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Blown Fuses May be Sign of Bigger A/C Trouble

 In Keeping Cool, Products & Equipment, Spring Topics, System Maintenance, System Repair

We don’t see them until we have to. Fuses are the little glass safety nets in our electrical systems. And when they blow, they definitely get our attention. Keep reading to find out if it’s a routine failure or a bigger — and more expensive — issue.

How Fuses Work

A fuse, no matter if it’s in your Christmas lights, your car or in your air conditioner, is a safety device. Fuses prevent too much electrical current from passing into your electrical equipment. At their simplest, they are a metal wire that melts when exposed to too much current, breaking the circuit and shutting off the electrical system, like your air conditioner. Another way to break current to possibly faulty equipment is a circuit breaker, and your heating and air system probably has both.

How HVAC Fuses Can Blow

Any repairs involving electricity should be undertaken with care. Electricity can be deadly. Before you work on any electrical components, make sure you’ve turned off the power to your unit. Keep in mind that there may be two breakers — one for the inside, one for the outside.

Sometimes when a fuse blows, it’s because the condenser is working too hard from a dirty filter or dirty condenser coils. Cleaning and servicing these parts can be a DIY repair or can be part of a regular maintenance plan from your heating and air company. Fuses can also just fail as they come to the end of their intended lifespan. Weather can also affect fuses in that very hot weather will tax your system and cause fuses to blow, or weather changes over time can expand and contract the wires, loosening them and causing a poor connection — and a blown fuse.

If you’ve put in a clean filter, cleaned the condenser coils, tightened your wires, got new fuses and those also blow, you might have a bigger problem that needs attention from a professional.

When to Call a Technician

If a fuse blows more than once, it may be more than just a routine failure or a momentary lack of maintenance. Other problems can cause the electrical portions of your system to blow fuses include an old or blocked motor, a malfunctioning compressor, low refrigerant or a faulty condenser fan. All of these problems cause your air conditioner to work harder, overtaxing the electrical and mechanical parts and triggering the fuse to work just as it should, keeping the rest of your system safe.

Multiple blown fuses or tripped breakers are never a good sign. Shut the system off and call a professional right away.

The professionals at Barineau Heating and Air Conditioning can regularly maintain your unit so you can stay ahead of breakdowns like blown fuses. Sign up for the Total Comfort Service Program today.

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