During the heat of the summer months, many Arizona, Texas and Nevada homeowners have the same question: Why does my air conditioner keep tripping the circuit breaker? Unfortunately, instead of trying to fix the problem, many homeowners will continue to turn the circuit breaker back on after it trips, and ignore it. If there's one thing that you can get out of this article, it's this: don't ignore it! A circuit breaker is a safety mechanism for your home. It prevents damage to your home by turning off electricity if the current is too high. If you ignore a continually tripping circuit, you are ignoring a bigger problem. Here are some of the reasons your air conditioner may be tripping the circuit breaker, and how to fix them:
Your air conditioner may be drawing too much energy because it is working too hard pulling air through a dirty air filter. When the air conditioning unit can't pull air through the filter, it works harder, draws more electricity and then trips the circuit.
Air Conditioner is Overheating from Dirty Filters
How to Fix It:
This is a simple solution. Turn your air conditioner off, and change the air filter to a new, clean filter. Make sure to frequently check your air conditioner's filter, and change it every 30 to 60 days.
Air Conditioner is Overheating from Dirty Condenser Coils
Your air conditioner has condenser coils in the outside condensing unit. Refrigerant runs through these coils, while a fan blows air through the coils to get rid of the heat that the refrigerant has absorbed. The refrigerant can then flow back into the inside of your home and absorb more heat from your home.
When your condenser coils are dirty, the refrigerant can't cool down from the fan. The air conditioner heats up, and tries to work harder to cool the refrigerant, pulling more electricity and then tripping the circuit.
How to Fix it:
Wash the coils off with a weak stream of water, or get an A/C tune-up. With a tune-up, a contractor will wash your condenser coils, and get your A/C ready for summer. If your home is protected with a home warranty, an A/C unit tune-up is only a service call fee, and can make sure your unit lasts longer.
Air Conditioner's Fan Fails
Sometimes the fan that pulls cool air through the condenser coils and compressor fails. If this fan isn't working, the refrigerant and compressor cannot cool down, causing the air conditioner to work harder, pull more electricity and then trip the circuit.
How to Fix it:
If your air conditioner's condenser fan fails, call an HVAC specialist. If your air conditioner's condenser fan fails, call an HVAC specialist. They will have to repair or replace the fan. If your home has a home warranty protecting the air conditioner, then call the home warranty company. They will send a trusted contractor out to your home who will repair or replace your fan for a small service call fee, as long as the fan failed from normal wear and tear.
Air Conditioner Doesn't Have Enough Refrigerant
Refrigerant is a main component inside of your air conditioner. When there isn't enough in your unit, the air conditioner heats up, and tries harder to cool the refrigerant down, pulling more electricity and tripping the circuit breaker. Air conditioners are closed systems. So, if you don't have enough refrigerant in your unit, you have a leak.
How to Fix it:
Call an HVAC contractor. They will be able to repair the leak and top off your refrigerant. If you have a Landmark home warranty and your air conditioner is losing refrigerant, you can have visible leaks repaired for only a small service call fee.
For more information on home warranties and how they can help with a tripping circuit breaker, go to www.landmarkhw.com.