Heavy storms, power outages, water leaks, or loose wiring – there are many possible reasons for your HVAC system suffering electrical damage. Circuit breakers for your HVAC system usually trip in case there is a problem in the system.
Resetting the breakers can often get your HVAC system working well again. But if this happens frequently, or if the system does not restart even after resetting the breakers, there is a possibility that your HVAC may have suffered electrical damage. This cannot be fixed on the spot. And it is better to not even try.
Circuit breakers trip for a reason. They prevent damage to your system during power outages, voltage fluctuations, or other issues. If you need to reset them once in a while, that is fine. But do not try to reset them again and again if it is not really helping. The circuit breaker protects your house and the wiring by shutting the flow of electricity when there is a problem. Forcefully, turning it back on can even cause a fire.
If your system does not start functioning after resetting, here are a few signs that indicate the possibility of electrical damage. Contact an HVAC technician immediately if you notice any of these signs. Do not try to tamper with the wiring yourself.
1. Circuit breaker does not reset
A power surge caused by lightning or sudden supply of power after an outage, can cause your circuit breaker to trip. This indicates a problem beyond an air conditioner malfunction. If this happens, one or more of the circuit breakers may not come back on. A licensed electrician will be needed to check the problem and conduct repairs.
2. AC circuit breaker keeps tripping
If an air conditioner draws too much power, it will over heat. This can cause the AC circuit breaker to trip again and again even if you reset it. If there is any electrical damage inside the system that is resulting in the circuit breaker tripping, do not try to switch it back on anymore. Get a technician to fix the problem or you may accidentally start a fire, injuring yourself or other residents and damaging property.
Causes of electrical damage
While power surges or voltage fluctuations could be reasons for electrical damage, neglecting maintenance and regular cleaning of your HVAC system is also a potential cause. Lack of cleaning results in dirt and grime collecting on coils, vents, and filters. The system has to thus run longer to cool your space. Eventually, it will draw more power and over heat.
Freezing of the evaporator coil can also cause water leaks that are another major cause of electrical damage.
AC component damage
If you are maintaining your HVAC system regularly, a fault in one of the components can also lead to electrical damage. Refrigerant leaks, for instance, will make the system run longer and over heat. If the fan motor is damaged, the coils will not be able to cool well, putting a strain on the system.