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Why Does the Circuit Breaker Trip Every Time My HVAC Turns On?

Circuit Breaker Flipped

Troubleshooting an HVAC unit that keeps tripping your circuit breaker doesn’t have to scare you away. A circuit breaker protects your house from receiving too many amps of electricity and subsequent damage. It is not uncommon for an HVAC unit to trip the circuit breaker, especially when it is working overtime. The general rule is to reset your circuit breaker once. If the breakers trip again, do not reset them. It is time to look for other reasons why your HVAC is drawing so many amps.

Troubleshooting the Condition of Your HVAC Unit

Begin by looking at the condition of your HVAC unit. The first thing to check is the air filter. A dirty air filter will make your unit work much harder. When it must work harder to draw in air, it draws more amps of electricity, too. Replacing the old air filter with a new one could solve the problem.

The next thing to check is the outside unit of your HVAC system. The outside unit’s job is to disperse the heat carried out of your house by the refrigerant in the coils. Excess dirt or debris can prevent the heat from escaping. Your unit will continue to try to dissipate this heat, which will draw more electricity and cause the circuit breakers to trip.

Troubleshooting Other Possible Causes

If your HVAC unit has a clean air filter and the outside unit is in good condition, then the problem could be internal. Here are some other common reasons HVAC units cause circuit breakers to trip:

  • Loose wiring will cause bad electrical connections. Temperature changes can loosen them over time.
  • Bad breakers are recognizable by a burning smell, frayed wires and a blackening or burnt look around the breaker. Only an electrician should handle replacement of these.
  • Low levels of refrigerant will cause the unit to work overtime. This could indicate a leak within the refrigerant coils. 
  • Other internal components such as the motor, capacitor, or compressor could be working too hard. This could lead to overheating which will cause the circuit breaker to trip.

When to Troubleshoot and When to Call In the Pros

It is important to know when to get professional advice. If your circuit breakers continue to trip after resetting and you have checked the air filter, it is time to bring in an HVAC service professional. A professional technician can address the issue and get your HVAC unit running optimally again.

Are you troubleshooting a problem with your HVAC unit? Never fear! Jerry’s Air Conditioning and Heating can help get your unit back on track. Contact us today!

Jerry's Air Conditioning & Heating

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Florence, SC 29501