Why Is My AC Constantly Running?

January 10, 2023

Man wearing an orange t-shirt adjusting his smart thermostat

Does your air conditioner run non-stop, but your Tampa home never feels cold?

Is your AC constantly running? Aside from the continuous humming sound, you might be frustrated by undesired temperatures—or worse, higher energy bills.

A constantly running AC isn’t something you should let happen for too long. So, to help you troubleshoot the issues, let’s review some possible common culprits:

  • Your AC is too small for your needs
  • Your AC is too old and needs replacing
  • Your AC’s air filters are dirty
  • You have a refrigerant leak

We’ll also discuss how to fix these issues and whether you need to call in professionals.


Get Trustworthy AC Repairs from Tampa Pros.

Red Cap Plumbing & Air is available 24/7 to help residents of Tampa and Pinellas with their air conditioner repairs and replacements. We’ve built our business on a foundation of 5-star customer service; one satisfied homeowner at a time. Call us today at (813) 963-3056 or fill out our convenient online form to schedule service.


Your AC Is Too Small for Your Needs

Woman looking frustrated at her cooling bills and calculator

An undersized air conditioner can be the reason why your energy bills are increasing.

If your AC unit doesn’t have the capacity to meet your household’s indoor climate control needs, it will keep working as it tries to reach the desired temperature. Even though it seems to run constantly instead of cycling on and off like normal, your home still doesn’t feel as cool as you’d like.

Other signs that your AC unit may be too small for your home include inconsistent temperatures between individual rooms, unexplained utility cost spikes, and high atmospheric humidity levels inside our home.

It may be tempting to make do with an air conditioner that’s too small for its job. But, you’ll continue to have issues such as erratic temperature fluctuations, humidity, and high electric bills until you replace your unit with a suitably sized one. When the time comes to replace your AC system, you can count on Red Cap Plumbing & Air to install the unit you need.

Your AC Is Too Old and Needs Replacing

A color-coded chart for energy efficiency ratings

A high-efficiency air conditioner can help you save money on your cooling bills.

The average life of an AC unit is between 10 and 15 years. If your system is reaching this milestone, it’s probably time to consider a replacement. Homeowners sometimes believe they can keep repairing an older system to get the most out of it. This approach often results in increased repair costs, higher energy bills, and unexpected breakdowns. The last thing you want is for a malfunction to occur during the middle of a heatwave, but that's when breakdowns are most likely to happen because air conditioners are working their hardest then.

If your unit is over 10 years old and has started to experience frequent breakdowns, it’s time to make plans for a replacement. Red Cap Plumbing & Air can recommend a new system for your home and provide you with an estimate on installation costs. As a bonus, you’ll be able to benefit from energy-efficient technology provided by ENERGY STAR central air conditioners, which will save you money on utility bills as well as lighten your carbon footprint. Rebates and tax credits may be available at the local, state, and federal levels for those who replace their current AC units with ENERGY STAR products.

Your AC’s Air Filters Are Dirty

Air filters are an integral component of your AC system and the one most directly responsible for the indoor air quality — or lack of it. They remove particulates such as pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, and pollen from the air. Indoor air quickly becomes unhealthy if these filters can’t do their job properly due to being dirty and clogged.

Dirty air filters are among the most common culprits of AC system malfunctions. If they’re clogged, they force the unit to work much harder than it should have to do its job. Not only does this result in higher cooling costs, but it also means that your unit is subject to a greater degree of wear and tear.

There are two different types of AC filters. Disposable filters are more common, but reusable or washable filters are becoming increasingly popular with modern homeowners. Although they are more expensive at the onset than their disposal counterparts, they save money in the long run because they need fewer replacements. No matter your filter type, it will still need to be changed or cleaned regularly. You should replace most filters every three months on average.

You Have a Refrigerant Leak

Pink & green gallons of R-410A refrigerant sit on a floor

A refrigerant leak can cause your air conditioner to run constantly.

Air conditioners use a chemical substance called refrigerant that runs in a closed loop through condensers and evaporators. The refrigerant absorbs heat and produces cool air. Because of its closed-loop design, your system can't run out of refrigerant.

Beyond visual evidence of a leak (such as tiny bubbles in the lines near the evaporator coils), other indicators of a refrigerant leak include:

  • Your air conditioner struggling to cool your home
  • Ice on the evaporator coils
  • Warm air coming from the vents
  • A hissing noise coming from the unit’s exterior component

Nobody should handle refrigerant besides a trained, qualified technician because it is a hazardous substance. Call an HVAC technician immediately if you suspect your AC unit has a refrigerant leak.


Get Your AC Repaired by Tampa’s Most Trusted AC Pros: Red Cap Plumbing & Air!

Red Cap AC technician explaining a system check to a homeowner

Red Cap Plumbing & Air’s highly-trained AC technicians are ready to help you.

Call Red Cap Plumbing & Air at (813) 963-3056 or visit our online portal to request an air conditioner repair, installation, or system check. We work around your schedule and offer a $100 credit on future visits if our technicians fail to arrive within the designated time frame. We even provide service on Saturdays to homeowners in Tampa and the surrounding areas at no extra charge. Schedule with us today and see why we have over two thousand 5-star reviews!


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