Why Does My AC Keep Running?


There’s nothing quite like the comfort of a cool, air-conditioned room on a blazing hot day. 

But have you ever wondered, “Why does my AC keep running?”.

You’re not alone; this question bothers many homeowners, especially during the summer when their AC units start to work overtime. 

In this blog post, we will delve into some potential reasons behind this phenomenon and provide you with insights on when you might need to call in one of our technicians for help. 

Continue reading to learn more.

Why Does My AC Keep Running? — 5 Potential Reasons

Is your AC constantly running? If so, you most likely want to get to the bottom of the issue. Although there are several reasons why your AC may be running all of the time, five of the most likely reasons include the following:

  • Dirty Filter: One common reason your AC may be running continuously is a dirty or clogged filter. This impedes airflow, forcing your AC to work harder and longer to cool your home. Regularly cleaning or replacing your filter can often solve this issue.
  • Incorrect Thermostat Settings: If your thermostat is set to “ON” instead of “AUTO,” your AC fan will run non-stop, even when cooling is unnecessary. Check your settings to ensure they’re correct.
  • Undersized AC Unit: An AC unit that is not the correct size for your home will struggle to reach and maintain the desired temperature, often leading to it running constantly. For instance, a small unit in a large house will need to work overtime.
  • Poor Insulation: Homes with poor insulation may let the cool air escape, causing the AC unit to work harder and longer to maintain a comfortable temperature. For instance, if you notice your home becomes uncomfortably warm quickly after the AC shuts off, poor insulation might be the culprit.
  • Old or Failing AC Unit: As AC units age, their efficiency can decrease, leading to continuous operation to maintain cool temperatures. If your unit is more than 10 years old and is frequently running, it might be time for a replacement.

Always consult with a professional if you are experiencing issues with your AC unit. They can properly diagnose the problem and suggest the best course of action.

What Are The Risks of Running Your AC All of The Time?

Running your AC all the time is not just hard on your electric bill — it may also have detrimental effects on the unit itself. Some of the risks include increased wear and tear, a reduced lifespan, a higher likelihood of breakdowns and lower air quality in your home.

Increased Wear and Tear

Continuous operation can accelerate the wear and tear your AC unit experiences. Similar to how a car needs regular breaks to prevent overheating and breakdown, your AC also needs downtime to function optimally.

Reduced Lifespan

An AC unit’s lifespan can be significantly shortened if the AC unit is constantly running. Most units are designed to last about 10-15 years, but this estimate assumes normal usage—not constant operation.

Potential for Breakdowns

An overworked AC unit has a higher risk of unexpected breakdowns. These can be inconvenient, especially in the heat of summer when you need your AC the most.

Poor Air Quality

An AC unit that’s always running might cause a decline in indoor air quality. Dust, allergens, and other pollutants can accumulate in your ductwork and get circulated throughout your home, impacting the health of your household.

Remember, if your AC is running constantly, it may be a sign of an underlying issue. It’s best to consult a professional who can assess the situation and provide solutions. Don’t let a small problem turn into a costly repair or replacement—take action at the first sign of trouble.

Why Should You Call a Professional to Fix Your AC?

While trying and fixing an incessantly running AC unit on your own may be tempting, calling in a professional is recommended. Here are some reasons why:

  • Safety: Professionals are trained to work with an AC unit’s electrical components safely. Trying to repair it yourself could lead to serious injuries if incorrectly handled.
  • Expert Diagnosis: A professional can accurately diagnose the root cause of the problem, something that might be difficult for a layperson. They can determine whether it’s a simple issue like a dirty filter or something more serious requiring extensive repairs or replacement.
  • Efficiency: A professional can ensure that your AC unit operates at peak performance. Even minor issues can cause your AC to work harder than necessary, increasing your energy bills.
  • Prevent Further Damage: Incorrectly trying to fix an AC unit could potentially lead to more damage. A professional can ensure that the issue is resolved without causing additional problems.
  • Warranty Preservation: Some AC units come with warranties that may become void if a certified professional does not complete the repairs.

Remember, a continuously running AC unit shouldn’t be neglected. If your air conditioner keeps running, it might be a sign of a bigger issue. 

Call in a professional to ensure the longevity and efficiency of your AC unit.

Why Does My AC Keep Running? — Conclusion

In conclusion, an air conditioning unit that constantly runs is not just an inconvenience—it could be a sign of larger, more costly issues. 

Though some causes may be simple and easy to address, such as a dirty filter or incorrect thermostat setting, others, like an undersized or aging AC unit, may require professional intervention. Do not overlook the impact of continuous operation on your unit’s lifespan, wear and tear, and the potential for unexpected breakdowns, not to mention the possible decline in indoor air quality. 

While it can be tempting to attempt a DIY fix, remember that professional technicians are trained to safely diagnose and repair your AC, ensuring its efficiency and preventing further damage. 

At IMS Heating & Air in Northern Colorado, we understand how important it is to have your AC running smoothly, especially during those blazing summer days. Our expert professionals are equipped to diagnose and fix any issues, ensuring maximum comfort and efficiency in your home. 

So, don’t delay! 

If your AC keeps running, it’s time to give us a call. Let us help you stay comfortable all summer long.