An HVAC unit is a complicated electro-mechanical machine that relies on electricity to run. In fact, the most common HVAC problems reported to technicians are electrical related. So how do you know that there are electrical problems with your AC unit before it stops working altogether? Here are four tell-tale signs you can look out for.
AC Won't Turn Off or On
The number one indicator that your AC has an electrical problem should be the failure to turn on or off. This problem could be caused by a faulty capacitor or wiring issues. It could also be another significant problem, such as water or rodent damage leading to a short. Open or stuck relays can also cause this issue because exposed relays will prevent the AC from turning on, while a stuck relay will make the unit continue running even when it's not needed. It is not easy to identify the reason why your AC stops working, so an electrician or AC technician should be called to investigate.
Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping
Air conditioners typically use a lot of power, so they have their own circuit breaker. If the breaker keeps tripping, this is a huge indicator that there is an electrical problem. The problem is likely either that the AC is requiring too much power, or it's not correctly matched to your home's voltage. The circuit breaker could also be tripping because it's loose, undersized or faulty, and these are issues that can be rectified fast.
Sudden Change in Electrical Bill
If there are no additional electrical installations or bulbs in your house, your power bill should remain consistent, with slight margins. However, if you start noticing significant increases in your bill, the number one culprit is likely your AC. There are electrical issues that will force the unit to use excess power, driving up your power bill.
If you have had your AC for a while now, you are probably aware of all the sounds it makes. If at some point you start noticing strange noises that were not there before, you should call a technician to take a look. Sounds associated with electrical problems include a clicking noise, which is as a result of defective parts such as thermostat, and a constant buzzing sound caused by loose wiring or a broken blower motor.
If any of these signs are ignored, the problem could continue and cause more damage to the unit. Electrical contractors advise that you have annual HVAC maintenance and call a technician as soon as you suspect a problem.