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How Does a Bad Capacitor Effect Air Conditioning?

The majority of repairs needed to keep air conditioners running (around 85%) are for the electrical systems. There are numerous components, circuits, and connections that must work correctly in order for an AC to operate, and even small failures can result in an inefficient and power-draining cooling system. When something begins to go “haywire” with your AC, make sure to call for experts in air conditioning service in Bellingham, WA for the repairs that will restore it.

One of the key parts of the electrical system in an air conditioner is the capacitors. Without capacitors, the motors that power the compressor and fans would not be able to work. We’ll look a bit closer at what capacitors do and what might go wrong when a capacitor starts to fail.

No matter what faulty component troubles your AC, trust to the more than 40 years of experience at Foss Heating & Cooling to fix it.

What Are Capacitors?

Capacitors are similar to short-term batteries. They are small cylindrical objects that can store energy within an electrostatic field. Attached to motors, they send a jolt to start up the motor (a “start” capacitor), or a regular series of jolts to keep the motor working ( a “run” capacitor). In an air conditioner, capacitors work with three different motors: the compressor, the blower motor, and the outside fan.

Problems with Failing Capacitors

Capacitors can sustain damage from excess power and will also wear down to the point where they can no longer hold a charge. As a capacitor begins to fail, you will usually hear a clicking sound from within in the cabinet. Call for repairs right away before one of the motors stops working.

When a run or start capacitor (or both) dies, the motor to which it is attached will still attempt to come on, but hum instead of activating. If this continues, the motor could burn out and require a full replacement.

Weakening capacitors connected to the compressor will lead to a condition called “hard starting,” where the AC will struggle to turn on and then shut off again soon after. This places immense strain on the compressor and the other parts of the AC, and the system will need professional attention immediately.

In most cases, professionals will replace the capacitors that are risking the operation of the air conditioner. You should never attempt to do the replacement on your own, since the oil that leaks from broken and damaged capacitors is often dangerous to handle.

Although the electrical system needs the most repairs of any part of an air conditioner, you can still prevent most of these repairs through a system of regular maintenance. Should you need repairs, the technicians at Foss Heating & Cooling will have the problem fixed up in no time.

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