If you come home and find your HVAC hasn't been running and your home is either too hot or too cold inside, your first step should be to check the circuit breaker to see if it has flipped off and cut power to the HVAC. Turning the breaker back on may restart your HVAC, but if the breaker flips again, you'll have to deal with an electrical problem. Here are some things an HVAC technician may check to find the problem so repairs can be done.
1. The Air Handler Motor May Have A Short
Your heating and air conditioning system has a lot of working parts. Some only operate when the AC is in service and others operate for both the AC and furnace. The motor in the air handler runs during both the summer and winter. This motor spins the fan that sends heated or cooled air through the ducts.
The motor can overheat if the air handler and blower fan get too dirty. The motor might also cause problems if it develops a short or other electrical problem. For instance, the capacitor might go bad and cause the motor to struggle to turn on.
The technician might need to clean the air handler blower and motor or test the motor with a multimeter to see if it has an electrical problem. The motor can be replaced if necessary so your HVAC is safe to operate.
2. The AC Compressor May Be Bad
The compressor is located outside in the condenser. It's an essential part of your AC since it helps regulate the refrigerant. If the compressor is going bad, or one of the parts that help it operate go bad and the compressor starts to struggle, the compressor might try to draw more amps than the circuit is able to handle. This causes the breaker to trip off.
Parts in the compressor can sometimes be replaced, but it's often necessary to replace the compressor when it has trouble. The compressor only runs when your AC is on, so it isn't needed for the furnace.
If your repair technician can't repair the compressor and summer is almost over, you might want to take time to think about your next step. You might want to replace the entire condenser or HVAC system rather than invest a lot of money on putting a new compressor in an old condenser.
3. The Circuit Breaker Is Bad
Another thing the repair technician might consider is that the breaker is bad. There might not be anything wrong with your HVAC system, and if not, the fix might be as simple as having the breaker replaced with a new one.