One of the most aggravating — and rather common — issues with cooling systems involves the air conditioner tripping the breaker or blowing a fuse in the circuit board when it cycles on.
Repeatedly running to the fuse box and changing the fuse is not only cumbersome and time-consuming but likely also a sign of a greater problem with your cooling system or your electrical circuits.
There are several reasons why your air conditioning system keeps blowing a fuse. Some of the most common problems are:
Dirty air filters. High temperatures in the summer can make it more difficult for your air conditioning system to push cool air through a dirty HVAC filter. This can put extra pressure on the system and blow the fuse. A dirty condenser coil can sometimes have a similar effect. It’s best to schedule AC maintenance at the start of the warm weather to avoid such problems.
Low refrigerant. If the refrigerant level is low, your AC system has to work harder. This extra effort sometimes causes a trip in your system. If the refrigerant is low, you could have a leak, which can be dangerous. If you think this is the case, you’ll want to call for AC repair quickly.
A problem with your fuse box, circuit, and/or central power supply. The most logical cause is a problem with the electrical connection, the power supply, or the circuit that powers the system. Breakers and fuses are designed to trip or blow when too much voltage is sent through the line. Simply inserting a larger fuse is a recipe for disaster. You need to have a licensed technician get to the root of the problem to prevent any electrical overloads.
An issue with your cooling system’s capacitor. The capacitor is a part of the cooling system’s condenser. This small part helps even out and regulate the electrical current as it flows through the condenser. A problem with this easy-to-replace part is another reason for blown AC fuses.
Can I Fix a Blown AC Fuse or AC-Related Breaker Trip Myself? Electrical issues should be handled by a professional for safety reasons. Still, there are steps you can take to troubleshoot an air conditioner that keeps tripping a circuit breaker:
Replace your air filter: An airflow restriction caused by a clogged air filter will make your cooling system struggle, which often leads to overheating and potential breaker trips. If your air filter is visibly dirty or hasn’t been changed in a while, do it now.
Clean all supply and return vents: Keeping your air vents free of dust and debris is important for the same reasons stated above. You should also be sure that no furniture, carpets, or window curtains are blocking vents.
Check your outdoor unit: The fins surrounding your outdoor unit can also get clogged, usually with grass clippings and leaves. Clean these away using a firm brush, and straighten any bent fins with a slim tool.
Reset your breaker: Once all the above tasks are done, reset your breaker (or swap your fuse if your electrical system is older). If one of the listed potential causes was to blame, your AC should run fine from now on.
Not sure if a DIY repair is right for you? Call a professional! We’ll identify why your AC keeps tripping the circuit breaker and let you know what your repair/replacement options are.
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