Is Your AC Suffering From Electrical Issues? Potential Issues To Consider

Residential cooling issues related to electricity are relatively common, especially in older or poorly maintained air conditioning systems. Unlike repair issues that leave visual clues, like refrigerant leaks, electrical issues can be much more difficult to detect. 

Homeowners who are struggling with undetermined air conditioning issues can use the following information to see if electrical malfunctions could be a contributing factor.

Circuit breaker issues

A common sign that a central air conditioning system is having electrical issues is when its circuit breakers must be frequently reset. While resetting the breakers usually restarts the system, tripped circuit breakers can indicate developing wiring, fuse or switch problems that have the potential to become more serious if ignored. 

Capacitor issues

Central air conditioning systems have two capacitors that act like batteries to help supply the intensive power needs required to start and run the system. When central air conditioning capacitors begin to fail, homeowners may notice one or more signs, such as:

  • tripped circuit breakers
  • increasingly slow system start times
  • humming noises during operation
  • random system shut downs
  • increasingly longer times to achieve desired thermostatic temperature settings

Failing capacitors can also cause monthly cooling bills to rise. Once capacitors have completely failed, the air conditioning system will be unable to start or run. 

Wire and connection issues

Faulty wiring, switches, and connections are one of the most common sources of electric problems in residential central air conditioning systems. Age, damage from heat or electrical surges, as well as exposure to dust and dirt can cause these components to become damaged or fail. 

Wiring, switch, and connection problems that are not repaired promptly can result in electrical shorts or fires, as well as more serious damage to other components. 

Home central air conditioning systems also contain electrical fuses. Each fuse serves to connect some part of the ac system to the power source. When a fuse is damaged or fails, the electrical connection is severed and the air conditioning system may stop working or be unable to operate efficiently. 

Motor issues

Powerful motors are required to withstand the constant air circulation demands of the average residential HVAC system. While fan motors are designed to provide years of dependable use, their actual lifespans can be impacted in many ways, including improper operation and system neglect. 

Homeowners who suspect that their central air conditioning system is experiencing electrical issues can limit the damage by scheduling repairs promptly. In addition to repairing the existing problem, a reputable air conditioning unit repair contractor will be able to inspect the system and recommend any upgrades.