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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

Is It Normal for the AC to Run Constantly?


Summers in Southern California are long and hot, with the heat often extending well into October. Air conditioning systems get extreme workouts during this time—so much so that it may seem as if a home’s air conditioner is always running from July onward.

But there’s a difference in an air conditioner that runs frequently and one that is actually running constantly and never powering down.

No, ACs Aren’t Supposed to Run All the Time

The way central air conditioners work is in cooling cycles. No matter how hot it is outside, no matter how often an air conditioner is set to ‘cool’, it will still cycle down at times and turn off its compressor. The cycles will be longer when the air conditioner has more work to do cooling the house, but the system will occasionally shut down the compressor.

If you notice that your air conditioner isn’t cycling down and remains running continually whenever you activate it, something isn’t right and the AC may need repairs.

Why an AC Might Become a Runaway AC

To help you know what’s going on and what you can do about an air conditioning system that won’t cycle down, we’ll list some of the main reasons it can happen.

  • Loss of refrigerant: When refrigerant leaks from an air conditioner, it leads to many different problems. Non-stop operation is one of the warning signs of a drop in refrigerant level. This needs to be repaired professionally before the compressor suffers catastrophic damage.
  • A dirty condenser or evaporator coils: The indoor and outdoor coils of an air conditioner need to stay clean so the system can effectively absorb and exhaust heat. If the AC can neither release heat nor absorb it, it may be forced to run constantly as it attempts to do its job.
  • Airflow restrictions: A clogged air filter, blocked room vents, damaged blower motors, or broken ducts can all cut down on airflow and force the AC to work all the time. You can easily replace a clogged filter and unblock vents, but the other troubles require HVAC experts.
  • Wrong sized AC: If your air conditioner is a new installation and is constantly running, it may be either too small or too large for the house. This is one of the reasons to always hire experienced professionals to install or replace an AC since they’ll perform a load calculation to determine what size air conditioner the house requires. The only way to fix an incorrectly sized system is to replace it.

Let Professionals Put a Stop to a Non-Stop AC

Unless you discover a simple issue behind your constantly running air conditioner, like a clogged filter, you’ll need professional Burbank, CA air conditioning services to find out what the problem is and then correct it. Don’t delay calling for help, since an air conditioner trapped in its cooling cycle will waste enormous amounts of power and may suffer a compressor burnout because of all the strain. Our technicians are ready to help with whatever is ailing your home cooling.

Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning, and Electrical has served Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley since 1991. Call us when you need great AC repairs.

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