What Happens When Your Coachella Valley Air Conditioner Has a Blown Capacitor?
Air conditioners run on electricity, so if something goes wrong that prevents your system from receiving enough energy, it can encounter all kinds of operational problems. One of the most common types of electricity-related issues with air conditioners is a blown capacitor. Today we’re going to help you understand this problem by talking about what a capacitor is, how one can blow out and what should be done if your air conditioner has a blown capacitor!
What is a Capacitor?
A capacitor is a device that stores and supplies energy, and it is often used to improve the performance of a motor. In an air conditioner, capacitors are used to supply energy boosts to motors in the compressor, air handler and outdoor fan. Air conditioners use two types of capacitors: start capacitors and run capacitors. A start capacitor is used whenever a motor is turned on in order to give it a boost of energy so that it can start up quickly. A run capacitor is used while a motor is running in order to ease the load on the motor and keep it operating consistently.
Signs Your Capacitor is Failing
Keep an eye out for these signs that your capacitor is about to go, including:
- Burning Smell – This is a distinct, acrid electrical smell.
- Smoke – You might have visual evidence of an electrical burnout.
- Oozing Fluid – This can be present around the capacitor and circuit board.
- Cracked/Bulging Capacitor – All cracks and bulges in your AC should be tended to, but this one indicates imminent AC failure.
- Clicking Sound – This is the sound of a capacitor struggling to start before it cannot anymore.
A lot of times it isn’t obvious to the average homeowner before the blowout occurs, but luckily, a professional HVAC technician will have no trouble replacing it.
What causes a blown capacitor in your air conditioner?
- A power surge from something like a nearby lightning strike.
- A short circuit in an air conditioner’s control board.
- Overheating of a capacitor due to hot weather and/or too much stress.
- Normal wear and tear after years of use.
How do you know if your air conditioner has a blown capacitor?
Perhaps the most common sign of a blown capacitor in an air conditioner is something called a “hard start.” A hard start is a term that’s used to describe when an air conditioner stutters violently when it turns on and is not able to successfully begin a cooling cycle. This happens when a start capacitor blows out because your system doesn’t receive enough energy to kick on properly.
What should you do if you think your air conditioner has a blown capacitor?
If you suspect that your air conditioner has a blown capacitor, contact Hydes right away. Replacing a capacitor is a relatively routine fix, but it is a task that should only be performed by a trained and certified technician.
If you have any questions about a blown capacitor within your HVAC system, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Hydes, your Indio, CA, air conditioning contractor at (760)360-2202.