Why won't your air conditioner stop? Your central air system starts without an issue, or at least it seems that way. But the air conditioner clicked on hours ago and hasn't stopped since. If your air conditioner won't turn off, take a look at what you need to know about the possible causes and AC repair options.
Is the Thermostat Setting at Fault?
Before you jump to the worst possible conclusion, check the thermostat. Did another household member turn the setting down too low? If someone changed the temperature setting to a number that isn't reasonable in the summertime months, your AC system isn't likely to turn off anytime soon. To reverse course and stop the system, bump the setting back up to a normal summer indoor air temperature. Not only will a low setting keep your system on, but it will also increase your energy usage and your utility bill. A higher, but reasonable, setting will keep your home comfortable and help to save you money. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can accomplish this goal by raising the temperature setting from its normal setting by seven to ten degrees Fahrenheit for at least eight hours every day.
Is the Thermostat Broken?
Sometimes the thermostat setting isn't the problem. You checked the temperature on the thermostat and it hasn't changed. But the AC system still won't turn off. It's possible the thermostat needs a recalibration or a replacement. These AC services require the knowledge and experience of a professional. Never attempt to inspect or evaluate the system's thermostat yourself. You could miss potential problems, cause additional damage to your thermostat, invalidate a warranty, or accidentally injure yourself.
Is the Fan at Fault?
The thermostat isn't the only possible culprit behind your air conditioner's refusal to turn off. It's possible that the fan is switched on. The manual position on a system's fan switch tells it to continuously circulate air, whether the air conditioner is in cooling mode or not. The constant motion and sound of the fan makes it seem like the air conditioner is on and won't turn off. To stop this problem, change the setting to automatic. If this doesn't work, contact an HVAC contractor for a repair service.
Is There a Contactor Issue?
Poor or no AC maintenance and years of wear and tear can lead to contactor problems. The contactor controls the electricity going to the unit. If it fails, it could prevent the system from turning off. A qualified AC technician can inspect the system, diagnose this issue, and recommend repairs.
For more information on AC repair, contact a local HVAC contractor.