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Why Does My AC Keep Tripping the Breaker?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

One of the first AC troubleshooting steps when your system won't operate is to check your fuse box to verify that a breaker hasn't tripped. An interruption in the power supply will certainly prevent the system from operating, but you may not realize that the issue has occurred until you attempt to adjust the system settings without response. It's easier to notice if an air conditioning cycle is abruptly interrupted long before the cycle would normally conclude. If the issue becomes repetitive, however, it is important to do more than just turn the switch back on.

Why Does the Breaker Trip?

A tripped breaker stops the flow of power to a certain system or circuit within your home. This typically occurs if the demand on the breaker becomes excessive. In the case of a tripped breaker for your air conditioning unit, the electricity drawn may have become excessive, resulting in the switch shutting off to protect both the equipment and your home. This is most commonly due to an overheating issue with the unit, but there are many system problems that could cause the overheating:

  • Dirty coils - excessive material on the outside coils can prevent the release of heat from the refrigerant into the outside air supply.
  • Malfunctioning fan - the outside fan is responsible for helping to disperse heat away from the condenser unit.
  • Low refrigerant - a lack of the material used to cool your home can result in poor performance and longer running times that can cause overheating.
  • Restricted air movement - dirty evaporator coils or a dirty air filter can keep air from moving properly through the system, resulting in stress that could include overheating.

What Should I Do if the Breaker Problem Persists?

A repetitive problem is a sign that something serious is wrong. You can check your filter and make a change. You can also use a hose to spray off condenser coils. If the issue isn't resolved with simple measures such as these, you will want to schedule air conditioning repairs with a Texas Air Comfort specialist. We can provide you with a reputable HVAC contractor in your community to answer your questions or diagnose your system problems.

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