In the heat of a Calgary summer, having an air conditioner running is a good thing – usually. But when your AC keeps running all the time, you may start to wonder what the heck is going on.
You’re actually right to be concerned. An AC that runs constantly uses up an awful lot of energy. It’s also hard on your HVAC system and might not even be cooling your house. So let’s take a look at the reasons why your air conditioning keeps running all the time.
The first possible cause for AC which keeps running is very simple. When the outdoor temperature shoots up, your air conditioning has to work extra hard to cool your home. Its normal pattern of 2-3 hourly cycles, each lasting 15 to 20 minutes, will be disrupted – to the point where the cooling literally runs nonstop.
Your air conditioning functions better if it’s clean. Components that are clogged and dirty will restrict the flow of cooled air, and as a result, the air conditioner will be forced to run longer to produce the same cooling effect. Changing or cleaning the air filter, or cleaning the coils, is an easy step that could solve your problem in minutes.
Yes, it’s tempting: the hotter the weather gets, the lower you want to set your air conditioner. But try to resist. Natural Resources Canada’s recommended setting of 25-27° will cool your house comfortably without overtaxing the HVAC system or cranking up your electricity bill.
Thermostat or Condenser Location
To keep your thermostat accurate, make sure that it’s not mounted in a spot where it can get overheated — next to a bright sunny window, for example. And position your outdoor AC condenser unit out of the sun, as well.
You might have a simple mechanical issue behind your AC that keeps running: air leakage. Cracks in your HVAC ductwork or exterior walls will permit precious cool air to escape, so the air conditioner has to run longer to produce the same effect. Patch cracks and insulate your home for more efficient cooling (and heating, when winter arrives).
Another reason for your “overachieving” AC could be a refrigerant leak, due to cracks or holes in the system. There is no fast DIY fix for this problem; you need expert repair. For regular maintenance that will help prevent this type of issue in the future, consider investing in an HVAC protection plan.
Worn-out or Undersized AC
As your air conditioner reaches the end of its service life (about 15 years for central air, or 20 years for ductless AC), it tends to gradually lose efficiency, a potential reason behind its longer running time. Alternatively, it’s possible the air conditioning system is just too small for your home. In either case, you might want to look into AC replacement.
Get Expert AC Repair or Replacement
Whatever your air conditioning needs, from basic repair to a full replacement, Knight will find the best solution for you. Call our expert HVAC team at (403) 287-8980.