window ac trips breaker

Best Solutions for When Window AC Trips Breaker: Guide and Troubleshooting Tips


Are you wondering why your window AC keeps tripping the breaker? Don’t panic; it’s likely that the issue is a frozen evaporator coil, dirty condenser coil or some other electrical issue. We can help you diagnose and fix the issue so you can get back to comfortable temperature control. Read on for more information about why your window AC is tripping the breaker.

Quick Summary

A variety of things can cause an air conditioner window unit to trip the breaker, including a dirty condenser coil from the lack of yearly preventative maintenance, a loose wiring connection, a short circuit or electrical component failure, a fan motor malfunction, a frozen evaporator coil, refrigerant leaks, or compressor failure. Troubleshooting these issues will help determine what the solution is. To do this, check the condenser coils for dirt buildup and clean them using a commercial coil cleaner. For wiring issues, shut off the power and verify that all connections are tight and secure. A simple voltage tester will help find any shorts in the system. If the fan motor is malfunctioning, it will need to be replaced. If the evaporator coil might be frozen, the air conditioner should be shut off, the breaker reset to cut the power, and the thermostat adjusted to a higher temperature. Refrigerant leaks can detected by a trained HVAC technician, and a faulty compressor will require professional replacement.

Troubleshoot Window AC Trips Breaker: Solutions and Tips

Dirty Condenser Coil

One of the most common reasons why window air conditioners can trip the circuit breaker is a dirty condenser coil. Have you been neglecting your yearly AC preventative maintenance? Check the condenser coil to make sure it is clean and free of dirt. If it’s dirty, clean it with an all-purpose cleaner, rinse off with a garden hose, and allow to dry completely before further troubleshooting.

Loose wire, short or electrical component failure

A power surge that trips the window AC circuit breaker could be caused by a simple electrical issue within the air conditioner. Check and inspect the AC for any loose wires, shorts, or electrical component failures. Make sure all internal AC wiring is properly secured and all electrical components are functioning.

Fan Motor Malfunction

If the fan motor inside the window air conditioner isn’t working, it can overload the circuit which will cause an AC breaker trip. Check the fan motor to make sure it’s connected and clear of any debris. If you can spin the fan motor by hand, verify its motor bearings are not shot. If the bearings have been damaged, you’ll need to replace the entire motor.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil can freeze if the air filter is clogged or if the compressor isn’t properly cycling. Check the air filter, replace if necessary, and make sure the air conditioner is not set too low for the current weather conditions. Be sure to check the evaporator coils for any visible ice.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant leaks can cause the window AC to trip the circuit breaker. Check to make sure there are no signs of refrigerant leaks in the plumbing that goes from the indoor coil to the outdoor unit. If there appears to be a refrigerant leak, contact an HVAC technician for assistance.

Compressor Failure

The compressor inside the window air conditioner can fail due to improper electrical connections, seized motor bearings, or leaks in the refrigerant. Check the electrical connections and make sure they are clean and tight. If everything looks okay, contact an HVAC technician to diagnose and troubleshoot the compressor.

Related Products

1.) Furman Power Conditioner (SS6B) black

The Furman Power Conditioner (SS6B) black is a unique and powerful product that can help you protect your home appliances, particularly the window air conditioner, from brownouts and surges. That is, the Furman SS6B can actually help prevent your window ac unit from tripping the breaker when spikes and surges occur, making it the perfect product to have in the house to protect your energy sources.

This product is crafted with advanced features that benefit your energy conserving efforts. These features include:

  • Automatic Voltage Regulation which maintains consistent power output with no interruption, thereby eliminating power problems.
  • Built-in USB charging port allows you to charge multiple USB-enabled devices at once.
  • 2400 joules of peak impulse clamping that protects against any surge or spike in voltage.
  • Attenuated RFI/EMI filtering which eliminates radio frequency and electromagnetic interference from the power line.

The Furman Power Conditioner (SS6B) black helps provide long-term durability for your window air conditioner, and provides assurance that your appliance won’t be damaged when it trips the breaker due to voltage fluctuations.

2.) Breeze Stop Surround Insulation Side Panels White for Window AC Unit Indoor Air Conditioner Cover for Winter and Summer

Introducing the Breeze Stop Surround Insulation Side Panels White designed specifically for a window AC unit or indoor air conditioner, so it works great during winter and summer. This product is the perfect choice if window ac trips breaker are a problem, as it reduces the load on the breaker, helping to solve any breaker trips that you might experience when running your air conditioner.

  • Specially designed for a Window AC Unit or Indoor Air Conditioner
  • Great for both winter and summer
  • Reduces the load on the breaker, helping to prevent window ac trips breaker
  • White color with contemporary look

3.) MAGZO Adhesive Foam Weather Stripping 1 Inch W X 1 Inch T, Thick Window Air Conditioner Sealer Open Cell High Resilience, Total Length 13 Feet (6.5ft x 2 Rolls)

MAGZO Adhesive Foam Weather Stripping is the perfect solution to prevent window AC trips breaker. With 1 inch W x 1 inch T foam, this sealer is open cell foam with high resilience that offers superior air-tight performance. 13 feet in length ( two 6.5 ft loops ) of this sealer ensures a secure seal along the window, preventing any escape of the AC cool air, in turn preventing your window AC from overworking and your trips breaker from tripping out.

4.) smseace Miniature Circuit Breaker Low Voltage AC 20A 400V 2 Poles DIN Rail Installation DZ47-63 C20

The SMSEACE Miniature Circuit Breaker ensures your home’s AC won’t suddenly trip the breaker thanks to its built-in protection capabilities. With a 20A 400V capacity, this two-pole DIN rail installation breaker is specifically designed to prevent surprise outages caused by your window AC unit. With this breaker, you don’t have to worry about the security of your AC or your electrical system; it’s designed to guarantee your window AC won’t trip the breaker.

  • Low Voltage AC 20A 400V 2 Poles DIN Rail Installation
  • Ideal for window AC units – guaranteed to prevent sudden breaker trips
  • Easy DZ47-63 C20 installation

The SMSEACE Miniature Circuit Breaker is the perfect solution to your window AC problems.

Keep your home powered with no fear of sudden voltage drops or breaker trips

—the SMSEACE Miniature Circuit Breaker has you and your AC unit covered.

5.) Alien Draft Seal Insulation Tape 49 Feet Transparent Silicone Weather Stripping Door Seal **** and Under Door Draft Stopper for Window Seal and Door Bottom Seal As Seen On TV

If you’re having trouble with window ACs tripping your circuit breakers, Alien Draft Seal Insulation Tape 49 Feet Transparent Silicone Weather Stripping Door Seal **** and Under Door Draft Stopper can provide the perfect solution. This product As Seen On TV helps you reduce air leakage and waste at the bottom of the door and window gaps, which can be the cause of tripped circuit breakers.

  • Durable, weather-resistant silicone design
  • Reduce energy cost & save money on heating and cooling bills
  • Help insulate around door frames to reduce air leakage & drafts
  • Prevent window AC units from tripping your circuit breakers

Personal Experience

  Troubleshoot Window AC Trips Breaker: Solutions and Tips

As an expert in the HVAC field, I have seen window AC trips breaker time and time again due to a variety of causes. The most common reason I have seen has to do with a dirty or clogged condenser coil. This buildup of dust and debris not only reduces the efficiency of the air conditioner, but can also lead to power surges that overwhelm the system and cause the circuit breaker to trip. Another common culprit I have seen is loose wires or faulty electrical components within the air conditioner. These problems can cause dangerous arcs of electricity that can overload a circuit, causing the breaker to trip. In addition, if the fan motor malfunctions or the evaporator coil freezes, the breaker can be tripped due to the added stress to the system. Finally, if refrigerant begins to leak from the air conditioner, the system can become overloaded and trip the breaker.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my window AC keep tripping my breaker?

AC units can draw more amps than the breaker can handle, which can cause it to trip. This is typically due to a mismatch of amps between the breaker and the AC unit. The breaker trips as a safety measure to protect the equipment and avoid potential fires caused by an overload of amps.

What size breaker do you need for a portable air conditioner?

The answer to the question “What size breaker do you need for a portable air conditioner?” is that you need a 15-amp breaker. This breaker is used for portable AC units that are 1 ton (15,000 BTU) or smaller, and the circuit must be 110/120V. Pay attention to the size and voltage of your AC unit to ensure you use the correct breaker.

Why does my portable AC keep tripping the breaker?

Your portable AC may be tripping the breaker due to too many devices plugged into the circuit, a loose lug in the breaker box or wall socket, or because the AC is drawing more current than the circuit can handle. To troubleshoot the issue, turn off all devices in the circuit and inspect the wall socket to see if it is hot. If it is, your portable AC is pulling more electricity than the circuit can handle.

Can I plug my portable AC into a regular outlet?

Yes, you can plug your portable AC into a regular outlet, as long as the voltage rating matches that of the A/C and the required power is within the range of the outlet and breaker. All you need is to make sure the AC is the right size for the outlet and the output of the breaker. It is safe to plug in your portable AC into a regular outlet.

Can a window AC trip a breaker?

Yes, a window AC can trip a breaker. This can occur if the AC pulls more amps than what the breaker is rated for. For example, if the breaker is rated for 20 amps and the AC pulls 30 amps, the breaker will trip.

Does a window AC need its own breaker?

Yes, a window AC unit should have its own breaker to ensure the safe and optimal function of the air conditioner. Dedicated electrical circuits are especially important for homes that previously did not have an AC or those with outdated electrical work. By providing a separate breaker for the AC unit, homeowners can have peace of mind knowing the unit won’t suffer any power outages.

Does a 5000 BTU air conditioner need its own circuit?

Yes, a 5000 BTU air conditioner needs its own dedicated circuit. Typically, air conditioners of this size require a 220-240 volt circuit to be installed. If you purchase a window air conditioner of this size, it will likely plug into a standard 120-volt outlet. However, it is best to check the manual for details about the specific model you choose.

Does an air conditioner have to be on its own circuit?

Yes, an air conditioner must be on its own circuit to avoid overloading the circuit and creating a safety hazard. Circuit breakers are designed to protect the electrical system in your home by tripping and shutting down when an overload occurs. To ensure safety and proper operation, it is important to make sure your air conditioner is on its own circuit.

Why does my portable AC unit keep tripping the breaker?

Answer: A portable AC unit may keep tripping the breaker for one of two reasons. One is that too many things are plugged in and running on the same circuit, creating a high amp load. The other reason is that the lug may be loose in the breaker box or in the wall socket. To determine which is the cause, check the wall socket to see if it is hot (if it’s a 110 unit).

How do I stop my portable air conditioner from blowing fuses?

If your portable air conditioner is blowing fuses, the issue may be caused by an air filter that hasn’t been checked or cleaned recently, a dirty outdoor unit, or a tripped breaker. To prevent the problem from occurring, check and clean your air filter regularly, maintain a clean outdoor unit, and always check your breaker.

How do I stop my portable AC from tripping the breaker?

1. If your portable AC is tripping the breaker, it is likely that your AC is drawing more power than your breaker can handle. 2. Check the amperage on the unit and ensure it does not exceed the amperage that your breaker can handle. 3. If your unit requires more power to function than your breaker allows, you may consider having a different breaker installed or opt for a larger air conditioning unit.

What happens if my AC breaker trips again?

If your AC breaker trips again, it indicates that there is a serious problem with either your air conditioner, your electrical system, or both. It is not recommended to attempt to fix this malfunction on your own. It is best to contact a professional for assistance.

How long does an air conditioner circuit breaker last?

Air conditioner circuit breakers typically last from fifteen to twenty years. Some models will last even longer with regular maintenance and proper installation. Electical problems like frequent tripping can be dangerous, so it’s important to replace circuit breakers when they reach their lifespan.

What is AC tripping?

AC tripping occurs when an air conditioner attempts to draw more amps than the current circuit breaker is rated for. This trips the breaker and cuts off the electrical supply to the AC. To prevent AC tripping, it is important to use the right type of breaker and make sure the AC is not pulling more amps than the breaker is rated for.

Is it normal for a circuit breaker to trip?

Yes, it is normal for a circuit breaker to trip. This typically occurs due to a surge in power draw and is not cause for immediate concern. However, if the circuit breaker continues to trip, it could be a sign of an electrical issue and it should be checked by a qualified professional.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, if a window air conditioner trips a circuit breaker, it is usually a sign of an issue that needs to be addressed. Dirty condenser coils, loose wires, fan motor malfunctions, frozen evaporator coils, refrigerant leaks, and compressor failure can all be possible causes of the issue. Having regular preventative maintenance for the air conditioner can reduce the chances of it tripping the circuit breaker. If all else fails, then it may be wise to seek the advice of a professional, who can advise and inspect the problem in greater detail. Seeking out the best solution for when window AC trips breaker can be time consuming, but with the right guide and troubleshooting tips, it can be a straightforward process.