During the height of summer, the hum of your air conditioner can be a very welcome sound. It lets you know that everything is running smoothly and the heat and humidity will be held at bay. But are you starting to think it is getting a little intrusive? Does it seem like it never shuts off? Are you starting to ask yourself the following question;

Is it normal for the AC to run all day?

As you probably know, air conditioners are designed to cool your space to your thermostat settings and then shut off. Once the temperature has risen a few degrees, the AC comes back on again and re-cools the air. This cycle is repeated for as long as the unit is switched on. So if your unit is running all day without a break, you might have a problem.

We say you might have a problem because there are also two simple reasons for your AC running constantly. 

  1. It is hotter than normal outside. If this is the case, your ac might just need longer than normal to cool your space. As soon as the temperature falls a bit, it will resume its regular cycle.
  2. The AC is set to run constantly. Check your AC remote control unit to see if your settings were accidentally changed.

If, however, your AC is running constantly and does not shut off when set temp reached and neither of the above circumstances is applicable, then you do indeed have a problem. Here we’ll list the most common reasons behind an air conditioner not shutting off when it should.

Airflow restricted

If there is not enough air getting into your system, it won’t be able to function efficiently. Without enough air to cool, your system will struggle, working harder and longer to reach the required temperature. The causes and solutions to this problem are as follows:

  • Blocked off vents
    What to do: Check that the vents in every room are open and that you haven’t inadvertently blocked any by placing a piece of furniture in front of it.
  • Dirty air filters
    What to do: Change your air filters.
  • Leaky ducts

What to do: if you suspect leaky ducts might be the problem, it is better to call in the professionals to deal with it.

Dirt on the evaporator and/or condenser coils

The hot air going into your system is cooled down as it passes over the evaporator coils. These are full of refrigerant which collects the heat from the air. This heat is then released outside through the condenser coils. If they get too dirty, they cannot absorb/release heat efficiently. Signs of this problem are:

  1. The air coming out of your vents is warm
  2. There is visible dirt on your coils

What to do: We wouldn’t recommend trying to clean the coils yourself. They are actually quite delicate and if you puncture them accidentally you might have to replace your whole system. Call your AC maintenance man to deal with it.

Low refrigerant charge

This is a problem you really don’t want to have. Apart from the ac running continuously, other common signs of your AC running low on refrigerant are:

  1. A hissing or bubbling noise coming from your AC
  2. Ice buildup on the outside unit
  3. An unexplained rise in your electricity bill

What to do: A refrigerant leak is one of the most serious problems your AC can have. The leak might be relatively simple to fix, but if it’s not done in time your whole system could cease functioning. Call your maintenance man immediately if you think this is the problem.

These, then are the main reasons an AC will seem to be running all day. And if your air conditioner keeps running when turned off, there is an electrical problem either on the unit or the remote. We hope this blog has been of assistance and if you need our expert help with maintaining your unit, book an appointment today, we are here to help!