The outdoor AC unit is one of the system’s most important components. You may not think it always running is a bad thing. But if you’re asking, “Does the outside AC fan always run?” the answer is “No.” It should not run non-stop. If the unit runs continuously, something is preventing the AC from reaching the set temperature. Here are some reasons why this may be happening.

Clogged Air Filter

The AC air filter screens dirt particles, so they don’t contaminate the system. When it becomes dirty, the coils can become coated in debris that interferes with heat transfer. The air in your home won’t get cold and can also become dustier. Clean or replace the filter as recommended (usually every 3 months) to avoid trouble. Also, only install the type of filter recommended for your AC system.

Restricted Airflow

Restricted airflow is a symptom of a clogged filter. If there’s not enough air circulating, your AC will be ineffective at cooling your home. It can also overwork itself and reduce energy efficiency. Since the system can’t cool things off, the outside fan may run constantly. Another culprit may be closed or blocked AC vents; make sure all are open for the system to work properly.

Doors and Windows Are Left Open

An air conditioner cools the air that’s already in your home. Open windows and doors allow in hot air, which displaces the cool air generated by the AC. Therefore, it will continue running so the condenser unit, fan, and compressor won’t get a break, which increases electricity usage and wear and tear. Close and seal windows and doors to avoid issues and install insulation in uninsulated basements, attics, and crawlspaces.

The Unit Is Undersized

Does the outside AC fan always run if the unit is the right size? A system that’s under the recommended capacity will work longer to cool bigger rooms. Your AC fan will run longer and consume more power. Strongly consider replacing a unit that’s too small for your home. 

It’s Hotter Outside Than Usual

Record or near-record-breaking heat has become more commonplace. Even by Florida standards, temperatures in the mid-to-upper-90s are quite hot. Your outdoor AC fan is more likely to run continuously on an extremely hot day. That’s because the system must work harder to keep your home cool. 

Dirty or Blocked Condenser Unit

Leaves, branches, and debris built up around the condenser can prevent heat from being released into the air. The fan will run continuously to work to disperse the heat. To prevent this, regularly clear debris from around the unit, trim back overgrown shrubs and blow leaves away from the condenser unit. 

The AC Contactor Is Stuck

The contactor completes the circuit when the thermostat sends a signal to the air conditioner. If the contactor gets stuck, the outdoor unit may continue to run until you turn off the circuit breaker. Or until you have a technician come and repair the unit.

Ductwork Issues

Worn, outdated ductwork can also affect the outside AC fan. Ducts that are clogged, bent, or disconnected can restrict airflow, causing the fan to run all the time. Check the airflow from each of the vents. If it differs from one vent to another, your ductwork is losing air. If the ducts are filled with dust and debris, rusted or deteriorated, or not delivering enough air, it’s time to call an HVAC contractor. 

Refrigerant Leak

The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air so the system can blow cool air into your home. If the refrigerant is leaking, low levels can cause the AC to struggle. As a result, the outdoor fan will work overtime. Only an experienced contractor can fill the refrigerant in your AC system.

Frozen Evaporator Coils

Poor airflow can cause the coils to get cold enough to frost over. Expanding ice blocks the flow of air even more and can damage the coils. Evaporator coils can be thawed out by turning off the AC. Once they’re free of ice, clean the coils and replace the air filter if necessary. If the coils freeze again and the outside fan is always running, call a professional to check the refrigerant level.

The AC Fan Is Damaged

If there’s a broken fan blade, the fan won’t work as efficiently. It will compensate by running all day. A problem with the blower motor can also cause the fan to run continuously. Noise is common with a damaged fan, but only a technician can properly diagnose and repair the problem.

Does the Outside AC Fan Always Run? Call Tri County Air

The AC condenser fan is a common replacement part. If you notice it’s always on, one of our qualified and knowledgeable technicians can fix it. We service all makes and models of air conditioning units. Available 24/7, we also perform any type of repair to improve safety, comfort, efficiency, indoor air quality, and the lifespan of HVAC equipment. Call (941) 485-2222 to request AC repair in Charlotte, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties.