Why Your Air Conditioner Trips The Circuit Breaker & What You Can Do To Fix It

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In the hottest parts of summer, HVACs get a lot of frustrated calls from people asking why the breaker keeps tripping every time the air conditioner runs. The frustration is understandable. In the Louisiana summer, heat indexes average in the 90s and low-100s. That air conditioner needs to stay running! Worse still, a continually tripping circuit breaker is a potential fire hazard, and a problem that needs to be solved fast.

Why Your AC Keeps Tripping the Circuit Breaker

So what is the problem? To put it plainly, your AC is tripping the circuit breaker because it’s drawing too much electrical current. The breaker is automatically shutting itself off to prevent damage to your electrical system, or worse, the start of an electrical fire. If your AC is tripping, don’t just reset the breaker and hope it won’t trip again; a frequently tripping circuit breaker will damage your system over time and lead to some hefty repair bills.

Is Your Air Conditioner Overheating?

The most common reason for an air conditioner pulling enough current to trip the breaker is that it’s overheating.

What Can Cause an AC to Overheat?

  • Dirty Filter: Dirty air filters restrict air flow and force your air conditioner to work that much harder to cool your home. To ensure your AC has proper air flow, always remember to change your air filters at least once every 90 days—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. 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 doesn’t have enough coolant, it will have to worker harder and longer to effectively cool your home. 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, call Doug’s to check your refrigerant levels and inspect for leaks in your condenser coils.

Doug’s offers convenient and affordable maintenance programs that will guarantee your condenser coils are properly cleaned and your air conditioner is running at peak efficiency.

What Else Can Make The Breaker Trip?

While overheating is the most common reason for your AC to trip the circuit breaker, there are other issues that can could be at play.

  • Mechanical Issues: If you are keeping up with your filters and AC maintenance, there’s a deeper issue that Doug’s will need to evaluate and resolve. There are a number of mechanical problems that can lead to your air conditioner overheating, including a short in the blower motor, or a problem with the compressor.
  • 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 breaker itself, or with the wiring. This is particularly dangerous, as electrical problems are the number one cause of house fires. Don’t worry, though—Doug’s can identify and solve any electrical problems you might be having!

Give us a call at (985) 746-1116 to say hello to Doug’s friendly scheduling staff and goodbye to the frustration of a circuit breaker that trips every other time the AC cuts on. You can also contact us online to schedule a service!

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