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Serving Belmont, Lake Norman, and Hickory, NC

Serving Belmont, Lake Norman, and Hickory, NC


Ace Hardware Home Services Blog

Why Is the AC Running for Long Cycles?

We often talk about short cycles on this blog, but rarely do we explore the world of long cycles. A long cycle is usually one that takes no longer than 20 minutes. It’s normal for an air conditioner to cycle on 2-3 times an hour to keep temperatures in the zone that you want them to be.

Long cycles can usually signify one huge problem–that your system can’t reach your thermostat’s temperature settings and it’s working too hard. This is something that only professional AC repair in Lincolnton, NC can fix properly.

Before you lose interest and close out this blog, remember that if it’s allowed to run like this, your air conditioner will cause your energy bill to spike dramatically. For every long cycle, you could be paying more money for no real difference in comfort. So keep reading and make sure you schedule repairs as quickly as possible!

Setting the Thermostat Correctly

First of all, we need to talk about the elephant in the room–your thermostat. The number that gets set on your thermostat is translated through code to your air conditioner so that it knows how long it’s supposed to run. This is where the idea of a “cycle” comes in, it cycles on and off, keeping things at the temperature you set even when temperatures are hot outdoors.

However, if you set your thermostat to 50 degrees on a 90 degree day, you’ll never see your home reach that temperature and your air conditioner will likely never stop running until it breaks down or overheats.

It’s important to remember the temperature differential rule. An air conditioner can only realistically cool your home 20 degrees below the outdoor temperature. Any more than that and it will likely run for too long and cause your energy bills to skyrocket with a negligible difference.

A Wiring Issue

Extremely long cycles could also be due to a wiring issue. Think about it, if your thermostat is having trouble signaling to the capacitor to shut down, the air conditioner is going to continue running. This could be a simple fix depending on the state of your home’s electrical system, but either way it needs to be fixed.

Your system relies on complex electrical signals and wiring in order to function properly. Today your air conditioner might be running in long cycles, but tomorrow it might not turn on at all.

Leaky Air Ducts and Blocked Vents

One key reason why an air conditioner might run for long cycles is due to leaks in your air ducts or blocked vents.

Leaky air ducts could be sending all of the conditioned air into areas where you can’t feel it, like your crawlspace or basement. Then, by the time any air conditioning reaches the rooms of your home, or the area near your thermostat, it’s too little and too late.

Also, it’s a good idea to do a walkthrough of your home to ensure no air vents are blocked by furniture or storage. A blocked air vent will stop a certain area of your home from feeling cooler, which can skew the temperature on your thermostat can cause the unit to run for longer.

Do yourself a favor and schedule repairs with Ace Hardware Home Services. Call Ace Hardware Home Services!

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