AC Unit Trips Circuit | General Heating and Air Conditioning

Why is my air conditioner tripping the circuit breaker?

Carrier Air Conditioner

Homeowner’s sometimes ask, “Why is my air conditioner tripping the circuit breaker?”

If it repetitively happens, do not turn the circuit back on. The circuit breaker’s job is to turn off when there is too much electrical current. Therefore, repetitive tripping means something is wrong. You want to fix the issue before turning the circuit breaker back on.

Possible Causes for your A/C Unit Tripping the Circuit Breaker

If your air conditioner is tripping the circuit, it might be overheating. If it is overheating, that means it is drawing more amps from the current than usual, hence the reason for the tripping.

However, knowing that your A/C unit is overheating is not enough to fix the problem. You need to figure out the cause for the overheating.

Common Causes that Cause Air Conditioners to Overheat

1) Dirty air filter: If your filter is dirty, air cannot properly flow through the filter. This means the air conditioner has to work harder and longer to achieve the temperature you’ve set your unit to. This causes the machine to overheat. Changing the filter can help with the issue of the A/C unit tripping the circuit breaker.

2) Not enough refrigerant: If your air conditioner doesn’t have enough refrigerant, it is unable to cool your home at the usual speed. Instead, it needs to worker longer to achieve the same temperature. If this is the case, you’ll know since the air coming out of the unit won’t be very cold. An HVAC professional will need to add more and then fix the leak.

3) Dirty condenser coils: These are in your air conditioner’s outside unit, and refrigerant runs through them. If these are covered in dust, dirt, or other debris, the coils can’t work properly. Therefore, the air conditioner has to work harder to cool your home, and again, this results in overheating. You can try washing off the coils, or you can have a professional do it as part of a maintenance visit for your A/C.

These are just some of the possible reasons for why your A/C unit may trip the circuit breaker. If you try the suggestions provided here and they do not work, you will want to talk to a professional. Additionally, if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, an HVAC professional will be able to troubleshoot and find a solution.


If anywhere along the way you want an HVAC professional to take a look, call General Heating and Air Conditioning at (608) 271-3900 or contact us online to diagnose and fix the issue.

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