While some might argue that it’s better to have an air conditioner that runs all the time than one that won’t even turn on, we know that cooling costs can get astronomical during our Texas summers. Additionally, an AC that runs constantly will wear out fast and most likely require more frequent repairs or an earlier replacement.
Below, we’ll explain four of the top issues that can cause an air conditioner to run nonstop and what you can do about it.
Your thermostat needs to be readjusted or repaired
Of course, the first thing you’ll want to check are your thermostat settings.
- Does the thermostat need to be turned up a few degrees?
- Is the fan setting on? If so, your system’s fan will continue to run whether your AC is cooling the air or not.
If there seems to be a difference between your home’s temperature and the thermostat reading, your thermostat may need to be recalibrated. Although most thermostats already come calibrated from the manufacturer, dust buildup or events like power outages can cause inaccurate temperature readings.
If recalibrating your thermostat doesn’t work, there may be a problem with the wiring or the device itself, for which you’ll need help from an HVAC technician.
The fan switch is on “manual.”
As mentioned above, your AC system’s fan can circulate air even if the system isn’t cooling air. There’s a switch located near the blower of most systems that, when switched to “manual,” will tell the fan to keep running, no matter what the thermostat says.
This switch will be on your indoor AC unit. If it has been set to “manual,” switch it to “auto” (the default setting).
Your air conditioner’s contactor is stuck.
Your air conditioner needs electricity to run. The contactor is like a switch that allows your outdoor unit and fan to turn on or off by controlling the flow of electricity. This part can wear out over time, typically due to a lack of maintenance, but occurrences like a power surge can also cause it to get stuck. If it becomes unable to interrupt the flow of electricity to your outdoor unit, the equipment will continue to run.
For this issue, you will need a professional technician’s help to replace the contactor so that you can avoid any safety hazards.
Your thermostat is in a particularly warm location.
If your thermostat is located next to something warm, it’s going to “think” that the rest of your home is warm, and this will trigger it to run your AC almost constantly throughout the day.
If your thermostat is positioned in any of these places, you may want to consider relocating it or taking some extra temperature control measures in those areas:
- In direct sunlight
- Next to an appliance or electronics that give off heat
- Near your attic hatch
In many homes, the attic hatch is only a thin piece of plywood, which does little to block heat from entering the room or hallway below. Installing an attic tent is an easy way to add an extra layer of insulation to this area of your home.