This year we got a taste of spring early with unseasonably warm weather. As you prepare for spring and the sometimes oppressive heat of summer, make sure your air conditioner is installed properly. Specifically, make sure it is running on a dedicated circuit – this is essential for electrical safety in your home.
If your home uses central air, your HVAC technician will have ensured that your central air unit is on a dedicated circuit. Homeowners installing window units often overlook this step.
Without an appropriate dedicated circuit, your air conditioner may draw more current than the circuit can handle. This can cause the wiring to overheat and the material insulating the wire to breakdown. If the material around a wire breaks down, it can lead to an electrical fire. Fortunately, circuit breakers typically stop the surge of current before this catastrophe happens. To avoid an outage during the summer heat and repairs to broken down wires, put your air conditioner on a dedicated circuit from the start.
If your air conditioner is 30 amps or more, you should have a dedicated circuit. And while you are at it, make sure other medium and heavy-duty appliances are on dedicated circuits as well – appliances like: water heaters, washing machines, dryers, stoves, refrigerators, sump pumps, etc. When in doubt, call the manufacturer or a qualified electrician.