Anyone who lives in the Austin or central Texas area knows that summer months can be brutally hot. Your air conditioner seems to be running non-stop, and you wonder if this is normal – not to mention how high your energy bills may be at the end of the month. Why is your A/C running constantly, and is there anything you can do about it? You’ll find some of the answers in this article.

Does a system that runs constantly indicate problems? Not necessarily. Even newer cooling systems may run more frequently when temperatures are hotter than usual during summer months. You may notice that your electricity bill is higher than normal, or that the A/C runs for what seems like forever without cycling off.

So, why is this?

When heat indexes reach 105, 110 or even 115 degrees, your A/C system is going to run for a longer period of time in an effort to keep your Austin home at your desired temperatures. Sometimes it’s one of those things you just have to live with if you want to stay cool and comfortable. What else?

It could be something as simple as maintenance. A dirty or clogged air filter, dirty ducts or evaporator coils, or a low refrigerant charge will all result in your A/C running overtime. Regular maintenance is critical to efficient performance and lower energy costs!

An old cooling system or ductwork that isn’t properly sealed or insulated. Older air conditioning systems simply aren’t as efficient as newer systems. When your cooling system is 15 or 20 years old you can’t expect it to perform as efficiently as a newer air conditioner. Age and wear/tear have an impact on any type of equipment. In addition, if your ductwork isn’t properly sealed or insulated or there are leaks you may not be aware of, your A/C will run for longer periods of time.

Is your air conditioner the right size for your home? A system that’s either too small or too large for the size of your home will result in higher utility costs. If your A/C system isn’t large enough for the square footage you’re trying to cool, it will run constantly in an effort to keep up. A system that’s too large will cycle on and off every few minutes because the air quickly becomes cool which causes it to shut off, but then warms up fast because it doesn’t run for a long enough period of time to thoroughly cool your home. The right size unit is key to comfort and lower energy costs.

Thermostat problems can also make your A/C run constantly. The thermostat is the component of your Austin HVAC system that controls when it cycles on and off. If there is a problem with the thermostat or where it’s located (such as in an area where the sunlight hits it most of the day), it can cause constant running.

Homeowners shouldn’t be too alarmed when their HVAC systems run longer than usual during extremely hot periods, however your air conditioner shouldn’t run constantly when temperatures are normal. If you suspect problems with your A/C, contact our Austin air conditioning professionals at Schneider Mechanical. As one of the most reputable and trusted HVAC companies in central Texas, you can trust our technicians for outstanding service and unmatched quality in everything we do!