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Does your A/C run all day when its Super Hot?

If you live in the general Sacramento area then you are familiar with back to back 100 plus days. An air conditioner that seems to run all day may be a problem. First we should have realistic expectations when running the A/c. The minimum industry standard industry standard is that the A/C will be able to maintain a temperature inside the home 20 degrees cooler that the temperature outside. On really hot days if you want to maintain a temperature of lets say 76 you would want to set the thermostat at 76 in the morning that way the air and structure of the house has a chance to equalize with the temperature of the air coming out of the vents. If you are gone all day with the until off and lets say at 4pm the house is 90 degrees the ac will have to work a lot harder to drop the temperature of the structure any you may not be able to get the home to a desired temperature.

Maybe your house never had any problems even on hot days but now it's not cooling so well. There may be a problem so here are a few things to check before scheduling service.

1- Change the air filter. Dirty air filters will restrict air flow and can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up.

2-Inspect the outside condensing unit to make sure its running. Sometimes the compressor will run but not the fan on top. If this is the case turn off the unit to prevent compressor damage and call for service. You may have a bad condenser fan motor.

3- Inspect the Condensing unit coil. If you look at the outside coil it should look like a radiator and if the fins are blocked with dirt it will reduce its cooling capabilities. Turn off the unit it and spray the coil with water to clean off the dirt. A pressure washer is to strong and may damage the coil. Standard water pressure and a spraying nozzle should be perfect. No chemical treatment is required water seems to do the job pretty well.

4-Turn on the a/c and after running for 5 minutes go to the condensing unit. You will see two refrigerant lines going to the bottom of the unit. The thicker of the two refrigerant lines might have black insulation around it. As it comes closer to the unit you will see where the copper pipe is exposed. This pipe should feel cold but not frozen. It should maintain that same temperature even if running for hours. If its freezing there is a problem. The pipe should be cold enough to where moisture starts to condense on it and feels wet. If the pipe never gets cold you may be low on refrigerant. The A/C should never be low on refrigerant so if you are low that means there is a leak and you should call for service.

5-Check the temperature split-After the a/c is running for 10 minutes use a thermometer to check the temperature of the air going into the air filter and check the temperature of the air coming out of a vent with good air flow. You should get a temperature drop of 16-22 degrees. If its lover than 16 degrees there may be a problem most likely with the refrigerant levels. Call for service.

I Hope this all makes sense and if you'd like more info please call us at


For do it yourself A/C maintenance tips check out this link


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