Your air conditioner should usually run in cooling cycles that turn on and off at fairly regular intervals. So is it a bad thing if your air conditioner is staying on all the time? You might think that this is keeping your home at a more consistent temperature, but that is not the case.
If your air conditioner stays on, that is a big red flag that something is wrong. Allowing it to continue running could lead to a system breakdown. You need to call for HVAC repair in Richmond, TX, sooner rather than later. You can keep reading to learn more about what it means when your air conditioner is staying on and what you can do about it.
Understanding Cooling Cycles
Your air conditioner does not run around the clock. If it did, your home would probably feel like an icebox and the system would not last very long at all. Instead, it runs in cycles. Your thermostat measures the indoor air temperature of your home and signals for your AC to turn on for a cooling cycle when the temperature gets too high. Once the desired temperature is reached, your thermostat signals for your AC to turn off.
It repeats the cycle all day and night. Usually, your AC is on for about 20 minutes and then off again for another 20 minutes or so. This is an average, and the individual length of a cooling cycle for your specific air conditioner and home may vary. But the bottom line is, your AC should turn on and off for cooling cycles. If your air conditioner is continuously running, something is wrong.
The first place to check for a problem is your air filter. Your air filter is designed to prevent dust and dirt particles from getting inside your HVAC system. However, you also have to change the air filter at regular intervals to maintain a balance of capturing dust and dirt while also allowing airflow through the filtering into the system. If the air filter gets too full then it blocks airflow so that your HVAC system cannot work as it usually does.
Your air conditioner may begin to work harder or stay on longer in an attempt to bring in enough airflow to meet your cooling needs. Meanwhile, the air filter is only getting more and more full of these particles until you change it out. If your air filter is particularly dirty, change it out and see if that makes a difference for your air conditioner. If not, something else may be a problem and it’s time to give our team a call for a service appointment.
It’s also possible that your refrigerant levels are low. Keep in mind that your air conditioner does not use up or lose refrigerant over its lifespan. Unless you have a leak, refrigerant never needs to be refilled, which is a common myth that homeowners believe. The only way refrigerant levels will ever be low is if there is a leak somewhere in a line allowing refrigerant to escape. When this happens, your AC doesn’t have enough refrigerant to cool the air to your desired temperature.
As a result, your air conditioner continues working and blowing air out into your home without it being cool enough. Your thermostat is never able to reach a temperature that is as low as your selected setting, and as a result, your air conditioner stays on for longer periods of time. This is dangerous because your air conditioner is uniquely designed to turn on and off for cooling cycles. Staying on for too long adds a lot of strain to the system and can lead to your system completely breaking down.
Your comfort is our business at AC Comfort and our team is here to help! Schedule an appointment today for AC service. Serving Katy, TX, and the surrounding areas.