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Troubleshooting Guide: My Outside AC Unit Runs Constantly

why does my air conditioner keep running after it has reached the set temperature

As warmer weather returns, it’s expected that our AC units will run more frequently. But is it bad if outside AC unit runs constantly, without stopping? Constant operation could indicate problems such as poor airflow, low refrigerant or dirty condenser coils that should be immediately addressed.

What to Do When Your Outside AC Unit Runs Constantly

If your outside AC unit runs constantly, ignoring the problem can lead to more complex repairs. Our simple troubleshooting tips for addressing the most common reasons can avoid larger problems and keep your home cool as hotter weather resumes.

Reason #1: AC Runs Constantly Due to Restricted Airflow

One of the most common reasons an outside AC unit runs constantly is due to limited airflow that prevents a house from cooling. How long should air conditioner run to cool house? Typically, your air conditioner should start decreasing the temperature within 10 minutes.

A dirty air filter, closed supply vents or blocked return grilles can all result in restricted airflow that warms your house. Here’s how to assess for proper airflow within your home:

Check your air filter: proper AC maintenance includes changing the air filter at least 4 times per year. If your filter hasn’t been changed in awhile or appears dirty, change it to improve airflow.

Open supply vents: make sure all vents are open, even in rooms you don’t use, to help cool the house

Asses for blocked grille vents: check to make sure the grilles aren’t blocked by drapes or furniture that would restrict airflow

If these measures still leave you with restricted airflow it’s possible there’s a more serious reason why. A leaking duct system, blower motor malfunction or frozen evaporator coils are all possible reasons why poor airflow continues. In these instances, a professional service should assess the problem.

Reason #2: AC Runs Constantly Due to Low Refrigerant

If you find yourself asking, “Why does my air conditioner run constantly?” a low level of refrigerant could also be the reason. Refrigerant is the chemical substance that produces cool air as it flows through the air conditioner’s condenser and evaporator coils. If the refrigerant is low, you’ll notice your AC blowing warm air instead of cool.

Low levels of refrigerant are usually due to a leak. Frozen evaporator coils can be evidence of leaking refrigerant, as it often drips onto the coils and freezes. A professional AC service can better assess and repair the source of a refrigerant leak.

Reason #3: AC Runs Constantly Due to Dirty Condenser Coils

Are you wondering, “Why does my air conditioner keep running after it has reached the set temperature?” It could be because the condenser coils are dirty. If there is dirt on the coils, refrigerant may not be able to absorb the heat from the warm air inside your home. Similarly, any dirt that’s on the exterior coils will prevent heated air from escaping and the coils will remain too warm to cool the refrigerant.


outside ac unit runs constantly

A professional air conditioning service can properly clean the condenser coils and assess for any other issues when your outside AC unit runs constantly. Now that warm weather is here to stay, give us a call to help with any question or concern!

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