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6 Signs Your AC Has a Bad Capacitor


When your air conditioning unit stops working, you need to identify the problem and get to the bottom of it quickly. There are many AC components that could be to blame for a range of common issues, including weird noises, condensation leaks, or a failure to blow cold air. If you're dealing with the latter issue, your system's AC capacitor may need attention.

What is an AC Capacitor?

Air conditioners are high-powered machines that require a great deal of energy to run. Even though your AC is connected to your electrical system, it still needs a very strong boost to kickstart the cooling cycle. That's where an AC capacitor comes in. An AC capacitor is a small cylindrical object that stores the energy that is used to power your AC system's motors. This part is one of the most frequently replaced parts in air conditioning systems, as it is often the culprit behind complete breakdowns.

Bad AC Capacitor Symptoms

If your air conditioner isn't working, a bad AC capacitor may be to blame. Bad AC capacitor symptoms include:

Humming Noises

When trying to determine the status of your AC’s capacitor, consider listening to the unit when you turn it on. If you hear your AC emitting a humming noise, it’s possible that your capacitor is failing.

The AC Isn’t Blowing Cold Air

The AC’s failure to blow cold air into your home is one of the first signs that there’s something wrong with its capacitor. With that in mind, try turning your system off and on again. If the problem persists, contact a professional to examine the unit and determine if the capacitor is the problem.

The AC Turns Off By Itself

According to experts, most air conditioning units nowadays will turn off on their own if they detect any issues with their components. Therefore, if you notice that your AC shuts off on its own every now and then, this can indicate that there’s a problem with its capacitor. To inspect your AC unit to properly determine if this is the case, consider hiring an air conditioning repair expert like one from John Stevenson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.

Your Energy Bills are Rising

On the other hand, if you notice that your energy bills are rising despite taking every possible step to save energy, the failure of your AC’s capacitor might be the culprit. This is because if your AC has a bad capacitor, it’ll work harder than it should to perform its job, resulting in the unit using more energy than necessary.

The AC Doesn’t Turn On Immediately or Won’t Turn On At All

If your AC takes a while to start or fails to turn on at all, it’s likely that its capacitor has already failed or is getting ready to. If this happens, you’ll need to replace the capacitor to get it to work again, which can cost you a significant amount.

AC Capacitor Replacement

AC capacitors are high-voltage devices that could cause serious injury if handled incorrectly. For this reason, you should always leave AC capacitor replacement to qualified HVAC professionals who can complete the job for your correctly and safely.

Do you need an expert to repair your home’s air conditioning unit? If so, simply turn to John Stevenson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., your number one service provider for residential and commercial HVAC needs in Orange County. Give us a call at (760) 276-6690 or fill out our contact form to request our services in Southern California.