What's Causing My A/C to Trip the Circuit Breaker?

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August 25, 2015

Heating and Air Conditioning Fort Wayne Indiana

What's Causing My A/C to Trip the Circuit Breaker?Your central air conditioner shouldn't be tripping the circuit breaker in your home. If it does this just one time, it's not necessarily a sign of problems. It's when the A/C is tripping the circuit breaker a second and third time that you need to address the issue. It probably reflects an underlying problem with your cooling system. First try some do-it-yourself troubleshooting, then if that doesn't work, call in an HVAC professional.

Issues With the Circuit or Wiring

The A/C may be tripping the circuit breaker not as a result of issues with the air conditioner itself, but because of problems with your home's electrical system. These might include a defective breaker, loose wiring or some other fault in the system. These issues should be examined by a licensed electrician.

Issues With the A/C System

If the central air conditioner is tripping the circuit breaker, it probably means the equipment is drawing more electrical power than the breaker is designed to handle. The simplest explanation for this happening is that your A/C is working too hard. This can happen for a number of reasons:

  • You're asking too much of the A/C during excessively hot weather or the system lacks the capacity to cool during regular summertime temperatures. Don't expect an A/C to cool a home to 65 degrees when it's in the mid-90s outside.
  • The A/C's air filter is clogged. This will force the cooling system to work harder to blow air across the evaporator coil and throughout the house.
  • The refrigerant coils are dirty, impeding the heat extraction and heat release (inside and outside) that's vital to efficient air conditioning.

Other technical issues may be the cause of the A/C tripping the breaker. These might include a low refrigerant level, a bad compressor capacitor, a fault with the condenser fan, or other issues with internal components of the A/C. These are all issues better left to a professional.

For further advice when your A/C is tripping the circuit breaker, please contact us Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning. We provide quality service to the Fort Wayne area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about A/Cs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “foxie/Shutterstock”

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