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Does an Aircon Need Its Own Breaker?


As temperature rises, many homes switch on their aircon. Various air conditioners are available in different sizes and capacities, such as compact, portable, and others placed on walls or connected to centralized systems to accommodate the demands of homes and buildings.

Although they might be a terrific way to stay cool in hot weather, air conditioners can use lots of power. Installing your air conditioner on a separate circuit will help ensure it doesn’t overload your circuit breaker.

In a later section, we’ll talk about how separating the breaker for your aircon from the primary control will guarantee its power is sufficient to function safely while keeping your house cool!

How Does a Circuit Breaker Work?

A circuit breaker is a fuse-like that protects your home from electrical fires by interrupting the flow of power when an excessively high electrical current is detected. A circuit breaker can reset after some time has passed, unlike a fuse, which needs replacing every time it trips.

When a circuit breaker’s contact points are closed, the electrical current can flow normally from the electrical mains to the circuit to which it is connected.

The circuit breaker opens these contact points to disconnect the circuit when it notices a potentially harmful fault in the current. It stops the flow of electricity and safeguards circuits in your home from electrical fires.

Circuit breakers are normally grouped in the main control panel board but you can also have a separate circuit breaker installed for a high-powered device that is too far away from the MCB, such as an air conditioner.

Why Does Your Aircon Need Its Own Breaker?

Air conditioners are known for using a lot of energy due to their high wattages and amperages.

Based on the number of electrons passing across a circuit, an amperage is a unit used to describe the strength of an electric current. Heat generation increases with the number of electrons in the circuit.

Here are some reasons why you should put your air conditioner on its own breaker and how doing so will make your home safer and more comfortable:

Electrical Safety

Currently, a high amperage for an air conditioner is typical. On the other hand, low voltage fluctuations could cause damage to it. Voltage and amperage are inversely connected, which means that as the voltage drops, the amperage increases, thus heat, increasing the possibility of electrical fires if the flow of electricity is not immediately cut off.

In addition, if other appliances link to the same circuit as the air conditioner, it might not be able to manage the additional current consumption, which will cause the breaker to trip. This is the main reason your air conditioner needs a separate circuit breaker.

Circuit Overload Prevention

Aside from safety, convenience should not be overlooked. If your air conditioner is linked to the main breaker, power to the rest of your house will be switched off if the air conditioner trips the breaker.

By having a separate breaker for the AC, the tripping is restricted to the unit itself and isn’t affecting any other electronics.

What Is the Right Breaker Capacity for Your Aircon?

The wattage of your air conditioner determines the capacity of your circuit breaker. If the circuit breaker’s capacity is too low, it may trip even if no shorts or overcurrents are present.

Circuit breaker capacities are classified as follows: 15, 20, 30, 40, and 50. Depending on the power of your air conditioner, you can choose one of these capacities.

Can You Install a Circuit Breaker Yourself?

When it comes to anything electrical, one must exercise caution, particularly if it will affect your entire house. We advise anyone not to install an air conditioner circuit breaker themselves. Ask a qualified electrician to install it for you instead.

The aircon installer may be able to set up the circuit breaker for you if you purchase a split-type air conditioner. Avoid installing a circuit breaker by yourself to save a few bucks at the expense of the security of your household.

Final Thoughts

We hope this has provided you with the essential information you need! Be mindful when checking your aircon’s condition. Remember, it’s better to have a separate breaker for it as a precautionary measure.

When in doubt, contact a certified electrician to install or check on your air conditioner’s circuit breaker.

JP Reyes

JP has been in the aircon industry for almost as long as he has been alive. As a child JP would help his tatay fix aircon units at their junk shop in Cavite. After graduating UP in the early 2000's, JP then started his own Aircon servicing business and within 5 years had 10 shops in 8 different cities. Fast forward to today and JP brings all his experience and expertise online to give readers trustworthy advice and reviews about Air-conditioning buying, servicing, cleaning and repair in the Philippines.

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