Electricity and Your Air Conditioner – The Shocking Truth

This entry was posted in Electrical on by .


The U.S Census Bureau reported that Phoenix recently surpassed Philadelphia as the fifth largest city in the United States. 50 years ago, the number of residents in the Valley of the Sun hovered around 500,000. The current population of Phoenix is 1.6 million. This astonishing growth can be attributed to many factors. Perfect winter weather, a general migration in the U.S. from the colder Northeast to the warmer climates of the Southwest, the abundance and availability of affordable electric power and, of course, two very important words: air conditioning. Reasonably priced home air conditioning systems popularized in the 60’s and 70’s made it possible for Arizona’s exponential population growth. Air conditioning made the population grow. But, it’s electricity that makes your air conditioner go.

Facts About Air Conditioning and Electricity

It takes a fair amount of electricity to power the air conditioning system that cools your Arizona home. In fact, your AC unit uses more electricity than any other appliance (approximately 3000 to 5000 watts of power for every hour of use). This translates into extremely high energy bills during the summer months. Two-thirds of all homes in the US have air conditioning. However, in Phoenix it’s over 90 percent. Nationally, over 11 billion dollars per year is spent on electrical power for air conditioning.

Air Conditioning Breaker Switch

In the summer, when your AC unit is running constantly for weeks at a time, it is not uncommon for the breaker switch to be tripped – sometimes for no apparent reason. Possible explanations for your breaker switch to go off might be power dips or surges on the power grid or electrical issues due to lightening from storms. When your air conditioner mysteriously stops working, always check the breaker switch first. If your breaker switch is constantly going off, that might be an indication of a more serious electrical problem. You may have an undersized breaker, a faulty breaker switch or a loose breaker, which might need to be replaced.

Common Electrical Problems with Your Air Conditioner

Air conditioners are loaded with electrical circuits, wires and parts as well as fans and compressor motors. Over time, these components are subject to wearing down and may be degraded by heat, sunlight, extreme weather, gnawing critters, etc. You may be tempted (after reading a book or watching a YouTube video) to work on your own electrical issues. However, if you’re not an electrician or an AC technician, it’s best not to mess with wires, connectors and electrical problems in general. The advice we give our customers is to stick to changing the air filters and resetting the breaker switch. Electrical issues can cause serious damage to your air conditioning unit and more importantly, to you. Please be safe and call us immediately when you notice electrical issues.

What’s a Capacitor?

Capacitors are quite common, critical parts, central to all electrical motors, including the ones in your air conditioner. Capacitors regulate the start energy for the electric motors. Capacitors come in many shapes and sizes. Used mainly to store and release electric charges (similar to a short-term battery) capacitors regulate the motors in the compressor, blower and fan. If you have a faulty capacitor, you may notice a clicking sound upon start up or a loud hum if the motor can’t get going. Both sounds mean you should call for service immediately.

Leave Electrical Problems to the Professionals

When it comes to electricity and your air conditioner, the shocking truth is many people are injured each year in home repair related electrical accidents. Please remember electrical accidents can cause serious damage to you, to your air conditioning unit and to your home. When you have electrical issues, call the professionals at Cool Blew.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *