Six Reasons Why Your AC is Tripping Up the Breaker

So you’ve discovered that your air conditioner is tripping the breaker, but you have no idea why. In most cases, an air conditioner trips the breaker because it draws more amps than the breaker is rated for. For example, if you have a 20-amp breaker and your air conditioner draws 30 amps, the breaker will trip. That’s a no-brainer – Breakers trip to protect you from overcurrents, which may damage equipment and cause fires (yikes). Don’t keep resetting the breaker and allowing it to trip. Firstly, it’s essential to determine the source of the problem.

How Do You Find Out What’s Wrong With the Circuit Breaker?

If the breaker frequently trips after a time, there is an issue with one of the AC’s components. If the breaker trips quickly after being turned back on, something is wrong with the wiring.  You can’t just switch the breaker back on and hope for the best. It’s possible! But there’s a good chance it tripped for a reason, and the issue will resurface after a time.

6 Reasons Why Your AC is Tripping Up the Breaker

Continue reading to find out why these issues lead an air conditioner to trip the breaker. 

Air Filter is Clogged With Dirt

If you leave your air filter in place for an extended period and it becomes blocked with dirt, it can smother your air conditioner, forcing it to work much harder than it should, overheat, and trip the breaker.

Dirty Condenser Coils

These coils, placed in the exterior AC unit, are intended to transfer heat from your home to the outside. They can’t do it if they’re coated in dirt. (It’s like trying to stay cool while wearing a wool sweater.)

Capacitor Malfunction

A capacitor is in charge of initiating and maintaining the operation of your air conditioner. If it fails, it might draw too much power and trip your breaker.

Shorted Motor

The electric motors in your air conditioner can operate for hours, but if they’re turned on longer than capacity, the wire insulation might deteriorate, resulting in an electrical short. More power flows through the cables than the wires can handle, causing the breakers to trip.

The compressor has a “Rough Start.”

Your air conditioning system’s compressor is its beating heart. The compressor wears out as your air conditioning system ages. When the compressor initially starts up, it consumes a considerable amount of energy; however, it becomes more challenging to start up as the compressor ages. This is what we mean when we say “hard starting.” When your compressor begins to struggle to start, it takes more electricity to get going, tripping your breaker.

Your AC is Consuming Too Much Power

Assume your electrical equipment is in good working order. The next step is to inspect your air conditioner since it might be the source of the circuit breaker trip. If your air conditioner draws more amps than your breaker can manage, it will trip the circuit breaker. What is causing your air conditioner to consume too many amps? Several issues might cause your air conditioner to overheat and consume extra electricity.


Aside from cleaning your air filters, most problems with your circuit breaker and air conditioner are best handled by a professional. These problems are caused by sensitive elements from both the air conditioning machine and the circuit breaker and require intimate expertise with electrical wiring.

Get your electrics up and running with Good Guys Home Services. We provide a comprehensive list of HVAC services, whether it’s an emergency or regular maintenance. Get in touch today to book a schedule with one of our expert technicians!


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