Dealing with a broken AC in the summer heat is zero fun, especially when it keeps tripping the breaker. But what causes an AC circuit breaker to trip? 

At RB Heating ClimateCare, we service home and business owners across Kemptville and the surrounding areas, specializing in heating, cooling, and air quality. We know air conditioners better than most. When the circuit breaker trips due to the AC, there could be many reasons why. 

What Causes an AC Circuit Breaker to Trip?

To keep our customers informed, we’ve created a list of what causes an AC circuit breaker to trip and how to reset the AC circuit breaker. 

1. Condenser Coil Needs a Cleaning 

If you’re wondering, “Why does my AC keep short-circuiting?” the culprit could be the condenser coil. A dirty coil might cause an AC to short circuit because the dirt on the coil blocks the exterior portion of your AC unit to release heat. Over time, the unit begins to overheat. As a result, the AC trips the breaker immediately to avoid a fire. 

Cleaning the AC condenser coil isn’t difficult. If you’re concerned about doing it on your own, call an expert. RB Heating ClimateCare offers many AC services, including cleaning and maintenance. 

2. Outdated AC 

Can an AC cause a short circuit if it’s too old? Absolutely. Your AC unit can last you from 12-17 years if properly maintained. Eventually, though, all air conditioners need to be replaced. If your unit is aging, it could short-circuit and cause the breaker to trip. 

If an outdated AC is an issue, replacing the unit is the best plan of action. Alternatively, some parts may be replaceable to update the unit. 

Having AC problems on the hottest days of the season? Contact the HVAC professionals at RB Heating today to learn how we can help!

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3. Dirty Air Filter Shorting the Power 

Like the condenser coil, a dirty filter can impede electricity to your AC. Before air flows into your home, it flows through the AC filter. As the filter collects dust and debris, it begins to block up. When it gets too blocked, airflow slows or halts. This makes your AC work harder trying to push cold air into your home, tripping the breaker. 

Replacing your AC filter isn’t difficult. You should replace the filter once every 90-days. 

4. Refrigerant Levels Are Low 

Refrigerant is a liquid used to operate cooling appliances like your fridge and AC unit. The liquid transforms to gas and back again, drawing heat out of your home (in the case of an AC). As refrigerant levels dwindle, the compressor is left without sufficient lubricant to function. This could cause it to stall, tripping your breaker. 

Sadly, low refrigerant usually means a leak in your system. If you’re concerned refrigerant is the issue, contact your AC repair service as soon as possible. 

How to Fix It: Reset the Breaker 

Now that you know what causes an AC circuit breaker to trip, you should know how to reset the breaker. Follow these steps to get your AC back in business: 

  1. Turn your AC unit off and flip the breaker powering it.
  2. Locate the reset button on your unit.
  3. Press and hold the button for 5-seconds.
  4. Switch on the breaker and turn on your AC unit.  

Interested in learning more about why an AC can short circuit? We can help. Contact our experts today and keep your AC running smoothly all season long.   

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