Heat pumps are energy-efficient appliances used for cooling and heating throughout the year. Although heat pumps are among the best solutions for cooling and heating in many homes, they can still have issues from time to time. Tripped breakers are among the common problems many homeowners experience with heat pumps. When your home’s heat pump trips the breaker, it shows there’s something wrong, and you should not ignore it. For some reason, the unit is trying to pull a high amount of power from your circuit. Here are the most common reasons your heat pump keeps tripping the circuit breaker.
1. Compressor Malfunction
The compressor is the “brain” of your home’s heat pump, and you’ll find it within the outdoor unit. It’s essential to the cooling and heating processes and is responsible for circulating the refrigerant throughout your heat pump. If the compressor is older or begins to malfunction, it can trip the circuit breaker. Tripping occurs when the heat pump’s compressor tries to pull in a high amount of power to start itself up. Routine maintenance can help avoid this problem. During maintenance visits, the technicians can spot failing or aging parts and alert you in advance.
2. Dirty Filter
Heat pump air filters accumulate dirt, dust, and other debris with time. If the filter gets clogged, it prevents air from passing through it. As a result, some components in the heat pump, like the fan motor, will have to overwork to pull in enough air to be heated or cooled by your heat pump. The harder the components work, the more current they draw from the circuit. Eventually, they might draw too much electricity, causing the breaker to trip.
3. Low Refrigerant
Heat pumps use a liquid substance known as a refrigerant to cool or heat your living space. If your home’s heat pump is extremely low on refrigerant, the entire system may struggle to keep your space cool or warm. Leaks mainly cause low refrigerant levels. The heat pump will have to work harder to meet the preferred temperatures set at your thermostat to compensate for the low refrigerant level. This extra stress can cause heat pump components to draw huge amounts of power, tripping the breaker. Contact one of our HVAC experts to inspect the heat pump and check the refrigerant levels. Our technician will also identify the sources of the leak and fix them.
4. Dirty Condenser Coils
When the condenser coils of your heat pump become dirty, the unit will have to work harder to produce the same amount of cooling or heating. Subsequently, this problem can cause a power overload, which can trip the circuit breaker. Scheduling maintenance annually can help prevent this problem. During maintenance calls, one of our technicians will inspect and clean debris off the unit’s condenser coils, lowering the risk of future problems.
5. Outdoor Fan Problems
The outdoor unit of your heat pump blows air over the system refrigerant coils during the cooling or heating process. If there is a fan motor malfunction or obstruction, it’ll lock up. As a result, the fan motor will draw more power, tripping the breaker. The other possible issue is a dirty or clogged outdoor unit. Like a clogged filter, a dirty fan motor will have to work harder, eventually tripping the circuit breaker. Regular maintenance can help keep your heat pump clean and serviced to prevent malfunctions and obstructions.
6. Wiring Issues
Wiring problems can also cause your circuit breaker to trip. Sometimes, your wiring connections can loosen due to weather elements, causing them to contract and expand. On the other hand, a faulty installation might be affecting your wires. Or you might be dealing with a malfunctioning breaker. Whatever the cause, all these scenarios can create short circuits. A short circuit is dangerous and can lead to electrical fires or severe damage, causing your breaker to trip.
7. Blocked Vents
Another reason for a tripping breaker is blocked air vents. Good airflow is vital for your heat pump to work effectively. Like clogged air filters, a blocked vent restricts airflow. As a result, your heat pump will be put into overdrive, causing the breaker switches to trip. Make sure that no carpets, curtains, rugs, furniture, or stacked items are blocking your vents.
Partner With the Professionals Today!
As you can see, many issues can cause your breaker to trip. When your heat pump keeps tripping the breaker, it’s important to get to the bottom of the problem as quickly as possible. Ignoring the issue can lead to safety risks and expensive damage. At Ultimate Homes & Cooling, our licensed HVAC experts are here to assist you if your home’s heat pump keeps tripping your breaker switches. We offer a full range of heating and cooling services throughout Cape Coral and the surrounding areas. Our team also provides indoor air quality solutions and pool pump and heater repair and installation. Contact Ultimate Homes & Cooling today to schedule your heat pump maintenance appointment.