Why Is My AC Tripping The Circuit Breaker?

Mar 30, 2022

Circuit breaker board displays many switches. A finger is about to turn it back on

So, you were enjoying your air conditioner in your home on a hot day when suddenly, your breaker tripped. Your first thought may be to check the electrical panel and reset the breaker before turning your AC on again. If your breaker trips again, then that’s a sign that there could be a problem at hand. If it’s not an issue with your breaker, it could be the air conditioning unit. Below, we’ll examine why your AC system might be tripping your circuit breaker:

Potential Problems 

Dirty Air Filter 

Your breaker may be tripping due to a dirty air filter. Imagine air trying to pass through the filter when it’s coated in dust or dirt. It’s recommended that it be cleaned often or replaced every 30 days. If you don’t keep up with cleaning and replacing it, the air filter may reduce the airflow and cause the unit to overheat. This could be why your circuit breaker keeps tripping. 

Dirty Condenser Coils 

When your air conditioner condenser coils are dirty, your unit will have a harder time dispersing heat from inside your home to the outside. Since the condensing coil is exposed to the outdoors, there can be an accumulation of dust and dirt that impacts the transferring of heat. Your unit will then be working even harder, drawing more power to cool your home, causing the circuit breaker to trip. 

Broken Coil Fan

An AC unit has a fan, powered by a motor that cools the coils. When these motors get old or damaged, they can increase their energy use, which can cause the fans to give out much quicker. This can also cause your breaker to trip, as it needs more power to operate. 

Hard Starting Compressor 

Your AC may be experiencing issues with its compressor, causing it to “hard start.” This is what happens when it needs a lot of electrical power to overcome the pressure from the cooling cycle. The draining of power can cause the breaker to trip. Due to this issue, a hard start kit is included with the compressor which will give it the proper amount of electricity needed.

Loose Wiring/Old Parts

The inner workings of your AC unit are quite complex, as it features many wires and parts to make it work. Over time, your wires may come loose or disconnected, leading your circuit breaker to trip. There are many services that can rewire your unit when necessary, as well as assist in keeping up the efficiency of the machine. It’s recommended that you receive one visit per year from a service team, depending on how new your unit is. 


Because of the complexity and importance of your AC unit, you should ensure it’s taken care of properly. The last thing you want is to have it quit on you during a heatwave or cause problems for your circuit breaker. Get ahold of the best AC service in Winnipeg by calling Provincial Heating and Cooling, and stay cool and comfortable on those scorching summer days.


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