Is It Bad to Run Your AC All Day?

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During summer in SoCal, you naturally rely on your AC to stay comfortable inside your home – sometimes 24/7!

You should expect your air conditioning unit to run more often than usual during heatwaves or the hotter-than-usual summer months.

But should you run your air conditioning unit constantly? 

If your AC unit never stops running, does that mean there’s a bigger problem?

Well, it depends. Run over the checklist below and schedule a 32-Point Tune-Up with our expert technicians at Home Comfort USA to make sure your system is running smoothly. 

How Long Should You Run Your AC Each Day?

During a warm or humid day, an average air conditioning unit should run for about 15 or 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the indoor temperature should reach your desired setting and the unit will turn itself off. 

Your AC will then rest until the temperature rises past your setting and turn on again, repeating the cycle all day and night.

But when it’s consistently over 80 or 90 degrees all day, your AC unit might run more often to keep up. In some cases, it may never turn off – and that’s fine!

However, an AC unit that runs constantly isn’t always ideal because

  • It drives up your electricity bill.
  • It could overwork your system, leading to a breakdown.
  • It signals there’s a bigger problem.

Why Might Your AC Unit Run All Day? 

In some cases, an AC unit that runs constantly is normal. Some energy-efficient systems are designed to run at full capacity all day long.

However, if this is out of character for your system or you’re otherwise concerned, there might be some deeper issues at play. Some you can correct on your own. For others, however, you’ll want to schedule a maintenance check with Home Comfort USA to investigate.

Your Thermostat Settings Need a Tweak

If your thermostat is set to “on,” that tells your unit to run constantly without turning off. Setting your unit to “auto” will tell your unit to run only until it reaches your desired temperature. 

Check your thermostat. It’s possible someone could have bumped it or accidentally changed the settings. 

Also, make sure you don’t have your system set at an unseasonably cool temperature compared to the outdoor temp. Asking your unit to keep your home at 68 degrees when it’s 95 outside will make it run more often, if not constantly.

Your Air Filter Needs to Be Replaced

A clogged air filter will interfere with airflow inside your home. Your unit will work harder and run more often to keep your home at the desired temperature. Plus, a dirty filter isn’t ideal for air quality.

How often you change your filter depends on your home’s unique needs:

  • Every 90 days for a home with no pets or allergies
  • Every 60 days for a home with one pet
  • Every 30 days for a home with more than one pet or a family member with allergies or breathing problems

Your Unit is Too Small for Your Home

It’s important to install the right-size AC unit for your home. A small unit will have to work harder to cool a large home. 

Upgrading to a size-appropriate air conditioner could end up saving you money in the long term through reduced energy costs. Our technicians at Home Comfort USA can take a look and let you know your options.

Your Coils are Dirty

Your evaporator coils pull moisture and heat out of the air before the air enters your home. When your coils are frozen, dirty, or broken, your unit must work harder to keep your home cool.

Likewise, a dirty or clogged condenser coil won’t be able to pull the hot air outside. 

In each situation, your system will run more often – or constantly – to keep your home at your desired temperature.

Schedule an appointment so our technicians can diagnose the problem.

Your Unit Needs a Tune-Up

Air conditioners are complicated pieces of machinery. Just like cars, they require regular maintenance and tune-ups. 

Our friendly technicians at Home Comfort USA can perform a comprehensive 32-Point Tune-Up to identify any problems or faulty parts before your entire unit breaks down.

Your Ductwork Isn’t the Right Size

If your ductwork is too small, it won’t be able to handle the airflow coming from your air conditioner. Cool air may not be able to reach certain parts of your home either.

Your AC unit might run constantly, and your electric bills will skyrocket. It’s important to install ductwork relative to the size of your AC system.

Your Ductwork Needs to Be Cleaned or Patched

Leaky ductwork will cause cool air to seep out before it has a chance to reach your rooms. Your air conditioner will keep running to bring the temperature down. Meanwhile, all the cold air is trapped inside your walls or attic!

Likewise, dirty ductwork clogged with dust, grime, and debris can slow airflow, causing your AC unit to run more often.

Your Windows or Doors Aren’t Properly Insulated

If your windows or doors aren’t properly insulated, hot and humid outdoor air will slowly seep into your home and pull the temperature up. Your air conditioning unit will have to run constantly and work harder to keep the home at your desired temperature. 

You don’t have to completely replace your windows, but you can pick up some extra weather stripping to seal up any leaks. 

Your AC Unit is Competing Against Other Heat Sources

Air conditioners don’t like competition. Certain heat sources can increase the temperature inside your home, forcing your AC unit to run constantly as it struggles to keep the temperature down. 

These might include:

  • Ovens
  • Dryers
  • Sunlight
  • Pots of boiling water

Try to avoid using your oven or clothes dryer, and remember to keep the curtains closed on extra hot days.

Trustworthy Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance 

Our friendly technicians at Home Comfort USA can help you avoid costly electric bills and prevent emergency repairs with routine maintenance and tune-ups. Annual maintenance is important to ensure your unit is running smoothly. We’ll never gouge you for unnecessary repairs or overpriced parts. 

If your AC unit is running all day, schedule an appointment for us to take a look and perform a 32-Point Tune-Up or call at 888-462-0089.

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