Common AC Electrical Problems
Do you know the common AC electrical problems you may experience? Electricity is the lifeblood of your HVAC system, and as with any electrical system, there will be times when a failure will occur. Some of these problems are easy to diagnose and repair, and other are more complex and require a skilled HVAC technician.
- Tripped circuit breakers: This is one of the most common problems homeowners experience with their air conditioning system. When the system is demanding too much power due to such things as faulty wiring, dirty filters, a spike in electricity or other failing components, the circuit breaker will usually trip. If this happens reset the circuit breaker. If it doesn’t “trip” it was most probably an errant voltage spike. If it trips immediately or shortly after resetting the breaker, call an HVAC professional.
- Failed capacitors: A capacitor is a component that sends voltage to a particular motor to start, run and stop it. Each motor needs a run capacitor to operate. Capacitors are consumable objects, and over time they will begin to wear down and eventually fail. They can also fail because of sudden voltage spikes. A telltale sign of a failing capacitor is a clicking sound coming from the air conditioning system. Call a professional immediately to diagnose and find the problem.
- Bad relays: A relay is responsible for transmitting power to the various motors within the system. Relays can fail because excessive dirt/dust buildup can stick the relay in an “open” position and prevent electricity from flowing to the motor. Conversely, a relay can be stuck in a “closed” position, forcing the motor to run constantly. When your system refuses to start or shut off, it’s a good bet that one of the relays has failed. As with failed capacitors, call a professional immediately.
Always remember — safety first — if you are unfamiliar with an air conditioner’s electrical system, it’s best to leave the diagnosis and repair to an experienced professional.