If your AC keeps tripping the breaker and shutting off the power, it’s likely a power overload. It occurs when the AC uses more electricity than the breaker can manage. Breakers are there to stop this overload and prevent damage and fires. 

So, don’t just keep resetting the breaker if it keeps tripping. It’s risky and can damage your AC or even start a fire. Instead, figure out why it’s happening first.

Let’s understand why your air conditioner tripped the breaker and how to resolve the issue.

What is an AC Breaker?

The AC breaker protects your home’s electrical system from overloads and short circuits. It’s found in your main electrical panel and other places around your home. 

It has two main parts: the circuit breaker switch and the trip indicator. 

The switch jumps into action when too much electricity flows, cutting off the power to prevent damage. The trip indicator lets you know if the breaker has tripped so you can reset it if needed.

Why Do AC Breakers Trip? 

When your air conditioning system malfunctions, the AC breaker will trip. Here’s why it may happen:

i- Overloading

If your AC pulls in more electricity than the breaker can handle, it trips to prevent damage. It could be because the AC is working too hard, like on a super hot day, or something’s wrong with it, like a clogged air filter.

ii- Short Circuits

Sometimes, wires in your AC can touch when they’re not supposed to, causing a short circuit. It sends a surge of electricity that trips the breaker to stop any fires or damage.

iii- Electrical Issues

Faulty wiring or connections in your AC unit or electrical panel can cause the breaker to trip. Loose or damaged wires create resistance, which heats things and triggers the breaker.

iv- Component Problems

AC parts, like the compressor or fan, can malfunction and draw too much power, leading to a breaker trip.

v- Other Appliances

If your AC shares a circuit with other power-hungry devices, like a vacuum cleaner or hairdryer, using them simultaneously can overload the circuit and trip the breaker. The AC should be on a dedicated circuit and never share a circuit with another appliance.

7 Reasons Your AC Keeps Tripping Breaker 

1- Dirty Air Filters

Clogged air filters interfere with airflow due to dirt and debris. It causes the AC to work harder, drawing more electricity and potentially tripping the breaker. 

To prevent this, keep your air filters clean or replace them often.

2- Refrigerant Leaks

Leaking refrigerant might make your air conditioner work harder to keep your home cool.

An increased workload can cause the AC to use too much power, causing the circuit breaker to trip. Professional technicians may identify and repair any leaks.

3- Overloaded Circuit

The circuit may be overloaded if your AC shares a circuit with other high-power appliances or devices. 

When many devices consume electricity simultaneously, the circuit may exceed its capacity, causing the breaker to trip.

Consider redistributing appliances across different circuits or installing a dedicated circuit for the AC.

4- Faulty Wiring or Connections

Loose or damaged wiring in the AC unit or electrical panel can create resistance and cause overheating. It can lead to the breaker tripping as a safety measure. 

Get a skilled electrician to inspect and fix any damaged wiring or connections.

5- Frozen Evaporator Coil

A clogged air filter, low refrigerant, or restricted airflow might cause the evaporator coil to freeze. When this happens, the AC may continue to run, but the ice buildup can trip the breaker. 

Turn off the AC and allow the coil to thaw before addressing the root cause of the freezing.

6- Compressor Issues

Overheating or electrical faults in the compressor can cause the air conditioner to use too much electricity and trip the breaker.

Compressor issues often require professional checks and repairs.

7- Aging Equipment

As air conditioners age, components may wear out or become less efficient. It can increase power consumption and a higher likelihood of tripping the breaker. 

Upgrade to a newer, energy-efficient AC unit if your current one is old and prone to issues.

6 Tips to Stop Your AC From Tripping the Breaker Again and Again

Are you tired of facing AC issues? Read these ideas to learn about AC management:

1- Clean or Replace Air Filters Regularly

Air filters maintain proper airflow in your AC system. When they become clogged with dust and debris, airflow is restricted, causing the AC to work harder to cool your home. 

Make it a habit to clean or replace your air filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, usually every one to three months. 

This simple maintenance activity can boost energy efficiency and reduce strain on your AC system.

2- Check for Refrigerant Leaks

Low refrigerant levels in your AC system could mean a leak. This impacts cooling efficiency and requires the compressor to work more to maintain the target temperature. It can result in higher power usage and likely breaker trips.

Contact a skilled HVAC expert to look into and repair any refrigerant leaks.

3- Avoid Overloading the Circuit

Your AC unit is connected to a specific electrical circuit in your home’s electrical panel. If other high-power appliances or gadgets are connected to this circuit, excessive use may overload it and trip the breaker.

Avoid running multiple high-power appliances while the AC operates. Redistribute your appliances across different circuits or install a dedicated circuit for your AC. 

4- Inspect for Faulty Wiring or Connections

Faulty wiring or connections within your AC unit or electrical panel can create electrical resistance. It may lead to overheating and potential breaker trips. 

You should inspect your AC unit for any signs of loose or damaged wires, corrosion, or poor connections. 

5- Prevent Evaporator Coil Freezing

Low refrigerant levels, filthy coils, or restricted airflow can all result in a frozen evaporator coil.

When the coil freezes, it restricts airflow and causes the AC to work harder, potentially leading to breaker trips.

Maintain clear vents and routinely clean the evaporator coil to ensure enough airflow.

Before cleaning or refrigerant recharge, switch off the air conditioning and let the coil thaw completely if you see ice buildup.

6- Consider Upgrading to a Newer AC Unit

If your current AC unit is old or prone to frequent problems, upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient model can help prevent breaker trips and improve overall cooling performance. 

Modern AC units are made to run more energy-efficiently, lowering the possibility of overloading circuits and using less energy overall. They provide innovative features like thermostats with smart settings and compressors with changeable speeds.

Speak with an HVAC specialist to choose the best AC unit for your home’s cooling requirements and price range. The Bee Heat and AC has teams of experts to help you with all kinds of AC repair, maintenance, and installation services

People Also Ask!

Why does my AC keep tripping the breaker?

Your AC might be drawing too much current due to a faulty compressor or motor or an electrical issue like a short circuit.

What should I do if my AC keeps tripping the breaker?

Try resetting the breaker and check for any obvious signs of damage. If the problem continues, schedule an inspection and repair with a licensed HVAC specialist.

Can I fix a tripping breaker issue by myself?

For safety reasons, it’s best to leave electrical and HVAC repairs to professionals. Attempting DIY fixes with proper knowledge can be beneficial.