An air conditioner capacitor is a small cylindrical device that is designed to store energy, similar to a battery. The energy that is stored in the capacitor is needed to start up the outdoor air conditioning unit and help keep the air conditioner running while it is cooling down the home to the appropriate temperature. When a capacitor is going bad or fails completely, the air conditioner will not be able to function properly. Some common signs of a faulty capacitor include:
Sudden Increase in Energy Bills
The capacitor in the outdoor HVAC unit is there to provide the energy that the machine needs to start up and run properly. When the HVAC unit is not able to draw enough energy from the capacitor, it will have to work harder to start up, run, and cool down the house. If you run your air conditioner often during the summer, a faulty capacitor will eventually lead to much higher energy bills since the HVAC unit won't be able to run efficiently. If you see a dramatic increase in your energy bills during the summer without reasons, it is a good idea to call a licensed HVAC services company.
If you suspect a problem with your air conditioner, take the time to go outside and stand by the HVAC unit when it is starting up. If a capacitor is going bad, you may hear a strange humming noise while the A/C tries to start up. If the capacitor is failing but still has the ability to store small amounts of energy, you may hear your HVAC unit hesitating and starting up slowly.
No Cold Air
When a capacitor is very close to failing, there may be times when the HVAC unit does not receive enough energy from the capacitor to start running. When the outdoor HVAC unit can't start up, the inside air handler will blow warm air into your house. In some cases, turning off the A/C and restarting it can jolt the failing capacitor, and thus the air conditioner may start producing cold air. But when a capacitor has failed completely, your air conditioner won't be able to cool air, and you will need to replace the capacitor.
Capacitors typically last several years, but they will eventually fail. This can be especially true in very hot climates where a home's air conditioner may run continuously during the summer months. If you have an older HVAC system that starts experiencing problems with the A/C, there is a good chance that you may need to have the capacitor replaced.
Contact a company like Precision Temp Heating And Cooling Inc for more information and assistance.
My name is Maura, and I am certified in HVAC installation and repair. I have many clients who call me in a panic because they have turned on their air conditioners and nothing has happened. Your air conditioning technician will get to you as soon as possible, but there are some steps you can take while you are waiting. You might just find that you are able to fix the problem on your own, although you will still want to have a professional assess the situation. In this blog I will take you through some common reasons your air conditioner might not be working and show you some easy temporary solutions.