After enjoying a day out in the summer heat, you probably look forward to opening the door to your home and getting a blast of cool air. One of your HVAC system’s main components that makes this possible is known as the air conditioner capacitor. Your AC capacitor can be thought of as the thing that powers your air conditioner motor. It gives your AC motor electricity to operate, and then it maintains that energy to keep your HVAC system working until the right temperature is reached.

Your capacitor is a primary part of your cooling system; however, it is also one of the most replaced parts. Here are some of the warning signs that you will need a capacitor replacement.

Keep in mind that all AC and heat capacitors will fail eventually. They can usually provide several years of service, but you will need to replace them at least one time if you keep the same air conditioning unit for more than ten years.

Your system could contain one or more capacitors. There will be a start capacitor and a run capacitor in most outdoor units. Or your system might only have one. Capacitors usually look like big batteries connected to wires in your unit; however, you cannot just pop a new one, unlike a battery.

You should never try to replace your capacitor by yourself. Well, you could, but it’s not recommended. Capacitors can be dangerous to handle. Even if you disconnect the power from your AC, the capacitor will still contain a lot of charge. If you touch it, there is a risk of electrocution, which can hurt you pretty badly. A professional HVAC technician will be able to handle capacitors and know what they are doing when switching them out.

The following are some signs that you have a bad capacitor:

  • Your air conditioner is delayed when starting a cooling cycle;
  • Your AC randomly shuts off on its own;
  • Your AC does not turn on;
  • Your AC sounds like it is running, but it does not blow out any cool air;
  • Your AC makes a buzzing or humming noise;
  • Your AC is emitting a burning smell, or you see smoke coming from the unit;
  • Your utility bills are high for an unknown reason.

Your capacitor for your AC unit can fail due to regular wear and tear and age. Or it could fail due to an overheated system, a short circuit, lightning strikes, power surges or very hot temperatures.

One first sign that your capacitor is failing is the rising temperature inside of your home. There are other things you might not recognize; however, they are still detrimental to your AC. a bad capacitor will prevent your outdoor unit from doing its job, which means that it cannot properly execute the cooling process, and having an improper voltage could result in damage to other parts of your unit. Plus, other components in your AC will need to overwork to try and make up for the failed capacitor.

If you have any questions regarding your air conditioner’s capacitor, Heating & Cooling can provide you with more information. Whether you need help with your air conditioner or furnace or want to improve ventilation, we do it all, so if you are in Winnipeg, contact us today!