Why Your A/C is Tripping the Breaker of Your Home

Why Your A/C is Tripping the Breaker

Jun 27, 2017

Why Your A/C is Tripping the BreakerOn a typical hot Orlando day, the last thing you need is for your air conditioner to shut off unexpectedly. Yet that’s exactly what can happen if your air conditioner manages to trip its circuit breaker. Tripping the breaker isn’t a bad thing in of itself, primarily because it is your electrical system’s way of preventing excess current from damaging your A/C unit and other electronics. However, it’s also a sign that something’s amiss with your air conditioner.

Common Causes

A rare spike in current can cause a breaker to trip unexpectedly. In these cases, there’s usually nothing to worry about — all you need to do is reset the breaker and you’re all set. But if the circuit breaker trips again, then there is likely an underlying problem that needs to be taken care of before your air conditioner can operate normally:

  • A loose connection or a damaged wire is causing an electrical short, sending excess current through the breaker.
  • An electric motor or compressor has shorted itself out, usually due to broken windings or other internal damage within.
  • The compressor is suffering from hard start issues, causing a larger-than-normal current draw that exceeds what the circuit breaker can safely handle.
  • Poor airflow is causing the electric fan motors to work harder, making them draw more current than normal.
  • The actual circuit breaker may be going bad due to age or defect.

Effective Solutions

Start by making sure the breaker hasn’t been damaged by excess heat. Look for melted plastic, burnt odors or a breaker that’s warm to the touch. Next, take a look at your air filter and have it changed if it’s clogged with dirt and debris. Check the electrical wiring and make sure it’s not frayed, exposed or otherwise damaged.

If the above does nothing to prevent your A/C system from tripping the breaker, you may need your HVAC technician to thoroughly examine the system and make repairs as needed.

For more information, turn to the experts at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions in Orlando today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).