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Premier Heating & Air Blog

Why Did My AC Trip the Circuit Breaker?


This is a common summer heat wave problem in Georgia. The air conditioner in your home is whirring and humming to keep the house cool. Suddenly, it stops: no fans, no air from the vents, no cooling, nothing. Not even a sound from it. You go to check the electrical panel (and this is the first place to look when the AC stops working) and discover the circuit breaker labeled for the air conditioner has tripped.

You can reset the breaker to get the air conditioner working once more. But why did this happen in the first place and is it a sign of trouble with the air conditioner that may need to be fixed?

Why an AC Can Trip the Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers are designed to protect circuits in case of an electrical overload, such as from a short or arcing. If appliances put too much strain on a circuit—such as having too powerful a refrigerator plugged in—it will cause the breaker to trip and cut off voltage flow to the appliance.

An air conditioning system is a powerful electric device that uses immense amounts of energy. You’re aware of this because you can see the change in your monthly utility bills during times when the AC runs regularly. However, it should regularly cause a circuit breaker to trip. When it does trip the breaker, it’s usually because of a strain put on the blower motor that has caused it to overheat. This could be a temporary problem, but it might be more serious.

Check the air conditioner’s air filter to see if it’s clogged. A clogged filter can create enough strain on the motor to lead to a tripped breaker. (A clogged filter can cause many problems, so please change it out for a new one on a regular schedule.) If you restart the air conditioner, only to have the breaker trip again, then something is likely wrong with the blower motor itself. There may also be loose and frayed wires in the control panel. Leave the AC off and call for technicians to see what needs to be fixed.

If the circuit breaker to the outside condenser trips, this is a huge red flag that the compressor in the condenser is in trouble. The compressor uses the most power of any part of the AC, and if it dies, often the whole AC must be replaced. Leave the circuit breaker off and call us to have service as soon as possible—you want to see if the compressor can be saved.

Call the Local AC Repair Experts

We’re family-owned and operated and have the technicians you can trust for air conditioning repair in Conyers, GA. Our HVAC technicians are certified and we offer same-day service—we know how essential your air conditioning system is during a Georgia summer, and when you’ve got a failed AC, we’ll be there to get it back in shape.

Premier Heating & Air Is South Metro Atlanta’s Choice. Call Us Today and Experience the Premier Difference!

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