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air conditioner circuit breaker keeps tripping
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If your air conditioner circuit breaker keeps tripping constantly, it signifies an issue that you should not set aside. Make sure you pay heed and listen to what your unit tells you.

When this scenario happens for the first time, you might think it’s a mere power fluctuation. But if your AC erratically shuts down, there might be something wrong.

This issue may be due to several factors. More often than not, this involves electric problems that need immediate attention. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn the possible causes and solutions. Read further to know when to call an SOS to your trusted AC professional.

What is its main role?

It is crucial for a homeowner to know the function of this component and why it is an issue when your air conditioner circuit breaker keeps tripping. 

You see, a circuit breaker is a vital element for safety. This part helps shield your air conditioning unit from damages caused by short circuits or circuit overload. If  there is an excessive electrical current flow through the wirings, this component cuts the power off until the issue is gone. The circuit breaker also helps you against imminent fire caused by heavy electrical current flowing into the system. When the AC circuit breaker keeps tripping, this can harm both the equipment and the homeowner. 

What are the common reasons behind this?

While there might be different cases for each unit, the reasons lie outstretched. Below are some of the most common reasons why your air conditioner circuit breaker keeps tripping:

  • Capacitor Issues
  • Condenser coils are dirty.
  • Dirty Air filters
  • Power Fluctuations
  • Problematic AC circuit breaker

Reason #1: You have Capacitor Issues

If that air conditioner circuit breaker keeps tripping before turning on, you might be chancing upon a problematic capacitor. 

The AC capacitor’s role is to give that necessary push for the motor to work. Because of this, it is considered one of the most vital parts of the air conditioning system. If the AC motor goes haywire, overloading of the capacitor happens. It can be due to fluctuating power, direct exposure to sunlight, or extremely high temperatures. As a result, it leads to overheating. Overheating is a product of your AC straining itself more than usual. It works more laborious when the conditions are above or below average. It draws more electricity into the system and fries your circuit if this happens.

Solution: You should not attempt to do a DIY fix to this. Capacitors have electricity which imposes a threat to your safety. Call a technician to have a capacitor replacement or adequately diagnose the problem.

Reason #2: Dirt-filled Condenser Coils

 Dirt-filled condenser coils might be why your air conditioner circuit breaker keeps tripping. Dust and grime accumulating on this component can cause system problems within your air conditioning system.

Both the indoor and outdoor unit of your AC contributes to its overall performance. When one is dealing with an issue, expect it to affect the entire system. The outdoor unit houses the condenser coils. These coils direct the heat it acquires from the indoor air to the outside. When you don’t properly maintain them, their efficacy in doing their job diminishes. Dirt then acts as an insulation that triggers the problem.

Solution: Cleaning your condenser coils will alleviate the issue. Make sure you do it correctly to avoid problems. If in doubt, let your AC technician do the work for you. Also, ensuring that your AC no longer misses its check-ups is key to avoiding this scenario. Regular maintenance is the top-notch prevention method for cases like this not to arise in the future. 

Reason #3: Clogged Air Filters 

Air filter problems could also be a potential cause of why your air conditioner circuit breaker keeps tripping. As a matter of fact, it is always a suspect behind the most common AC problems one experiences. 

Air filters terminate potential allergens from circulating into your indoor air. Over time, these contaminants such as pet hair, dirt, and dust accumulates and leads to clogs. Once there is a blockage, the airflow reduces within the system. As a result, your air conditioner takes extended periods of operation before you obtain your desired temperature. It strains your unit, forcing the system to work harder than usual. And we all know where this leads – overheating and the breaker tripping.

Solution: As always, cleaning your air filters is the best solution to this issue. Ridding it of any possible clog could prevent any AC issue and stop you from being exposed to potential allergens. Regular cleaning also helps maintain your air filter in tiptop shape to prolong its life. If you don’t know how to rid your air filters of debris properly, don’t hesitate to ask for help from your trusted AC technician. It’s also a rule of the thumb to keep in mind, never to forget your regular maintenance! 

What Can I Do on My End?

If your air conditioner circuit breaker keeps tripping, the reasons given above might be behind it. An excess current brought about by those issues can lead to this. While it may also be an issue with your circuit breaker, it can also be because of power fluctuations. 

You might want to address this by resetting the breaker, but this isn’t a good idea. Doing so can only lead to a more dangerous situation such as a fire. 

There are a few steps that you can take to rule out which is which. Figuring out whether external power surges cause it or if it is your AC will help you determine your following action. Below is an extensive list that you can follow:

1. Turn off the air conditioning unit and the thermostat.

2. Power on the circuit breaker.

3. Let it be for 30 minutes. Ensure that your thermostat remains off for the circuit breaker to reset fully.

4. Once done, turn your air conditioner back to power again. If your air conditioning unit now usually functions, it doesn’t have any issues. Chances are, it is just a mere power fluctuation. However, when your AC starts to trip again, you must instantly power it down. It is already a sign for you to call immediate assistance and help from an HVAC professional.

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