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Carney All Seasons Blog

My AC Won’t Stop Running—What’s Up?


You know when your air conditioner won’t come on that something is wrong. Maybe the fan isn’t activating, so there’s no air coming from the vents. Or the compressor isn’t responding, so the air from the vents is at room temperature—and that’s no help on a hot summer day. You’ll know you need to call for repairs ASAP.

There’s the reverse situation, and it’s just as bad—the air conditioner that won’t stop running. You may not at first notice this. No matter how hot it is, the AC isn’t supposed to have the compressor or fan run continuously. It’s supposed to operate in cycles. A “runaway” air conditioner is a problem, and we’re going to look into it a bit deeper.

What’s Happening?

A number of issues may be at the root of a runaway AC. We recommend you first check on the air filter in the HVAC system to see if it is heavily clogged. This filter must be replaced regularly (every 1–3 months) or the restriction of airflow can cause the air conditioner to keep running for hours at a time. It also places extra stress on components that can lead to other breakdowns.

You may have a malfunctioning thermostat. This is a common source for odd behavior from a cooling system. Basically, if the thermostat doesn’t know the house has gotten cool enough, it won’t allow the air conditioner to cycle down. There are also wires dedicated to shutting down the compressor and blower, and if either loses its link the AC won’t stop running. You’ll need a repair professional to fix the thermostat or replace it.

Dirt along the coils of the AC—either indoors or outdoors—can also force the air conditioner to keep running. The dirt makes it harder for the coils to either absorb or release heat, and this can cause an AC either to refuse to turn on or refuse to turn off. Professionals can chemically clean the coils.

The Full Replacement Solution

If the AC is a recent installation, one of the possibilities is that the air conditioner was incorrectly sized when installed so that it’s not powerful enough to cool the space. The AC will stay on to attempt to lower the temperature enough, but won’t ever make it. Unfortunately, the only way to remedy this is to replace the unit. Make sure you always work with licensed professionals who will carefully size the unit so this problem doesn’t happen again.

If your AC is more than 15 years old, constantly running often means it’s worn down and needs to be replaced. Speak to an HVAC technician for a professional opinion and diagnostic.

Call Our Trane Specialists

No matter what air conditioning repair in Doylestown, PA you need, you can trust our technicians to figure out the trouble and provide you with the best solutions. We work with the finest Trane products and offer superb installations of Trane air conditioners, heat pumps, and other HVAC systems.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling serves Bucks and Montgomery Counties. Schedule service today.

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