Facts About AC Capacitors and DIY Replacement

AC Capacitor in Concord, NC

An air conditioning system contains lots of components that all work together to provide cool air to your home or business. One of those parts is called a capacitor.

Of course, all of the components of an AC system are important to its overall performance. However, the capacitor is an especially significant one. If an air conditioner’s capacitor fails, the system loses a lot of its energy efficiency, or it stops working altogether. Discover what an AC capacitor is and if you should make capacitor replacement a DIY project.

What Is an AC Capacitor?

An AC capacitor has a cylindrical shape and looks similar to a battery. Its purpose is to store electrical energy. This component is necessary to start and to maintain the operations of the motors in an AC system. An AC system can have several motors, such as the condenser fan motor, compressor motor, blower motor, and combustion fan motor. All of them need the voltage supplied by a capacitor.

Signs of AC Capacitor Failure

A failed capacitor can completely stop the operations of an AC system. But there are other signs that may be an indication of a failing or failed capacitor.

A humming sound coming from your AC system can indicate a few issues. One of them is a non-working capacitor. If you have a non-working capacitor, the humming sound is actually coming from the motor. It doesn’t have the power to run the compressor or fans. A motor working with a failed capacitor is eventually going to burn out.

Another potential sign of capacitor failure is an AC unit that’s not delivering cool air. Keep in mind this can be a symptom of many different issues. But, when a capacitor fails, an AC system doesn’t have the power to produce and deliver cool air through your vents.

Have you noticed your AC system abruptly shutting off and turning back on in the middle of a cooling cycle? If so, this is another potential sign of a failing capacitor. It could mean your AC is not receiving the voltage it needs to sustain itself through the cooling cycle.

Do you hear your AC system hesitating as it starts? It may even give you the impression it’s not going to start. This hesitation can be the result of a variety of issues with your AC. For one, it could mean the capacitor in your system is weakening and getting ready to quit.

Should You Replace the AC Capacitor in Your Cooling System?

The short answer is no. There are a few reasons why it’s not a good idea to undertake a DIY capacitor replacement.

One reason relates to your safety. Even if you shut off the power to your AC system before taking on the project, there are still risks. There are toxic liquids in an AC system that can leak out and cause injury. A professional HVAC technician has the knowledge as well as the safety gear to take on this project with success.

Secondly, if you’re not familiar with the components of an AC system, a capacitor can be difficult to locate. You could end up unhooking other parts without knowing how to put them back in proper working order. This can require a more expensive repair.

Also, trying to remove a capacitor without knowing how can cause damage to the air conditioner’s motor. Not surprisingly, an AC motor is an expensive component to replace.

Purchasing a replacement capacitor for your AC system can be tricky. You have to choose the right one for your particular AC system. If you aren’t familiar with the different types of capacitors and brands, you may end up with a substandard component that isn’t able to serve your system.

At All Temp Co., Inc Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, & Electrical in Concord, our experienced, NATE-certified technicians have the training to diagnose a failed capacitor or any other issue you’re having with your AC system. We are proud to provide reliable AC repair, installation, and maintenance services.

Our BBB-accredited company offers a variety of other services in Concord and the surrounding area. We provide heating system repairs, installation, and maintenance. Also, we offer air purifiers, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and other indoor air quality related services.

Give us a call today at All Temp Co., Inc Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, & Electrical in Concord and tell us how we can make your home or business more comfortable!