Your air-conditioner might break down at the most impractical moment. It might be a quick fix you can do yourself and wouldn’t need to call a professional for help. How would you know? Well, the most common problem with unexpected air-conditioner malfunction is the capacitor.
The capacitor gives the motor, compressor, blower, and other parts a boost when starting up and continues supplying power to keep them running. It is a tiny, cylindrical object inside. To know if your problem is a bad capacitor, here are some questions for you.
- Is it emitting humming sounds?
- Does it take a long time to startup?
- Is it not turning on?
- Does it shut off on its own?
- Is it not blowing cold air?
If most of your answer is yes, then most likely, your problem is a bad capacitor. You might want to check if your air-conditioner is still under warranty if you don’t want to take care of it yourself. If you think you can do it, you only need some tools available in your house.
Inspect your air-conditioner. Unplug it or turn the breaker off, then remove the service panel. Look for a misshapen capacitor. When you found it, take note of some things.
- The type of capacitor may vary. It might be a start capacitor or run capacitor. The former is for giving some components a boost to start running, so it only works when you turn on the system initially, while the latter still operates with the system on. Take note if it is a capacitor for the fan, compressor, or others.
- The voltage rating that matches your unit is critical to the system. The capacitor will have the voltage range capacity printed on the side of its canister. You can also find it in your owner’s manual if you have trouble locating it.
- Another thing of importance is the capacitance value. It is measured in micro Farads, often expressed as μF or MDF. You must find one that matches your system. A start capacitor will have 70μF to 200μF or higher, while a run capacitor typically has 1.5μF to 100μF.
- You also have to take note of your capacitor’s shape. Some might be cylindrical, while others are oval. Purchase a new one that matches the old one in your system.
To find the best capacitor for your air conditioner, here are some places you might consider looking for.
Local Contractor Supply Store
You may check out your local contractor supply store to find some capacitors. Most of the time, they will have many kinds of capacitors, and you only need to specifically ask for the one you need. If they don’t or they are out of supply, there are other places to check.
Try looking online. There are many trustworthy and honest HVAC retail stores on the net. You may also check eBay, Amazon, AliExpress, or others. Many resellers would offer various types of capacitors so be careful to choose the one that suits your system.
It will be easy for you to find the best capacitor if you know what you are looking for. Make sure you buy the right one or if you need more help, ask your HVAC contractor.