Why Your Heat Pump Keeps Tripping the Circuit Breaker

Heating system troubles over the winter season cause major concern for Montgomery, AL area homeowners. Ongoing issues, such as when a heat pump keeps tripping breaker switches, lead you to wonder what is wrong with your home’s HVAC system and what is necessary to fix it. Hans Heating & Air explains the top causes of heat pump trouble as well as their solutions so you can rest easy this winter.

What’s Wrong When a Heat Pump Keeps Tripping Breaker Switches?

If your heat pump keeps tripping your circuit breaker when it starts up or while it’s running, below our NATE-certified heat pump repair professionals detail the most common causes of this problem. Also, learn the solutions that put an end to this issue and restore the optimal performance of your heating system. 

1. Air Filter Is Dirty

A dirty filter is an HVAC system issue that can be responsible for all sorts of home heating and cooling issues, including when a heat pump tripping your circuit breaker in your main electric panel frequently. A dirty air filter cause blockages in the system, restricting airflow through your HVAC equipment. In order to push air through the system and into your home, the heat pump will demand more power. Dirty air filters cause your heat pump to work harder in order to push through this obstacle and complete the job. Drawing extra power like so can cause the heat pump to trip your circuit breaker when it runs.

If your heat pump keeps tripping breaker switches, your first troubleshooting task should be to check the condition of the air filter. If you have a dirty air filter that is filled with contaminants, dispose of it and install a new replacement filter. During the winter season, check the filter once per month at a minimum to assess its condition and determine if a change is necessary. Air filters often require more frequent replacement in the winter due to increased system usage.  

2. Outdoor Unit Is Dirty

A dirty outdoor unit is another problem that restricts airflow through the system and causes the heat pump to draw more power in order to complete its job. Debris can clog the fins of the outdoor unit, limiting air movement through your heat pump. 

To solve this problem, clean your outdoor heat pump unit as needed as a way to prevent your heat pump from tripping your breaker. Use a soft brush to clear off grass clippings, mulch, and leaves that are stuck up against the exterior fins. Remove vegetation growing up from the base of the unit. Prune nearby shrubs and trim back tree branches, leaving at least two feet of clear area on all sides of the unit. Remove any furniture or outdoor items stored up against the unit. Keeping your outdoor unit clear of debris helps keep airflow moving through the unit. The fan motor and refrigerant coils depend on reliable airflow to function. Overworked heat pumps that are not getting the proper airflow due to blockage are a common reason why your circuit breaker trips when you run your heat pump. 

3. Compressor Malfunctions

The heat pump’s compressor keeps refrigerant moving through the system, exchanging heat between the outdoor air and the air inside your home. As the compressor wears out and its performance declines, it could pull an excessive amount of electricity when the system starts up, which is why the heat pump keeps tripping breaker switches at the beginning of a heating cycle.

If a malfunctioning compressor is a reason why your heat pump tripping your circuit breaker switches, you need the help of a professional HVAC technician. It may be possible to fix the issue by installing a hard start kit, or it may be time to replace the compressor itself.

4. Electrical Problems

Loose electrical connections within your heat pump system can form as changes in outdoor conditions cause the wiring to expand and contract throughout the year. Loose connections can create a short circuit, which causes the heat pump to trip the circuit breaker when it runs. Bad wiring between the circuit breaker and the heat pump may also be to blame if your heat pump keeps tripping breaker switches. The circuit breaker itself can wear out, especially if it has been repeatedly tripped, which could be responsible for the problem.

These issues will require a professional’s diagnosis and repair. New wiring may need to be installed or your circuit breaker may need to be replaced.

Heat Pump Repair in Montgomery, AL

If the heat pump keeps tripping breaker switches in your Montgomery, AL area home, call Hans Heating & Air today for repairs. Our NATE-certified technicians can diagnose and fix your heat pump problems so your breakers no longer trip and keep your heat pump operating safely. Contact us today to schedule service.

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