Along with the heat and humidity, comes summer’s most common AC repair: a broken capacitor.

What is an AC Capacitor?

Capacitors are electronic devices in your air conditioning systems that give a boost of power at the start of each system cycle. This helps bring the fan up to full speed. Just like any other mechanical or electrical device, they are prone to breakdown, especially when they are under a heavy workload.

Signs of a Problem…

Capacitors do not always give signs before they breakdown. However, you might notice some of these signs that indicate there may be a problem.

  1. Smoke- The capacitor might smoke as it begins to fail. It also may have a smell due to the chemicals inside.
  2. Leaks- The chemicals inside might leak as it’s failing
  3. Startup Failures- The capacitor may start to fail ever so often. This will lead to the ac to be unable to do its job.

Reason For AC Capacitor Problems

There are different reasons a capacitor can fail. While only a certified heating and cooling specialist can determine the exact cause, there are a few common reasons it can stop working as well.

  1. Physical damage (such as debris hitting the unit, etc.)
  2. Improper voltage/current
  3. Unit Overheating
  4. Age
  5. Reduced Air Flow (check & change your filters.)

Speaking of AIR FLOW…

Clean Air Flow is so important!  Not only can it cause a broken capacitor, but it can also cause other parts to breakdown as well. You will end up spending more money fixing your unit than if you just bought and replaced your filters.

It’s not just about saving money on parts though. For your heart to be healthy, you need to be able to breathe easily. If your HVAC system isn’t in good shape, then your quality of air isn’t in good shape either. When air is stifled in homes, it can result in an increased risk for illness. When air isn’t moving, you are left to breathe in and out the same air over and over again. You’re breathing germs, particles, mold and other toxins. When you don’t change your filters, you end up pushing all that your filters have caught back through your vents and in your home again. So please, please change your filters!

If you suspect your capacitor is going out or just needs to be looked at, please give us a call.

423-416-AAA1 (2221)

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