Why Your Air Conditioner Might Suffer Electrical Problems

An air conditioner (AC) has both electrical and mechanical parts. Malfunctions on the electrical parts are dangerous on multiple levels. For example, electrical malfunctions can cause house-wide damage, trigger mechanical damage, and impair the cooling process. Below are some of the reasons your AC might suffer an electrical malfunction.

Loose Wires

Loose wires cause electrical problems in two main ways. First, a loose connection has a higher electrical resistance than a tight connection. The high resistance reduces the electrical current flowing through the connection. Secondly, a loose connection can trigger electrical sparks that can cause further damage.

For example, your AC might malfunction if its thermostat wires loosen. With loose wires, the thermostat might not get the power it needs to maintain its program or send signals to the AC system.


Many electrical or electronic parts of your AC won't last forever — they deteriorate with time. The deteriorated parts don't have the same efficiency that fresh parts have.

Consider the example of the start capacitor, which provides the electrical boost to start the AC motor. Capacitors deteriorate with time — the older a capacitor is, the more likely it is to fail. A failed capacitor cannot provide the electrical boost your AC needs, so an AC unit with a failed capacitor will struggle to start.

Water Exposure

The fact that water conducts electricity is a bad thing for most electrical appliances. The conductivity of water means water exposure can cause electrical current to flow where it is not needed — the classical definition of a short circuit.

A typical AC is not highly susceptible to water exposure or damage. However, an aging AC might have exposed wires that water can easily affect. Water exposure can also occur if the roof leaks and allows water to get into the AC parts that the roof normally shelters.


Electrical appliances or parts have optimal temperature ranges for their safe operations. Exceeding those ranges causes serious problems. The AC motor is an example of an electrical part that cannot operate safely in elevated temperatures. Extreme temperatures can even melt some pieces of the AC unit and trigger a catastrophic motor failure.

Negligent Repair

Lastly, negligent repair, maintenance, or service of the AC can also trigger electrical problems. Such problems typically arise when an unqualified person tries to fix electrical problems in the AC. Electrical malfunctions are not suitable candidates for DIY repairs. Consult a professional technician to diagnose and fix the problems.

To learn more, contact an air conditioning repair contractor.