Why Does My Air Conditioner Trip My Circuit Breaker?

Your home’s electrical system represents a durable — yet fickle — series of wires, outlets, and outputs. It powers all the appliances throughout your home and keeps your home flowing as smoothly as possible. However, if you’re in the middle of a hot Jacksonville, NC, summer with your AC on and your circuit breaker keeps tripping, you could be in for a long and sticky summer.

But why does your air conditioner trip your circuit breaker, and what can you do about it? Sometimes it’s a quick fix, while other times you might need professional AC repairs in Jacksonville, NC, to get the job done.

The Science Behind Tripping a Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers act as the safety net for your home’s power output. When something in your home starts pulling in more AMPs than your system can handle, the breaker trips, severing the connection and protecting your electrical system from overloading.

Your AC system can start pulling in more energy than your system can handle and routinely trip the circuit breaker. If you had a new unit installed, it could be a matter of this model not being a perfect match for your space. However, if it’s worked perfectly for years without issue, it’s time to check for some of these possible underlying problems as the reason behind your power issues.

You Haven’t Cleaned Your Air Filters

Every time you use your air conditioner, it filters out particulates in the air, so what flows through your house becomes as clean as possible. Those particles stay in your filter, and the mass continues to grow with each passing use. If you don’t clean or change them out regularly, the blower has to work harder to circulate through the dirty filter — causing your unit to need more power.

The harder your AC works because of a dirty filter, the more electricity it needs and the more likely the breaker will trip. Before turning your unit on, look at the filters and see if they need to get cleaned or replaced.

The Outdoor Unit Is Dirty

It’s not just a dirty air filter that can give you problems — it’s the outdoor unit as well. The refrigerant from the inside part of your system transfers the heat to the outside to properly disperse. When it gets extremely dirty, the debris acts as an insulator trapping the warm air and preventing it from leaving. Your AC then runs constantly; it’s trying to reach your desired temperature, drawing more electricity, and increasing the likelihood of your breaker trips.

The Motor Shorted Out

The fan motor in your AC unit takes plenty of abuse over its lifespan. It runs for hours during the summer, with few and far between breaks, and it continues to function as intended. However, if it runs hot for too long, it can wear down the wire’s insulation and lead to a short. The electricity bypasses the usual path and causes more power to run than it can handle. This can cause it to overheat, melt, and start a fire — unless the circuit breaker trips.

Your Compressor Has Trouble Starting

When it first starts up, your AC’s compressor pulls in a great deal of electricity to get going. The older your compressor gets, the less efficient it becomes, and it can start “hard starting.” Once this process begins, it pulls in even more electricity and will cause the circuit breaker to trip.

Let Airflow Masters Get Your AC Back Under Control

When it’s the peak of the summer, you want to know you can rely on your AC to give you the comfort and relief you need. That’s why you should consider getting Airflow Masters Heating & Cooling’s professional AC services in Jacksonville, NC, to take a look at your unit. We’ll inspect your AC, figure out why it’s tripping your circuit breaker, and fix the problem quickly.

Contact us to schedule your next service appointment today!