Is My AC Causing a Fuse to Blow?

Aug 24, 2020

It is no secret that air conditioning systems—especially old, inefficient units—require a lot of power. If you find your breaker continuously tripping after you switch on your air conditioner, you might begin to suspect that your AC system is the source of this issue. Here is a look at why your AC may be causing breaker trips or blown fuses.

Blown Fuses and Tripped Breakers: Why They Matter

Electrical fuses and breakers are safety devices connected to the electrical circuits in your home. When a circuit senses too much power being drawn in, your breaker will trip or your fuse will blow to prevent damage. A tripped breaker is an easy fix, as it simply needs to be reset. Older homes are more likely to have fuses instead of breakers, and they are activated by internal melting from the excess power. Unlike a breaker, a blown fuse will need to be replaced rather than reset.

So what does this have to do with your air conditioner? An overworking AC system can cause a blown fuse as your system requires excess power to function. Here is a closer look at possible reasons your system is overworking.

Dirty Air Filters

Dirty and blocked air filters will disrupt your airflow and impact your HVAC system. This will force your air conditioner to work harder to get the job done. All of this extra effort requires extra power, which can overload your circuit and trip your breaker. Thankfully, this offers an easy fix, as you simply need to replace your air filters. However, dirty air filters can cause additional HVAC system damage, so it is essential you catch this issue early and give your unit the care it needs.

Failing HVAC Compressor

Your HVAC compressor uses more energy than most of your system parts. This component is responsible for compressing your refrigerant to the proper temperature and pressure. When there is an issue with your compressor, it can start consuming even more power. This can quickly overwhelm your circuit, causing a blown fuse or a tripped breaker.

Bad AC Capacitor

Continuously tripped breakers or blown fuses can be a sign of a bad AC capacitor. This element of your AC system is responsible for regulating the electrical current of your unit. If your capacitor is on its way out, it may lead to irregular currents. An expert can detect a problem with your capacitor and repair or replace it to resolve this problem.

Malfunctioning or Dirty Coils

When your HVAC equipment is dirty or left without the maintenance it needs, it will work less efficiently and effectively. This applies to both your evaporator coil and condenser coil. Dirty and malfunctioning coils will cause your unit to overwork. These components are inspected and cleaned during seasonal maintenance visits, which can prevent surged circuits, breaker trips, and blown fuses.

Low Refrigerant Levels

As you might suspect, your AC cannot work without proper refrigerant levels. Low refrigerant will cause your AC system to work both continuously and vigorously. This extra effort is enough to overwhelm your circuit. To repair this issue, a professional HVAC technician will test your refrigerant levels, find and repair any leaks that may be depleting your levels, and replenish your refrigerant.

Mini-Split Systems

If you find that your air conditioner is not maintaining a cool temperature upstairs or in a certain part of your home, you may be tempted to pull an old mini-split system out of storage and plug it in. Older units will require a lot of extra power, which can easily blow a fuse or trip a breaker. This is especially true if you plug it into a circuit that is already powering several different appliances and devices. If this is the case, you may need to upgrade to a new, energy-efficient mini-split AC system. Alternatively, you might consider engaging energy-efficiency services to keep your cool air inside, eliminating the need for an extra unit.

Newcomb and Company AC Services

If you find that your air conditioning system is tripping your breakers or blowing fuses, Newcomb and Company can help. Our experts offer the care that heating and cooling systems need to operate efficiently and effectively. We also provide energy efficiency services and new HVAC systems for when maintenance or repairs will not cut it. Newcomb and Company proudly serves the heating and cooling needs of homes and businesses in Raleigh, Wilmington, and surrounding areas. Make your appointment today to get started!

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