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Why Does my Circuit Breaker Panel Make a Humming Noise When my AC Comes On?

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Why Does my Circuit Breaker Panel Make a Humming Noise When my AC Comes On?

When it comes to electricity and wires, it’s normal to feel skittish. So if you start hearing your electric panel buzzing when the AC turns on, you’re probably a little nervous about this sudden noise(as you should be). So why is my breaker box buzzing? Is it normal? Is your AC malfunctioning? Could it be dangerous? Many questions might be clogging your head. After all, a circuit breaker buzzing could mean many different things. To help keep your AC healthy and your family safe, we’ll cover the main reasons for a buzzing breaker box when the AC turns on and why you might be hearing this AC humming noise.

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When a Circuit Breaker Buzzing is Normal if

1. The Buzzing Sound is Not Very Loud

First, we want to possibly ease your concerns. If the humming or buzzing isn’t very loud, this is normal. Energy comes in and out of the panel at a rapid pace and this creates vibrations in the breaker that you can hear coming from inside the panel. A soft circuit breaker buzzing sound may therefore be due to the regular electrical panel operation. There’s no need to worry in this case!

2. It’s Only Heard When the AC Turns On

If the circuit breaker buzzing noise occurs right as the AC kicks on but stops once your air conditioner is running steadily, this is also part of the normal operation of your circuit breaker.

You see, large motors (like the one that runs your AC) draw a LOT more energy at startup than it does when they are steadily running. And this extra power is probably pushing your AC breaker to its limits, which is causing that buzzing noise. In that case, if your breaker box buzzes when ac turns on, it’s also pretty normal.

But the AC motor should only pull extra power for a few seconds, meaning the buzzing noise should stop within 30 seconds of the AC kicking on.

Hear a loud buzzing noise that persists as the AC is running steadily? That’s not normal. Keep reading to determine what AC or electrical problem you may have…

When Circuit Breaker Noises Aren’t Normal

Loud Popping Sounds

Loud popping or cracking sounds can be a sign of serious electrical issues. From a loose connection or a short circuit, these electrical issues can be very dangerous if not tackled quickly. If you hear such sounds, you should turn off the circuit breaker immediately and seek a professional electrician.

Constant Breaker Buzzing Sound

Remember how we explained that large motors draw a lot more power as they startup? Well, your AC actually has a sidekick that provides that extra “oomph” it needs to kick on quickly. That sidekick is called the AC capacitor—and if the capacitor is bad, it could be causing that loud electric panel buzzing noise.

The capacitor is basically a huge battery that stores energy and sends an electrical jolt to the AC motors when they kick on. The bad news is that, just like normal batteries, capacitors can go bad or run out of juice. And, when that happens, sometimes the AC will struggle to start. If you keep hearing a persistent circuit breaker buzzing sound, it could indicate an issue with your AC Capacitor or loose electrical connections.

If an AC has a bad capacitor, it may also continuously draw more power than it should, which is what creates that breaker buzzing noise. But along with that AC humming noise, you may hear a few clicking noises at the outdoor unit (that’s the AC getting the call to turn on) followed by the hum of the AC motor. Sometimes, the AC will also come on for a few moments and then shut off again.

In that case, it’s important to seek the assistance of an AC professional. Attempting to fix an air conditioning capacitor yourself can be dangerous and may result in electric shock or further damage to your AC unit. AC professionals have the necessary training, knowledge, and tools to diagnose and repair AC capacitor issues safely and efficiently, ensuring your HVAC system is functioning optimally and preventing further damage or safety hazards.

AC Capacitor Repair

If the above-mentioned situation sounds like what’s happening in your home, don’t wait. Contact Performance Air Conditioning for fast and reliable air conditioning repair services with on-time AC capacitor repair OR IT’S FREE with 100% satisfaction guarantee!

Call one of our experts to know more or schedule an appointment online.

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