Ways a Bad Capacitor Can Affect Your HVAC System

An HVAC capacitor is a cylindrical unit that resembles a juice can. It stores energy in an electrostatic field and stabilizes the voltage that runs through the system. The three prominent HVAC motors are compressor, blower, and outdoor fan—each has its pair of capacitors. 

The first indication of a flunking capacitor is often the air conditioning system not blowing any cold air. The air conditioning unit may also take time to start after being turned on, and the compressor will make an unusual noise. Ultimately, the AC won’t stay on or will fail to turn on at all.

What is a Capacitor?

A capacitor is a device composed of two metal conductors segregated by an insulating material. They look like large cylindrical batteries on an AC with three or four posts sticking out of the top. A capacitor stores electrons to give start-up energy for your heating and ventilation unit. They build up a charge when electricity runs through them by trading electrons between the two conducting plates inside.

What causes terrible AC capacitor symptoms?

Problems with the AC capacitor prevent your AC unit from performing as it should. Bad AC capacitor symptoms are usually caused by:

  • Very high outdoor temperatures
  • Power spurts
  • Appliance wear and tear
  • Lightning strikes
  • Overheated system circuitry
  • Short circuits in the cooling system

How long do capacitors last?

The capacitors probably last for about 20 years. However, you must consider a replacement if your unit experiences peaks in temperature or surges or if the capacitor has a distorted component; it won’t last long enough. 

Effects of a lousy HVAC capacitor 

  • Decreased output: Defective capacitors affect your HVAC system’s main tasks like blowing conditioned air into a room for ease and comfort. Failing capacitors cause continual noises until they finally fail. 
  • Humming sound: Pay attention to your HVAC system when you turn it on or when the thermostat ramps it up from low-output mode. An apparent humming noise can imply a capacitor that’s starting to fail.
  • Old HVAC system: If you have a more than seven or eight-year-old HVAC system and have not restored its capacitor, it will probably need a new one or HVAC capacitor parts.
  • Intermittently turning off: If your air conditioning system turns off on its own or wouldn’t turn on at all, they all indicate a problem with the capacitors. However, you should be careful as you might end up splurging on a new HVAC system when you should only be paying for a new capacitor, along with installation services.

Above all, a lousy capacitor may give you a low output, which affects indoor air quality. 

Capacitor replacement and other maintenance tasks, including heating and cooling repair, should be handled by HVAC professionals.

If your system just doesn’t start, is not running correctly, is making odd noises, or needs HVAC capacitor parts, give the HVAC Warehouse a call. For more information or queries, call 762-435-4822 or drop us an email at sales@ushvacwarehouse.com.

 

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