One of the most basic components inside your air conditioning unit is the capacitor, which is a device that can store electrical energy. This energy can then be pushed onto the DC power supply to help provide a constant voltage.
An AC capacitor consists of two conductive plates separated by an insulating material. These plates are often made from aluminum and/or mica but could be made from almost any other materials with sufficient conductivity and insulation properties for use in capacitors. Because of the electrical properties of the plates, they can store energy in the form of an electrostatic field. The two plates are then separated by a dielectric material that serves as an insulator and allows the storage of electric energy.
Because capacitors use an AC power supply, any time there is a fluctuation in voltage, it stores that extra energy for later uses on a constant DC power supply.
What Does the AC Capacitor Do?
We must all be aware that our electrical system needs maintenance. The battery is one of the most common parts in our air conditioning unit and other machinery. It is important to charge them periodically to ensure they do not degrade or run out of power unexpectedly.
The AC capacitor’s function in the circuit is to keep the voltage or current flowing steadily by accumulating and releasing any extra charge that is not needed to maintain the level. An AC capacitor provides the initial jolt of power that an air conditioner’s motor requires to operate effectively.
It collects power and transfers it to your unit’s motors in jolts that are strong enough to start the cooling cycle in your system. The capacitor starts to produce less energy once your AC is operating, but it continues to provide a steady stream of power until the cycle is complete.
Voltage and microfarads are utilized to measure AC capacitors. Voltage is used to measure how much jolt of electricity is flowing through the capacitor. The more voltage the capacitor has, the more quickly the electrical current flows. On the other hand, microfarads measure the capacity of the capacitor to store electrical current.
The AC capacitor only aids other components in performing work; it does not perform any work separately. Since it can transfer energy between circuits, it is a crucial component of many household electrical appliances.
Can I Replace an AC Capacitor Myself?
Although AC capacitors function and look similar to batteries, they are not battery types. Capacitors are connected to the wiring in the air conditioning unit. This is why we advise our clients not to open their unit’s door to install a new capacitor without a help of a professional. Since AC capacitors are high-voltage components that might cause significant injury to you even if the power is out, it is strongly recommended against changing them yourself.
Follow any instructions provided with your new unit purchase if you’re thinking about replacing your own AC capacitor filter. Even so, before using your AC system again, be sure to have a certified service technician from our company inspect it.
What Are the Signs of a Bad AC Capacitor?
An AC capacitor is the heart of your system, so it’s important to keep it healthy and working at its best. That’s why your compressor doesn’t run unless the capacitor starts up first. The newer models of AC units now rely on direct current motors instead of alternating current motors. Also, the capacitor is what triggers the compressor to turn on.
Here are some signs that your AC capacitor may need to be replaced:
You could be paying for a new AC capacitor next time you set up your air conditioning system after a thorough analysis of the unit. If you notice that your fan doesn’t turn on or the unit is really hot, this may be one of the signs of an impending failure.
A slow-working compressor is another indication that something is not right — if it takes too long for your system to cool down, especially with central AC units, then you should call in an expert to fix it.
A slow fan speed is also a sign that something is amiss, especially if the fan is not very powerful. The AC capacitor may fail to power the compressor, which would mean that it could not send enough refrigerant to your unit; thus, your air conditioning would be weak and inefficient.
If the AC capacitor fails to go through the entire cooling process, it might indicate that it needs replacement. Moreover, if your system is hot and your fan is not working, an AC capacitor repair may be necessary.
The AC capacitor may typically be identified as defective just by glancing at it. A faulty AC capacitor frequently swells or bulges outward, and it may disintegrate and spill oil. Thus, it must be replaced in this instance. As a result of electrical components operating at greater temperatures during the warmer months, this is more likely to occur.
If you are having trouble distinguishing between a bad AC capacitor and other issues, it would be best to call Triple A Air Conditioning & Heating to help you out. Our experienced AC technicians would know what the problem is — whether it’s the compressor or something else — and they’ll be able to fix it accordingly.
AC capacitor failure is often a sign of more significant problems in the air conditioning unit. Without the AC capacitor, the air conditioner fan can only operate at low speeds, resulting in decreased cooling power.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace an AC Capacitor?
The cost to replace and install a new capacitor varies greatly according to your unit’s make and model. There isn’t much to worry about financially when professionals do cooling repairs. You should budget between $220 and $250 to replace your capacitor and repair your air conditioner, maintenance included. If you’re using a branded machine and want to utilize their parts, the price can rise to over $400. If that is out of your price range, there are many cheaper options that don’t compromise capacitor efficacy.
How We Can Help
For three generations, Triple A Air Conditioning & Heating has offered excellent cooling and heating services to families in Flower Mound and Irving, Texas. We are pleased to inform our clients that we have been named to the Aggie 100 and won a humanitarian award. Additionally, we have a BBB A+ rating. Our high-quality heating and conditioning services enable homeowners in the counties of Denton and Dallas to maintain comfort all year long.
Along with offering top-notch service, we also provide some of the most outstanding warranties in the industry, such as a complete money-back guarantee on AC system installs. We guarantee that any new system we install will cool your house to 75° on a 100° day and heat it to 78° on a 20° day. This is known as our 100-Degree Comfort Guarantee. If not, the system will be replaced to make sure it does! In addition, our staff has undergone background checks, drug tests, and extensive training to provide you with the superior service you deserve.