heating and AC, plumbing & electric
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August 6, 2015

What Should You Do When Your A/C Is Tripping the Circuit Breaker?

What Should You Do When Your A/C Is Tripping the Circuit Breaker?A common summer HVAC problem occurs when the central A/C is tripping the circuit breaker in the house. This might be an easy issue to resolve by simply resetting the breaker, but if it keeps happening, you’ll want to troubleshoot a couple of relatively simple fixes. If that doesn’t work, call in an HVAC professional or licensed electrician.

Problems With the Wiring or Circuit

The air conditioner may be tripping the circuit breaker as a result of a problem with the wiring or circuit rather than the A/C equipment. Common problems include loose electrical connections, a faulty breaker or some other electrical defect. A licensed electrician will need to address any of these problems.

Problems With the Air Conditioner

If the A/C is tripping the circuit breaker, it’s usually connected to the cooling system drawing more amps than the breaker can handle. This occurs when your A/C is working too hard. Some possible reasons:

  • The weather is excessively hot and your A/C is struggling to satisfy the thermostat setting. In this case, don’t set the desired temperature at an unrealistically low level. The air conditioner can’t be expected to cool a home to 64 degrees when it’s 94 degrees outside.
  • The air filter is dirty. If the filter is clogged with dust and debris, the A/C has to work harder to force air through the system. Change the air filter.
  • The condenser coil is dirty. When this happens, the A/C has to work harder to release heat energy removed from inside the house into the outside air. You may be able to clean the coil, though it’s always better to ask a trusted A/C technician to work on system components, including the coils.
  • Other technical problems best left to a professional include low or leaking refrigerant, a problem with the condenser fan, a bad capacitor, and other malfunctioning internal components. Any of these issues can result in an elevated draw on ampage and a tripped circuit breaker.

For help addressing any A/C problems that arise this summer in your Northwest Arkansas home, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/C problems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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