Why Does the AC Circuit Breaker Keep Tripping?

When the AC breaker trips frequently, many homeowners find themselves calling an HVAC technician for help. After all, the HVAC unit is responsible for ensuring the comfort of our homes, which we frequently rely on.

Whether the tripping breaker is caused by dirty coils, a dirty air filter, too much electricity, or overheating, the causes are important to narrow down for an effective repair. In this blog, we will investigate why your air conditioning system is tripping the breaker switch and how to address the underlying issues.

AC Keeps Tripping Breaker Unit: Causes & Solutions

The circuit breaker is the control panel of every appliance in the home that depends on electricity. An HVAC technician check is your best bet for restoring the air conditioning unit and getting it functioning properly. However, knowing the reasons for this problem will help you keep up with regular maintenance to prevent further damage to the AC unit and the electrical breaker switch. Below are some common causes of circuit breaker trips in your air conditioner.

Dirty Air Filter

Dirty air filters restrict air flow and force your air conditioner to work that much harder to cool your home. The restricted airflow causes the AC system to overheat, which eventually leads to the AC tripping.

To ensure your AC unit has optimal airflow, always remember to change your air filters at least once every 90 days. Consider doing so more often if you have allergies or pets who shed a lot.

Dirty Condenser Coils

When your condenser coils get dirty, your AC can’t run efficiently. That dirt and gunk causes the AC compressor to be overloaded with pressure, which eventually causes the circuit breaker to trip. You can try to clean the coils yourself, but we recommend having a professional do it to ensure the job is done correctly.

Insufficient Refrigerant

If your AC unit doesn’t have enough coolant in the refrigerant lines, it will have to work harder and longer to cool your home effectively. This strain overloads the compressor and can lead to the AC unit overheating. As a result, the circuit breaker may trip.

The best way to tell if your refrigerant is low is to check the temperature of the air coming from your vents. If it doesn’t feel cool enough, there may be a leak in the refrigerant lines. Be on the lookout for puddles of fluids around the indoor and outdoor unit.

Faulty Compressor

As the compressor ages, it can develop issues that cause AC trips. Sometimes the compressor experiences mechanical issues that cause it to draw in too much power. Excess levels of electricity can overload the electrical circuit, tripping the breaker.

Electrical Problems

It’s possible that your air conditioner isn’t the source of your tripped breaker at all. The problem could be with the electrical components of your AC unit or the electrical panel. These problems can include the following:

  • High electrical load on the circuit breaker
  • Short circuit caused by a hot wire coming into contact with neutral or ground wiring
  • Mechanical issues or a faulty compressor
  • The AC has trouble starting
  • Loose wiring or corrosion in the electrical wiring
  • Ground fault interrupter issues
  • Voltage surges or drops
  • Thermal overload

All of these issues prevent the air conditioner from functioning properly. As a safety measure, we recommend contacting an AC technician when you suspect any of these issues and never miss out on those regular tune-ups. To keep your AC running efficiently and effectively, regular maintenance is crucial.

FAQ: My AC Breaker Keeps Tripping

How do I stop my AC from tripping the breaker?

An easy fix to stopping the AC from tripping the breaker is to change the air filter regularly. This will help promote optimal airflow and prevent the air conditioner from overheating.

Is it safe to reset a tripped breaker switch?

When you’ve determined that the breaker keeps tripping because it was overloaded, resetting it is a good idea. However, if you find that the breaker keeps tripping repeatedly, you will need to call an HVAC technician for help.

How do you know if your AC circuit breaker is bad?

Here are some signs that an AC breaker is bad:

  • The AC circuit breaker won’t stay in reset mode
  • There are burning smells
  • The breaker is hot
  • There is visible damage on the box or outlets
  • Strange noises like buzzing
  • The breaker keeps tripping

Quality Solutions for Your Air Conditioner

If you find that your AC unit is short-cycling frequently or causing the circuit breaker to trip, it is important to get in touch with an AC tech who will help prevent further damage and problems. Contact us today for quality resolution and to ensure that the AC is working properly again.

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