HVAC Electrical Issues: All You Need To Know

Many things make a building comfortable. But, when it comes to doing that and simultaneously improving indoor air quality, curbing the spread of airborne infectious diseases, and regulating temperatures, the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems dominate the game. Sadly, as much as these devices are vital, they can break down and fail to deliver. One of the problems that may undermine your unit's functionality and performance is electrical issues, some of which are listed below.

1. Faulty wiring

HVAC systems often misbehave when they have wiring issues. These can arise from various sources, including frayed wires. Common signs of frayed wiring include sparks and melting or burning smells. This problem may also frequently trigger circuit breakers, forcing the unit to shut off constantly. Besides fraying, wires are susceptible to corrosion. This issue mainly manifests when moisture makes its way into these components. In addition, the cables in HVAC units deteriorate and fail over time, or rodents gnaw at them. If the equipment serving your building has wiring issues, you may notice indicators, like visibly damaged wires, distinct burning odors, discoloration, and frequently blown breakers.

2. Damaged circuit breakers

Quality electrical systems rely on circuit breakers. These components protect different systems from damage caused by short circuits and overcurrents. They do that by interrupting faulty or abnormal currents. And unlike fuses, these devices are ultrasensitive, reliable, and quick to respond. That is why they trip easily in adverse conditions, including sudden voltage fluctuations and electric surges. The good news is experts can reset the affected breakers and get your unit up and running again when that happens. But, if this solution fails to work, the damage may be extensive and require extra measures.  

3. Damaged capacitors

HVAC systems have cylindrical components that stabilize the voltage running through them. These are known as capacitors, and their design typically resembles beverage cans. They primarily serve different motors in HVAC units, including the condenser fan, compressor, combustion fan, and blower fan motors. However, sometimes, capacitors suffer damage, especially during power surges common in electrical storms. Indicative signs of bad HVAC capacitors include loud humming noises, low output, and equipment that intermittently turns on or off. Although issues like excess power, heat exposure, and voltage rating can destroy capacitors, the same might happen if your unit is old.


If the HVAC unit you use to keep your home or commercial premises comfortable is acting up and you suspect electrical problems, call a repair specialist immediately. Most HVAC problems are complicated and lead to additional issues when amateurs interfere with these devices. So, unless you are a trained and certified technician, don't DIY any HVAC electric repairs. 

For more information on electrical repair, contact an HVAC repair company.