Every spring and summer, we get a lot of phone
calls from customers saying their AC isn’t working. A good portion of those calls are for a common
repair. Their capacitor has failed. If your technician has told you that your
capacitor has failed, it’s definitely one of those items you’re going to want to replace;
And I’m going to tell you why in this video. If this is your first time watching our channel,
please click subscribe down here on the bottom right.
And, if you click that little bell next to
it, you’ll be notified of all our videos as they come out. I want to give a fair warning to everyone
watching this. If you’re watching this video with the intention
of changing your own capacitor, they carry a lot more voltage than the typical 240 volts
that runs the air conditioner. Capacitors can and will shock you even when
the power is turned off. Serious injury and death can occur, as high
voltage doesn’t mix well the human body.
So, this video is not to teach anyone how
to install or replace a capacitor. There are other YouTube creators that will
explain it for you. I recommend having a real HVAC technician
handle this repair as they know how to discharge the capacitor properly so no one gets injured. A capacitor is a storage bucket of electrons
that is constantly giving itself up for the motor it supports. And, they don’t make them like they used
to! Capacitors made in the 60’s 70’s and 80’s
were designed to last a long time. As a technician, I still come across these
late model air conditioners and I’m amazed their capacitors are still running just fine. That’s kind of unheard of these days. Capacitors made today are typically designed
to last five to ten years.
There are definitely some brands of capacitors
that are made better than others, and it’s up to your HVAC technician to find those good
brands and use them in the best interest of you, the customer. I’ve seen caps that only lasted two years! I know of certain brands of air conditioners
that are installed brand new, and two or three years later, we are replacing the capacitor.
Then an HVAC company comes out and replaces
theirs with a cheap or less proven brand, and it gave out in a short amount of time,
with no warranty on the item. So, the customer has to buy another one. That’s frustrating for the customer, but
not for the HVAC company. They get to keep charging $200 plus dollars
to keep your AC running every other year. We use MARS brand capacitors, because they
are made in America and I personally believe they last longer than the others.
There are several other brands to use out
there, but we don’t switch it up and use those other brands just because we happen
to be near an HVAC supply store that sells cheaper capacitors. Most of the motors in your air conditioner
can’t run without a good capacitor. Like I said, they support these motors. They help the motor start and run efficiently. Some people have gone out to their air conditioner
and noticed the fan wasn’t spinning on their AC like normal. So, they get a stick or something to reach
into the fan shroud and try to manually get the fan blade to start spinning. And it works now! This is a classic sign that the capacitor
for that fan motor is bad, and a good example to you why these motors can’t start and
run efficiently without a good capacitor.
And we can’t just put any ol’e capacitor
in there either. It needs to be the exact size recommended
by the manufacturer. If it isn’t, the motor might start, but
will operate out of balance. It causes an uneven magnetic field around
the motor, which can make the motor noisy, make it work harder (raising the cost to run
it,) or just cause the motor to burn out altogether.
Now, there are differences in a typical dual
run capacitor that normally comes in your AC and a start capacitor that can be added
on to your system either at the manufacturer or at your house by a technician. I’ll explain those in a different video
and try to attach that video when I make it at a later date. But for the purposes of this blog, I wanted
to answer this question my best friend Matt asked me the other day, and I thought it would
make a good question to answer for other people out there.
If your capacitor has failed, please don’t
try to run that part of the system. It’ll only cause more damage to the system,
which might force you to replace a bigger, pricier part, or your entire system. So just be patient. Hopefully your technician has one on their
truck already. They usually will. Some of you folks out there changing these
out on your own better be careful. Capacitors carry a lot of power and will strike
before you know it. So, that’s just my last bit of warning for
you DIY’ers if you try to navigate this repair on your own. If you are buying these parts online because
of price, sure they might be cheaper, but that’s nothing compared to getting injured
or possibly ruining a more expensive part because you didn’t hook it up right. If you’re paying the average price of $100
to $300 dollars for a capacitor from your technician, (depending on which part of the
country you’re in,) it’s because you’re paying for that company to have the right
one on their truck and install it right now for you.
If this is your first time watching our channel,
please click subscribe down here on the bottom right. And, if you click that little bell next to
it, you’ll be notified of all our videos as they come out. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you on
the next video..