When your circuit breaker trips each time the cooling system turns on, you might be tempted to flip it back on and continue to use the system. However, there could be a potentially serious problem causing the breaker to trip. If you are experiencing this problem, here is what you need to know.
What Is Causing the Breaker to Trip?
If the circuit breaker is constantly tripping when the cooling system turns on, your energy bills could increase. To make up for the time that it is off, the system could push to operate longer, which could mean an increase in energy use. The system will also experience more wear and tear.
There are several possible reasons that the breaker is tripping. In some instances, the air filter is to blame. When the air filter is dirty, air cannot flow through it freely and is pushed back into the system. The air causes the system to overheat, which can lead to the breaker tripping.
Another possible culprit is a lack of refrigerant. A refrigerant leak can cause the amount in the system to drop, which means far less cooler air. The cooling system will continue to push to meet the desired temperature, which can lead to it overheating and tripping the breaker.
The condenser coils outside your home help to break up the heated air so that cooler air is pulled into your home's cooling system. When the coils are dirty, the coils cannot function as they should, which pushes the system to work harder to cool the air that it receives. The result is often the breaker tripping due to the overworked and overheated cooling system.
What Can You Do?
One of the first actions you can take is to change the air filter. Once the filter is changed, you can flip the breaker back on to determine if the issue is resolved.
If the breaker flips off again, check the condenser coils. If the coils are dirty, you can use a garden hose to rinse them. Ensure the breaker to the condenser is off before rinsing the coils. You will need to allow the coils to completely dry before flipping back on the breaker.
If this does not resolve the issue, you will need to contact an HVAC technician. He or she can check the refrigerant to determine if there is a leak. He or she can also determine if there is another possible cause for the tripping breaker.