Why Your AC is Running Longer Than Normal | Peak Home Performance
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We’ve written before about a phenomenon called short-cycling that occurs in air conditioners: the AC becomes stuck in its start-up cycle and turns on and off rapidly over a short time. There are many potential causes for short-cycling, and all of them need to be addressed before the situation worsens and the AC runs up high bills.

What about the opposite situation, where an air conditioner is running for far too long before shutting off? This happens as well, and if you’re currently experiencing it with your air conditioning in Colorado Springs, CO, you may need our professional assistance to fix it. Let’s look into some of the causes of a runaway AC.

The air conditioner is too small

If you just had this air conditioning system installed, then there’s a good chance the problem is that whoever installed it cut some corners (something we never do) and ended up putting in an air conditioner that isn’t powerful enough to meet your home’s cooling requirements. An undersized AC won’t be able to reach your target setting on the thermostat and will continue to run. This wastes immense amounts of energy while not sufficiently cooling your house. The only way to solve the problem is to replace the AC—and please let our technicians handle the job because we’ll ensure you have an accurately sized new system.

Malfunctioning thermostat

A thermostat can become miscalibrated so it reads the house as warmer than it really is. If this happens, the AC will run for longer than necessary. Please don’t try to “fix” this by lowering the thermostat: a miscalibration or other thermostat malfunction needs to be corrected, either with repairs or a replacement thermostat.

Dirty or frozen evaporator coil

The evaporator coil is where the air conditioner removes heat from the air pushed through it. If this coil becomes dirty or it freezes over, the AC will not be able to provide the same level of cooling, which will force it to run longer to do its job. Please call on professionals to clean or thaw the coil as well as check on what caused the coil problem in the first place.

Low refrigerant charge

If your air conditioner loses its refrigerant charge (the set amount of refrigerant put into it when the system was installed), it will throw off the AC’s operations. The air conditioner will lose its cooling capacity, requiring it to work hard and run longer as it attempts to cool the house normally. Low refrigerant charge will eventually cause catastrophic damage to the AC, so please have professionals solve this as soon as possible.

Clogged air filter

Once again, the clogged air filter shows why it’s such a problem! When this filter doesn’t have routine changes (every 1–3 months), it blocks airflow into the AC and reduces the volume of air available for cooling. The air conditioner will run longer to cool down the necessary volume of air. The good news is that it’s easy to fix a clogged filter: put in a new one!

Just contact the team at Peak Home Performance today to get started!

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