My husband and I have spent a lot of time consulting with an architect. After living in our cramped, starter home for the past 11 years, we were finally ready to make some needed changes to it. We have added an extra 600 square feet of space onto our house. Before the construction began, we finalized the plans for our new heating and air conditioning unit with our HVAC contractor. Because our home was going to be substantially bigger than it is now, we purchased a larger HVAC system. We also installed a new, digital thermostat inside my home. On this blog, I hope you will discover the best types of HVAC units to buy for mid-size homes. Enjoy!
When your indoor temperatures start to feel balmy and uncomfortable, hearing the air conditioner click on is a sweet sound indeed. But what about when you hear a loud pop from the circuit box and no whoosh of air moving through the ducts instead? If your air conditioner is causing the breaker in the box to trip every time it starts up, you have a serious problem that may have a simple solution.
Start by checking your air filters. It may sound too simple, but a completely clogged air filter will cause the unit to work so hard that it trips the circuit breaker after only running for a short time. If the filters are clean, check out the evaporator coils and the interior of the outdoor unit in general. A lot of dirt, debris, and other junk around the essential components like the condenser will also cause the A/C to trip its breaker while running.
Is the unit tripping the breaker as soon as it starts up instead of after running for a short while? The problem is most likely electrical, specifically the wiring connecting the A/C to the power supply. If a service technician can't find a short in the wires in and around the air conditioner, it may the aluminum connections in the circuit box itself that have become loose. Turn off the power to the entire home before attempting to tighten any wires attached to individual circuit breakers.
Aside from wiring issues, aging and damaged compressors can also lead to a tripping condition as the unit attempts to start. Before assuming you'll need a replacement compressor that costs hundreds of dollars, ask your service technician about a hard start kit that gives the unit extra power as it starts without allowing it to overdraw its circuit. It may just be the capacitor responsible for powering the compressor that needs replacement too, and this part is far less expensive than the entire compressor.
Finally, ask the air conditioning service technician to test the pressure in the refrigerant lines even if they suspect the circuit tripping problem is due to faulty wiring or a struggling compressor. A low level of refrigerant can trigger the breaker to trip during start up or after a short period of use, depending on how low the level has gotten. It's always possible to have more than one problem causing a symptom, and it's better to get everything solved at once to save money on service calls.Share