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AC Tripping the Circuit Breaker? Let’s See What’s Up

electrical-panel-repairsYou’ve probably had the experience of plugging in a new appliance or turning on a powerful one and suddenly losing power. That’s the circuit breaker box doing its job: protecting the electrical system from a harmful voltage overload. Fixing a tripped breaker is easy, you only have to reset it. But a tripped breaker is something to pay attention to since it often means something is wrong with the appliance (or the home needs a wiring upgrade).

Has this tripped breaker problem affected your air conditioning system? The compressor tries to come on, but instead the power to the AC shuts off—and you have to reset the breaker to get the cooling system working again. If this happens once, it may not be a serious problem. Voltage overloads can sometimes occur. But if your air conditioner is tripping the breaker repeatedly, it means the system is overheating and causing the motors to put too much electrical demand on the system.

Why Is This Happening? Well …

The answer is that there are many different reasons for a cooling system that keeps tripping the breakers. We’ll examine the more common ones below.

  • A dirty air filter: The air filter for your HVAC system collects lint and dust over time, since it can’t clean itself. If there is enough debris caught in the filter, it will put an additional strain on the blower motor—and this can be enough to make the motor overheat and trip the breaker. Change the filter for a clean one, and keep up with the changes every 1 to 3 months.
  • Dirty outdoor coils: The outdoor cabinet is exposed to the elements, and everything from dirt to lawn clippings can fly into the cabinet and place a layer grime along the condenser coils. Dirty condenser coils can’t release enough heat, and this will cause system overheating.
  • Motor burning out: Motors in the AC run the fans and the compressor. If the motors aren’t regularly cleaned and lubricated by professionals (a standard part of annual maintenance), they can overheat and fuse the wiring in their casing. This will cause a short that will trip a circuit breaker.
  • Faulty wiring: Electrical wiring issues in the AC are common and may be a source of voltage spikes.
  • Old breaker box: If you have a breaker box that’s more than ten years old, the problem may not be with the AC but the electrical panel itself. If your HVAC technician discovers that the air conditioner is in good shape, you may need to contact an electrician to upgrade the electrical system.

We have the Staten Island, NY, HVAC services that can take care of whatever is ailing your air conditioner this summer—and every summer in the future. We have more than 60 years of history helping out homes in Staten Island cope with the heat, and we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to heating and cooling—we provide the comfort solution that fits your home and your needs.

Fix your faulty air conditioning before it gets any hotter—Call Bob Mims Heating & Air Conditioning.

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