Good Questions: Do I Need a Separate Breaker for AC?

We recently spoke to a homeowner who found herself in a tricky situation. Her home is for sale, and she was giving some potential buyers a tour when her air conditioner tripped the breaker and shut off. This obviously raised some concerns for the potential buyers, who were worried both about the state of the air conditioner and the electrical work in the house. So the question is, do you need a separate breaker for AC systems?

Separate Breaker for AC a Necessity?

For a very short answer: Yes.

Slightly longer answer: We do recommend having a separate breaker for AC. Having your air conditioner on its own breaker will prevent sticky situations like the one above, and you will have greater peace of mind that you aren’t overtaxing your electrical system.

Even longer answer: This recommendation is particularly important for homeowners who are adding an air conditioner to a home that didn’t previously have one installed or in a home with outdated electrical work. If you are replacing an older air conditioner with a new AC and there already is a dedicated circuit, then you need to make sure that the amperage of the circuit is adequate for the new air conditioner. One good rule of thumb is if the air conditioner is 110-120 volts and the required amperage is over 7 amps, then it’s a good idea to install a dedicated circuit for the air conditioner.

Your HVAC professional will be able to give you a precise recommendation based on your existing electrical panel and type of air conditioner being installed. If you’d like a free consultation on whether you will require a separate breaker for AC, please contact Dan at 720.876.7166 or [email protected] We would be happy to come out and take a look! And keep the good questions coming.