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

August 17, 2015 | Blog

What's Causing My A/C to Trip the Circuit Breaker?During periods of extreme heat and humidity in the Coastal Bend region, the increased load on your air conditioner can cause the system’s circuit breakers to trip. Normally, an A/C tripping the circuit breaker is only a minor inconvenience, but if it happens often, there could be serious problems with the system itself or the circuit that powers it.

Air Filter or Condenser Is Dirty

A dirty air filter can reduce airflow in the system, making it work harder and drawing more electricity than normal. The reduced airflow can also cause the evaporator coil to freeze, leading to other system problems. Check the air filter monthly and change it as necessary.

Condenser coils that are clogged with leaves, twigs and other debris can reduce the airflow over the coils, preventing them from properly shedding heat from inside your home. This makes it harder for the A/C to cool your home, leading to increased electrical loads. Keep the area around the condenser clean and remove any debris from the coils periodically, rinsing the coils with a garden hose afterward.

Electrical Problems

Loose electrical connections, improperly sized wires and other problems in the electrical system can allow the breakers to trip easily, or cause the breakers to over heat and fail. If you suspect wiring problems, have the system inspected by a qualified electrician.

Other System Problems

If the condenser and air filter are relatively clean, the cause of the A/C tripping the circuit breaker may be more serious and will require an inspection by an HVAC professional. Sometimes the problem may be caused by a faulty start capacitor or system fan, which can be repaired quickly and easily. Other problems, such as refrigerant leaks, a damaged compressor or electrical shorts in system components may require extensive repairs. By calling in an HVAC professional immediately, you may reduce the chances of further system damage and higher repair costs.

To learn more about the causes of an A/C tripping the circuit breaker, contact our HVAC technicians at CCAC, Inc. We serve Corpus Christi and the rest of the Coastal Bend region.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas 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: “digidreamgrafix/Shutterstock”

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