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Why Is My AC Constantly Running?

A right hand holding a remote up and pointed towards a ductless AC wall unit

Why is my AC constantly running? If you've been asking this question lately, it's time to find a solution. An AC that refuses to turn off will emit a constant, frustrating humming sound. Not to mention, it may fail to reach desired temperatures and increase your energy bills.

To solve this issue, you must first know what's causing it. Here are some reasons that an AC won't turn off:

Let's take a closer look at these problems and how to resolve them.

Looking for cooling services?

If you've found yourself wondering, "Why won't my AC turn off?" the Elite Air & Heat experts are here to help with your repair. Our locally-owned and family-operated company is committed to helping homeowners with all their HVAC needs.

AC Is Too Small

An air conditioner may constantly run because of improper size or poor cooling capabilities. A typical AC unit's size is measured in tons — ideally, your unit's size should match the needs of your household. If it's too small, however, it won't be able to produce enough cold air. As a result, the unit will continuously run as it attempts to fulfill the desired temperature. Here are some signs your AC is the wrong size:

  • Lack of cool air
  • High humidity levels
  • Inconsistent temperatures in different rooms
  • Sudden utility cost increases

If you suspect your AC unit is too small for your home, the only solution is to replace it. At Elite Air & Heating, we're highly experienced when it comes to AC installations. From determining the right size and unit to installing the system, we'll take care of every step.

Your AC is Too Old

Another reason that your AC unit might be exhibiting problems is old age. In general, a quality air conditioner lasts between 10 and 15 years. As it reaches the end of its life span, the unit's cooling performance may begin deteriorating. In other words, it may no longer be able to produce the same levels of cold air. It might overwork itself to meet your temperature demands, leading to higher costs.

If your AC unit is constantly running and is over 10 years old, it's probably best to replace it. As it ages, it's more likely to keep breaking down. Over time, these repairs can get costly. So, while an AC installation might have high upfront costs, it can actually save money in the long run.

At Elite Air & Heat, our team is happy to recommend a high-quality AC unit for your home. We'll consider several factors, including your home's size, energy efficiency needs, and any desired add-ons. And we'll handle the installation.

Your AC’s Air Filters Are Dirty

A clean green air filter sitting upright next to an upright dirty air filter.

Sometimes, a constantly running air conditioner needs replacing. Other times, the problem can be fixed with a simple repair. If your AC unit is relatively new, and you're confident it's the right size, there might be a problem with an internal part.

One part that can make an AC unit overwork itself is the air filter. As the name suggests, air filters are responsible for catching — or filtering out — particles that you don't want to breathe in. These include everything from dust and debris to pet dander and mold spores.

Ideally, your AC filters should be changed every three months. If the filters aren't changed regularly, they can become clogged with pollutants. When this happens, the AC unit cannot filter out cold air as easily. It will begin working even harder to compensate for the slower airflow, resulting in a constantly running unit.

Changing your filters regularly or switching from disposable to reusable filters can help prevent this problem. It's also a good idea to receive regular AC maintenance. At our HVAC company, we offer a HomeTeam Service Plan that includes a 53-point system tune-up inspection. We'll clean or replace the air filters during a standard maintenance check. We'll also check for any other problems and ensure the system runs as efficiently as possible.

You Have a Refrigerant Leak

The final reason that your AC unit might constantly operate is a refrigerant leak. Found inside your AC unit, refrigerant is a chemical substance that absorbs heat and creates cold air. To do this, it passes through your unit's condensers and evaporators in a closed loop. Because it's constantly circling, the refrigerant cannot run out. However, it can start leaking.

If you have a refrigerant leak, your AC won't be able to meet your cooling needs. This means it will simply keep operating as it attempts to reach the desired temperature. Here are some signs you have a refrigerant leak on your hands:

  • Poor airflow or warm air
  • Hissing noise
  • Bubbles near the evaporator coils
  • Ice on the evaporator coils

If you believe your unit is leaking refrigerant, contact an HVAC professional. Because refrigerant is a chemical substance, it should only be handled by professionals like the Elite Air & Heat team. Not only are we familiar with all AC makes and models, but we also offer 24/7 emergency and same-day services. With the help of our AC repair experts, you'll be enjoying refreshing, cool air in no time.

Get Expert AC Services Today

Whether you need an AC repair or a new AC installation, the pros at Elite Air & Heat are ready for the job. We offer a wide selection of system options to choose from and can help you find the best unit for your needs. And, when you work with us, you’re supporting the local economy in York County.