Air conditioner capacitors are important to keeping your house cool. Capacitors provide the power that certain A/C parts need to do their job. The average capacitor can last around 20 years, but in places like Arizona, things can be a little different, thanks to extreme heat. Today, we’ll look at how a capacitor failure can affect your air conditioner, along with ways to help you identify capacitor failures early.
Many air conditioning units have several types of capacitors, which provide electric power to different A/C elements:
When one of these capacitors fails, it can cause the part it powers to fail or work inefficiently. That could mean less cool air, more strain on your air conditioner, or worst of all, a complete A/C failure—which can be life-threatening in the Arizona heat.
Failed capacitors can also be annoying on top of being ineffective. They tend to cause your A/C to make a humming or clicking noises as they fail. They can cause your air conditioner to stop on its own. And of course, faulty capacitors can cause higher energy bills.
In short, a bad capacitor runs the gamut from annoying to life-threatening, especially during the dog days of summer.
In general, three things contribute to capacitor failures.
To best prevent these issues from affecting your capacitor, make sure you shade your A/C unit, maintain your A/C unit as it ages, and use capacitors with the appropriate voltage rating.
Knowing the signs of a failing capacitor can help you prepare for a potential repair/replacement. It can also help you avoid overworking your air conditioner, which can cause bigger, systemic (and likely more expensive) damage to your home’s A/C unit.
Here are some of the most common signs of a failing capacitor.
If you suspect that your A/C has a failed or failing capacitor, there are a few steps you can take.
The best and safest bet is to call a professional when in doubt. While DIY videos may make a replacement look easy, HVAC systems are complex. Without the right experience and know-how, you could do additional damage to the unit or worse, hurt yourself.
Though small in size, capacitors play a big role in keeping your house cool. With each summer seeming to get a little hotter, it’s important to monitor how your A/C is running every day.
Remember to commit to regular maintenance, such as keeping your A/C unit free of debris and changing your air filter regularly.
When an air conditioner capacitor fails, it can be anything from annoying to life-threatening. When in doubt, avoid those annoyances and risks by calling a professional to get your home humming again, the right way.
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