more than one return air vent.)

Dirty condenser or evaporator coils

If either the outdoor (condenser) or indoor (evaporator) coils become dirty, the AC will struggle with cooling and run for longer. The condenser coils are the most likely to get dirty over the summer. You can clean off the cabinet with a hose, but you may need to have professionals handle the actual cleaning.

Leaking refrigerant

An AC runs on a set charge of refrigerant. If this refrigerant escapes through leaks, it will cause the AC’s cooling capacity to drop. Not only will this make the air conditioner run for longer, but it will also put the whole system in jeopardy from a compressor burnout. You must have HVAC pros take care of sealing leaks and restoring the refrigerant charge.

Faulty thermostat

You may have a thermostat that’s misreading indoor temperatures, forcing the air conditioner to run for longer than necessary. The thermostat may also lose the specific connection that switches off the compressor or the blower fan, and this will cause the AC to operate nonstop.

Undersized air conditioner

If this is a new air conditioner, then the problem is likely that the AC was incorrectly installed so that it’s not powerful enough to sufficiently cool your house. The AC will run and run trying to hit a temperature goal it cannot actually reach. The only way to remedy this is to replace the air conditioning system—and make sure experienced professionals do the work so the system is correctly sized for your house.

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