5 Tips for Troubleshooting AC Electrical Problems

air conditioners

An AC that suddenly stops functioning can make your home incredibly uncomfortable. There may be numerous causes for its failure, from circuit breaker trips to clogged filters – but many times it’s caused by an electrical problem. 

Before trying any of the steps we’ve listed below, start by checking the circuit breaker.  Make sure it is securely in the “ON” position, and wait half an hour before trying to turn back on your AC unit. If this doesn’t work, read on to find more troubleshooting tips. 

If you would like to hire an AC specialist to fix any of your AC electrical problems, visit https://www.callautumn.com/ac-repair-avondale-az/ and the pros at Autumn Air will be glad to assist you. 

1. Check the thermostat

Most AC electrical issues originate with the thermostat. This device reads room temperatures and signals the system to turn on or off accordingly, sometimes mistakenly switching off or switching to heat instead of cool mode by mistake. 

This problem can easily be rectified by switching back to cool and making sure its setting is lower than the current room temperature. Your device may just need a change of batteries! 

If your thermostat is set and powered properly and your AC keeps tripping the circuit breaker, this could be due to power issues in another area. 

Locate your home’s circuit breaker panel and identify which AC connection it connects with; flip its ON position before trying again in half an hour if it still trips the breaker, call an electrician as soon as possible to assess its wiring.

2. Check the wiring

If your AC starts creating strange noises or your energy bills are sky high, it could be time to examine its wiring. Electrical wires supply current to various parts of the system and over time these wires can become loose due to regular use or age.

If this happens, wires will receive more current than they should be receiving, leading to an electrical short circuit that may damage equipment or, worse yet, start a fire. Be careful when opening an access panel and inspecting wiring and always turn off your air conditioner first!

Furthermore, do not touch live wires that may still contain charges from overheating. Check disconnect boxes carefully for any fuses. If none exist it could indicate problems with circuit boards or fuses being present.

3. Check the capacitor

Your AC capacitor is an essential component that stores charges and regulates power to your air conditioning system. When damaged, it could result in ongoing electrical issues for your unit.

A defective capacitor can cause many issues, from dimmed lights, and failure to start and stay running, to strange noises such as humming.

To determine whether or not your capacitor is defective, you’ll require a multimeter. First, shut off your home’s electric panel breaker to avoid electricity flowing through while you test it. 

After that, locate your capacitor (it should be silver and cylindrical in shape like that of a soda can), and discharge its charge by touching its leads (red for positive and black for negative) for several seconds with your multimeter before discharging its charge again with red towards positive and black towards negative.

If you aren’t comfortable doing this yourself, call in a professional electrician or HVAC technician to assist you.  

4. Check the condenser coil

When your AC is functioning optimally, its evaporator and condenser coils work together to disperse heat. If either coil becomes clogged with dirt, however, your unit must work harder to provide cooling air into your home, leading to additional wear on other components and racking up possible repair or even replacement costs.

Clean your AC condenser coil regularly to avoid issues with its performance and reliability. If after cleaning the coil it still won’t start up, check if the fan motor is functioning. If not, consider purchasing a capacitor. Otherwise the issue could be related to circuit breakers or furnace switches that need to be switched to the ON position.

5. Call a professional to check and address your unit

If none of the above methods resolve the problem, call in an expert for further investigation. Professionals will have the proper tools and expert knowledge to address the issue safely and promptly. 

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