Your air conditioner is one of the most important appliances within your home, as it is the sole line of defense against the summer heat. An improperly functioning air conditioner can cause all sorts of problems for your household.

One of the most common issues that an air conditioner may experience is an inability to turn off, which can quickly burn out the motor of your air conditioner and cause other mechanical problems which can be expensive to fix.

Your air conditioner may be constantly running for a few reasons, and understanding what they are can help you work with an HVAC contractor to fix your unit and get everything working properly again.

Clogged Air Filter

By far the most common reason why your air conditioner is experiencing issues is because of an air filter that has not been changed in a significant amount of time. Generally, you should replace your air filter every three months or so, but the exact timing will depend on the size of your air conditioner and how much use it sees.

To tell if your air filter is to blame for your air conditioner problems, check the airflow coming out of your vents. A clogged air filter will restrict the ability of your air conditioner to blow air throughout your home, sometimes completely preventing your unit from circulating air at all.

Fortunately, replacing a clogged air filter is a simple process that you can do yourself. Simply remove the air filter from the air conditioner (this can usually be done by undoing a few latches by hand but may require a screwdriver), and take it into a hardware store to match its size to a replacement filter.

Then, simply take the replacement filter and slide it into the empty receptacle, redoing the latches either by hand or with a screwdriver as necessary to hold it in place.

Dirty Coils

Your air conditioner is made out of two units: the outdoor condenser and the indoor evaporator. Each of them contains specific coils that allow them to remove heat from the air and transport cold air throughout the system and thus throughout your home.

Dirt and dust on either units’ coils can prevent them from properly pulling heat from the air, forcing the unit to work for longer periods of time to provide the same amount of cooling. A professional cleaning will get your air conditioner functioning properly again in no time.

Refrigerant Leaks

Finally, if you notice that your air conditioner is working constantly but that it is blowing air that is not properly chilled, the issue may lie instead with a refrigerant leak somewhere within your system.

Refrigerant is the gas that your air conditioner uses to absorb heat and then pump it outside of your home, chilling the air within your home so that it can then be blown throughout the ductwork. Low refrigerant levels can reduce the effectiveness of your air conditioner, and a complete leak means that it is simply a glorified fan.

When this happens, your air conditioner will work constantly since the thermostat will notice little to no change in the interior temperature of your home, and this will quickly drive up your utility bills.

A professional inspection is necessary to locate the leak and replace or repair the offending component within your air conditioning system. Only after the leak is repaired can additional refrigerant be added to the system. Adding this refrigerant will again require professional equipment.

If you need assistance with your air conditioning system, either because it is constantly operating or because of some other mechanical problem, be sure to contact us at Krauss & Crane.