Does The Outside AC Fan Always Run?

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If you are wondering ‘Does the outside ac fan always run?’  then you are in the right place. Summer is always a great for carrying out many outdoor activities. But sometimes, it can bring with it its own downsides such as a heat wave.

ac outside fan running constantly
AC condenser units

When you have a heat wave, you’ll want your air conditioner to cool down your home and provide you with comfortable temperatures. But when you notice your air conditioner running non-stop then you should be concerned.

In this article we’ll be discussing what can cause your outside ac fan to run constantly when it shouldn’t.

Also read: Air Conditioner Outside Unit Fan Not Working [Solved]

Does The Outside AC Fan Always Run?

The short answer is NO. Your outside AC fan doesn’t have to run non-stop. But if you notice that your fan is running always without taking breaks, this could be a sign of some issues within your HVAC system. So, lets Check out some of the issues that could cause this problem below.

1. AC Not Reaching the Set Temperature

If the air conditioner is running and not reaching the set temperature, it will continue running without taking breaks. There are a few things that can cause your ac to run constantly without cooling your home or reaching the set temperature. These include dirty air filters, open doors and windows, undersized ac unit, too hot outside.

2. Dirty Air Filters

An air Filter is a component of your air conditioner system that screens out dirt from air before it gets into your air conditioning system. Filters help to keep the coils clean for easy absorption of heat from your home. They also ensure that that air that gets into your home has less unwanted particles and other things that are not good for allergies such as pet hair.

However, if air filters get dirty and you forget to replace them on time, they can bring about different issues with your ac. Some of which include:

  1. Restricted air flow into your ac system. When there is restricted air flow into your ac system. There won’t be enough cooling in your home and your ac will overwork to try and cool your home. In short, restricted air flow will make your ac inefficient.
  2. Dirty air will bypass your air conditioner and deposit dirt on the evaporator coils making it hard for it to absorb heat. This will also make your ac inefficient, causing it to run continuously.

3. Open Doors and Windows

Another thing that could cause your outside ac fan to run always without breaking is open doors and windows. Central air conditioners, window air conditioners and mini splits don’t bring in air from outside, instead they cool the air that is within your home or room.

When the windows and doors to the outside are left open while your air conditioner is running, this could greatly make your air conditioner inefficient. Hot outside air will sneak in and displace the cooler air in your home.

Because of that, your air conditioner will continue running to try and cool your home and this will cause other components such as the condenser unit, the compressor and the condenser fan to run constantly without taking breaks. This also put a burden of hefty electricity bills on you.


When you are running your air conditioner ensure that your indoor environment is isolated from the outdoor environment in every way possible. And if you are using a window air conditioner, ensure that gaps between the ac and the window are sealed. To seal off gaps between the door and the floor, you can use door blocks.

4. Undersized AC Unit

An undersized AC unit could also cause your system components to run nonstop. An AC unit which is too small for your home or room will work harder and longer to try and cool your home. AC’s cooling powers are rated in BTUS. The more that BTU an AC has, the bigger the room it can cool adequately.

However, if an ac has less Btu than the recommended BTUs for that particular room, it would be working longer and resulting in expensive electricity Bills.

However, there are a few things you can do to help solve this problem. These include sealing gaps between windows and the air conditioner. Closing outside doors should help too.

Read also: AC Unit Blowing Hot Air Outside [Solved]

5. Too Hot Outside

If there is a heat wave in your neighbourhood your ac will definitely struggle to keep your home cool. Air conditioners are designed to work properly and efficiently within a limited range of outdoor temperature that is, 92 degrees or below. When outdoor temperatures exceed 92 degrees, your ac will probably run continuously to try and cool your home. That could be the reason your outside ac fan is always running.

6. Dirty Or Blocked Condenser Unit

The condenser unit has a condenser coil where the refrigerant release heat and turns into liquid. The condenser fan draws in air that takes away heat as it is ejected out. These ac components work hand in hand to ensure heat is released to the outdoor air.

dirty condenser unit
Dirty condenser coil

However, when the condenser is blocked by objects such as leaves, heat won’t be disposed as it should. This could be the reason your fan is always running to try and dispose the heat. There are however, a few things you can do to keep your condenser free from objects.

These include:

  • Clearing away debris near the condenser unit.
  • Trimming shrubs that have overgrown.
  • Blowing away nearby leaves.
  • Spraying water on ac condenser will also ensure that your condenser fins and coils are not blocked, and the condenser can release heat freely.

7. Stuck AC Contactor

An ac contactor completes the electrical circuit when there is calling from the thermostat to do so. Overtime, the contactor can malfunction and get stuck in the contact position. When this happens, you might notice your outdoor ac unit running constantly and can only stop when you turn off power at the circuit breakers.

Contactors are replaceable. If you are a DIY person, you can get some information from your current contactor and order a replacement online. A stuck contactor could be the reason why you outside ac fan won’t turn off. Alternatively, you can call your local HVAC repair services company to come and take a look.


1. Why Does My Outside Condenser Keep Running?

ac outdoor fan
Minisplit ac condenser unit

If your outside condenser keeps running, this could be a sign of any of the following issues:

  • Restricted air flow due to dirty air filters. Check your air filters and if you notice that they are dirty, clean or replace them.
  • Dirty Condenser Coils. When your condenser coil is dirty and has built up on it. It will become harder for it to dispose the heat. As a result, your condenser will overwork to try and dispose the heat. Try spraying hose water on it.
  • Your AC that is running low on the refrigerant. An AC system that is low on the refrigerant could also be the reason your ac condenser unit is running constantly. A refrigerant helps in absorbing heat from your home thereby cooling your indoor air. However, when your system is low on the refrigerant, your ac condenser will run longer in trying to cool your home.

2. How Do I Stop My Air Conditioner from Running All Day?

You can help prevent your air condition from running all day by ensuring that air filters are changed on time, usually about once in a couple of months.

You should also ensure that your outdoor condenser unit is not blocked. Clear debris around the condenser unit and if possible, spray water on the condenser if you see dirt on it.

3. Is Spraying Water on Ac Condenser, OK?

Yes, its definitely OK to spray water on your ac condenser as a measure to clean it and help it work better. Spraying water can be done with the help of a hose. You can either spray the water from the sides towards the unit or from the top. Whichever method is convenient for you is fine.

Keeping your ac outdoor unit clean will keep your ac working better and more efficiently. This will also stop your cooling system from running constantly.

Final Thought

We hope this guide has provided answers to your question ‘Does the outside ac fan always run?’

And as we always advise, if you are unable to fix the problem on your own, always call professionals for help.

Also read: AC Condenser Unit Blowing Cold Air Outside [Solved]

We would also like to mention, that it’s important to observe regular HVAC maintenance to keep your ac system working better and efficiently. Government recommends that annual HVAC tune ups be done twice a year, in the fall and in the spring. Thanks for reading.

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