AC Capacitor Replacement Guide 2021
How AC Capacitor Works???
The AC capacitor is the component of the outdoor condensing unit of an air conditioner or heat pump. Capacitors give power to the condenser fan motor or compressor. It is a vital component because it keeps the air conditioner from any mishap and ensures a smooth air conditioning process. The capacitor stores the energy and gives the initial burst so the system can be on for a cooling cycle. It enables the system to run until the process thoroughly. The capacitor provides a 3 or 5 times more initial burst than the usual electronic amount required. The air conditioner needs excessive initial power to run. Hence, the capacitor provides it, and when the air conditioner reaches the proper operating system, the capacitor also steadies the amount of power supply. Most people thought of it as a battery to save energy and dispense during use. It is partly true, but a capacitor can also regulate the electric power for smooth operation.
What are the types of Capacitors???
There are two main types of AC capacitors. One is AC Run Capacitor, and the second is AC Start Capacitor. There is no subtype of AC Start Capacitor, but AC Run Capacitor comes in two subtypes.
AC Start Capacitor
Starting Capacitor is responsible for increasing the motor starting torque and allowing the motor to shut down rapidly or power on the cycle. Start Capacitors are used for short-term use when the motor needs to start. But Start Capacitors have the energy to bring the motor to full speed rapidly, and after that, it is taken out of the circuit. Start Capacitors comes in 125 V, 250 V, and 330V.
AC Run Capacitor
As per the name AC Run Capacitors assigned for continuous duty until the air conditioning process runs, it is used to energize the motor the entire time during the operation. Single-phase energy motors need the energy so they can second phase winding. The sizing of the AC Run Capacitor is crucial; if you install the wrong capacitor, the motor will not have a magnetic field. Also, a bad capacitor can cause annoying noises due to increasing energy consumption, and also mismatched capacitors are a reason for overheating the motor. There are two types of AC Run Capacitors.
Single Run Capacitor
Single Run Capacitor is responsible for starting the condenser fan motor and keeping it running for the entire operation. Single Run Capacitor doesn't need the start capacitor because it can help the motor to start. But it cannot provide ignite as Start Capacitor can.
Dual Run Capacitor
This subtype is containing the characteristics of both the Start and Run capacitor. As the name suggests, Dual Run Capacitor uses both the start capacitor and run capacitor. The start capacitor is responsible for providing the push motor needs at the start. The run capacitor ensures the smooth air conditioning process by keeping the fan going and powering the compressor.
Causes of Bad Capacitors
Capacitors are not very expensive like the other components of an air conditioner. You have to pay $5 to 35$ for the capacitor, depending on the quality and capacity. But bad capacitors can lead to a big disaster and make you spend a lot more on repair or replacement costs. Here are the signs when you experience that means there is a considerable chance your capacitor is faulty.
Although capacitors can last for years, if you haven't changed the capacitor for a long time, you need to change it now. No matter if your capacitor is better quality-wise, after some time, it will lose its ability to store and hold an electrical charge. You should change the capacitor if it is starting to fade out.
If you experience power surges often and your air conditioner is not cooling, then there is a big chance that your delicate capacitor wears out. Power surges can cause damage to the capacitor, and frequent surges can destroy them instantly.
There are various reasons for the overheating of the device. If you live in a sweltering area and your air conditioner condenser cannot handle the temperature, it will overheat. The overheating impact will sabotage the capacitor. Also, if the condenser motor is often overheating, then it means there is a huge chance your condenser unit is faulty and taking down the capacitor too.
Signs of Bad Capacitor and Its Repair and Replacement
How can you determine your capacitor needs the replacement??? Well, there are so many reasons for that, and we will uncover all so you can replace your capacitor before further damage.
Stoppage of AC Fans
If the fan motor creates the humming sound and you don't see fans move, you need to replace your capacitor. Humming is proof that the condenser motor is trying to on, but it is not receiving the power it needs to run the fans. It would be best if you replaced the capacitor as soon as possible. If you know how to do it and which capacitor is suitable, then it's good and if not, then use the technician's help.
Smoke or Burning Smell from Outdoor Unit
If you feel the burning smell and after investigating you find out that smell comes from your outdoor unit, then you should immediately turn off the air conditioner. Call your air conditioner expert to analyze the faulty components and tell him there is a massive chance that the capacitor is defective, so keep the appropriate capacitor for my air conditioner.
A shutdown of Only Outdoor Air Handling Unit
You turn on the air conditioner, but you are still waiting for the cool air to blow after some time. Your indoor unit is running OK, but the cooling is missing, and you head back towards the outdoor unit and realize that the outdoor unit is shut down, which means your capacitor is a colossal culprit suspect. Please keep in mind capacitors because the outdoor unit is running smoothly, and something happens to it, then there is a vast chance the capacitor got terrible.