Why Is My Air Conditioner Running All Day?

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Now that summer’s finally here, the Calgary-area forecast is: “hot weather ahead.”

That means you’ll be relying on your trusty air conditioning system to keep your home cool and inviting for several weeks.

But what happens when you find your air conditioner running all day … without a break?

How Long Should an Air Conditioner Run?

Typically, your AC cycles on and off 2-3 times an hour. It runs 10-15 minutes at a time when the weather is relatively mild. However, extremely high outdoor temperatures or low thermostat settings will naturally make the run cycle longer.

When an Air Conditioner Running All Day
Spells Trouble

1. Your Cooling System is Undersized

An air conditioner that’s too small for the square footage of your house has to work harder to reach your desired temperature . This tends to cause the indoor unit’s evaporator coil to freeze.

2. Your AC Coils Are Dirty

If your air conditioner is running all day, yet doesn’t seem to be blowing cool air at all, dirty coils might be the culprit. Take a look at the inside (evaporator) and outside (condenser) units.

3. You’re Low on Refrigerant

Low refrigerant is usually due to a leak somewhere in the system. Once again, your air conditioner probably won’t be blowing cold air. You may actually be able to spot the leak.

If you see or suspect a leak, call a professional technician and turn off your air conditioner. This is a repair that should only be completed by experts.

4. Airflow is Restricted

When cool air is coming out of your air conditioning vents, but the flow is weak, your blower might not be working optimally. Possible causes include a clogged filter, closed or blocked vents, or a problem with the blower motor.

Fixes You Can Try Yourself

1. Replace or clean the filter. Generally, the filter needs changing or cleaning every 1-2 months during air conditioning season; check manufacturer’s directions.

2. Unblock grilles and open vents. Ensure your AC vents are open. Move furniture, curtains, and houseplants that are blocking grilles.

3. Clear around the outside unit. Prune overhanging foliage and remove debris to help the outdoor unit work its best.

When to Call a Pro

1. Determine correct AC size. Before you purchase a new air conditioner, request a licensed professional to perform a load calculation. This determines the right size for your household needs.

2. Add refrigerant. If your system is low on refrigerant, contact a pro to locate and repair any leaks, then top up the level.

3. Repair the blower motor. Repair or replacement of your air handler blower motor is a delicate operation. Call an expert to handle the job.

4. Clean and tune up your air conditioner. Your air conditioner needs regular TLC to function efficiently. Schedule annual maintenance with a reliable technician.

Avoid the hassle and expense of an air conditioner running all day. Call Knight to stay cool!

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