Three Common Causes of Tripping Circuit Breakers in Air Conditioning Units

The first house I bought had bare floors that had seen better days, so I started looking at flooring options with the view that one type of flooring would suit my whole home. I chose pine flooring for every room, and that was a costly mistake. Pine is a softwood, and it didn't hold up well in busy traffic areas. I decided to learn more about different types of flooring that are available before parting with more money, and I started this blog to share what I learned and provide new homeowners with some tips for choosing the right flooring for each room in their home. I hope you find my blog useful.

Three Common Causes of Tripping Circuit Breakers in Air Conditioning Units

11 August 2016
 Categories: Home & Garden, Blog

There's nothing more agonizing than your air conditioner failing in the middle of summer due to a tripped circuit breaker. AC circuit breakers trip when the system begins pulling more amperes than the circuit breaker can handle. For example, if you have a 20amp circuit breaker, and your air conditioner draws 30amp, the circuit breaker will trip to prevent an overcurrent, which can damage the air conditioner or even cause a fire. Here are some of the top four causes of tripped circuit breakers and how to fix them.

Clogged air filter

The air filter allows air flow in the air conditioning unit and keeps the unit cool during operation. When the filter is clogged and dirty, there is limited air flow, and this causes the AC blower to work harder and longer to circulate air through the filter. As a result, it draws in more electricity than required and beyond the level which the circuit breaker can handle. The circuit breaker trips and cuts off electrical supply to the unit as a result.

You can address or prevent this problem by regularly cleaning your AC's air filter. As air flows into the unit, the filter traps dust and debris, and these need to be cleaned out for the unit to operate efficiently. If the air filter looks broken, replace it with a new one.

Shorted-out motor

The motor is the component of the AC unit that runs the fan and compressor. During the summer, motors can run for hours during the day and night depending on the intensity of heat inside the house. If the motor overworks, it can overheat and melt the insulation around it together with its wires. This will cause the motor to short out and trip the circuit breaker. Once the motor shorts out, it has to be replaced by a professional.

Dirty coils and fins

Air conditioning units consist of an outdoor and indoor unit. The outdoor unit is placed outside the house while the indoor one is what you know as the air conditioner. Outdoor units consist of coils that release heat from the indoor unit to the atmosphere. They are prone to collect dirt, leaves, and debris as they allow air flow from and into the indoor unit. When they become clogged, they are unable to work efficiently and cause the indoor unit to work harder and overheat. As a result, the circuit breaker will trip.

Outdoor units are complex, and handling them incorrectly can ruin certain components such as the coils and fins; therefore, hiring a professional is the best option. You can also clean the area around the unit regularly to prevent debris from clogging it.

Hiring an HVAC contractor from a company like ACSIS Airconditioning Warehouse for scheduled maintenance can help to avoid problems associated with tripping circuit breakers. Coupled with these tips, you can enjoy fresh indoor air during the summer.