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Why Is My Air Conditioner Tripping the Circuit Breaker?

Air Conditioner Tripping the Circuit Breaker

Have you ever been enjoying a perfectly chill day indoors only to suddenly sweat bullets because you find your air conditioner tripping the circuit breaker? Yeah, we’ve all been there. It’s a nuisance, but hey, don’t sweat it! We’re about to tackle this problem and throw in some handy DIY tips for good measure.

Why is Your Air Conditioner Tripping the Circuit Breaker?

Why would an air conditioner trip a breaker? Well, let’s first get a grip on what’s really happening when your air conditioner starts to play games with your circuit breaker. In simple terms, the circuit breaker is your home’s electrical bodyguard. It steps in to save the day when it senses a power overload or a short circuit. We’ll go through some common reasons for your air conditioner tripping the circuit breaker here!

Dirty or Blocked Filters

How do I stop my AC from tripping the breaker? There are a whole bunch of reasons why your air conditioner might send your circuit breaker into a frenzy. A prime suspect? Dirty or blocked filters. Here’s the thing: when the filters are all clogged up, your AC has to put in overtime. This extra effort consumes more power, which could cause an overload.

The Fix: Regular maintenance is your friend here. Keep those filters clean or change your filter every 1-3 months, depending on how much your AC is running and the environment. Not only can this save you from the troublesome breaker tripping, but your AC will also be in top shape and run more efficiently. It’s a win-win!

How do I stop my AC from tripping the breaker

Dirty Coils

Dirty coils can cause the same headache as dirty filters, leading to your air conditioner tripping the circuit breaker. When the coils can’t effectively dissipate heat because they’re all grimy, your AC is forced to work harder and run longer.

The Fix: You will usually want a technician’s help for this, but if you’re up for a challenge just be sure to take care when you give this task a try. Roll up your sleeves, and get your hands on a coil brush and a coil cleaner. These are available at your local home improvement store. Make sure to turn off your AC unit first, then very gently brush the coils with the coil brush. Next, apply the cleaner on the coils following the instructions on the can. After letting it sit for a bit, rinse the coils gently with a low-pressure water source.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

Poor airflow due to a lack of maintenance can result in your evaporator coil freezing up. The AC then draws more power, leading to the air conditioner tripping the circuit breaker.

Fix: If you spot ice on the indoor coils of your AC system, don’t attempt to keep running it. Turn it off for a while, and do any maintenance tasks you have planned. If after the maintenance the coils are still freezing, there may be a bigger problem. Reach out to a professional to diagnose and rectify the issue.

Bad Capacitor or Motor

Last but not least, a malfunctioning capacitor or motor in your AC unit can be a major troublemaker. These parts are super important for your AC’s operation, and if they go haywire, they can cause excess power draw and trip the circuit breaker.

The Fix: Motors are a bit more complex and come with their share of risks, so it’s probably best to leave that to the experts.

Refrigerant Running Low

Low levels of refrigerant from a leak or other issues in your AC unit can cause the unit to go into overdrive, which can lead to overheating and yes, you guessed it – tripping the breaker. You’ll also notice your air isn’t as cold as it used to be.

The Fix: Now, this isn’t an easy DIY job, as it involves handling refrigerant, which is a job for trained professionals. If you think your AC is low on refrigerant, don’t hesitate to call in the pros.

ac trips breaker immediately

Malfunctioning Coil Fan

The coil fan in your AC unit is responsible for blowing air over the condenser coils, dispersing the absorbed heat outside. When this fan isn’t working correctly due to issues like a broken motor or grimy fan blades, it reduces heat dispersion.

The compromised fan operation can lead to an overworked and overheated system, drawing more power and potentially causing your air conditioner to trip the circuit breaker.

Fix: A malfunctioning coil fan generally requires a professional touch. If you’re experiencing this issue, it’s a good idea to call in the experts.

Compressor Difficulty Starting

The compressor is the heart of your AC system. Aging and inefficiency can lead to what’s called a hard start, where the compressor struggles to start and run. This problem increases power demand and can lead to your ac compressor tripping the breaker.

Fix: Frequent tripping could indicate a serious compressor issue. In such a case, don’t ignore the problem or keep resetting the breaker. It’s time to get a professional on board to prevent expensive repairs or even a full system replacement.

Grounded Compressor

A grounded compressor means the electrical windings inside it have failed and are striking the side of the compressor, creating a direct short to the ground. This can ignite the oil inside the compressor, resulting in issues where the ac trips the breaker immediately

Fix: This is a significant issue that usually necessitates a complete compressor replacement and cleaning of the refrigerant lines in your system. Again, it’s best to leave this to the professionals.

Remember, prevention is better than cure! Regular maintenance is crucial to prevent these issues. However, if you’re experiencing problems beyond your DIY skills, don’t hesitate to call in the HVAC service and repair professionals. Dependable Heating and Air has the expertise to keep your AC unit running smoothly all summer long. So here’s to a cool, comfortable summer, free of tripped circuit breakers. Stay frosty, my friends!

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