Changing AC Capacitor: All the Facts that You May Not Know

Most homeowners think that changing AC capacitor is easy, but it can be dangerous for those who are completely clueless about the part. The capacitor is crucial because it’s the one that keeps the motors running.

If the capacitor fails or goes bad, the motors won’t run. In the end, your AC unit won’t function or operate properly. You should know how to spot bad capacitor signs and what to do next.

changing ac capacitor

How Can I Tell if My AC Capacitor Is Bad?

Before you think about it, you need to know some of the most common signs that it has gone bad.

  • Your AC doesn’t blow cold air. Don’t you think it’s odd that a device that produces cold air doesn’t blow any of it? Instead, of may get warm air, and that’s completely odd. You can try to turn it off and on again, but if the problem stays, you need to contact a professional to check your unit.
  • You hear a humming noise when it’s on. It’s also possible that it takes forever or is hesitant even to begin.
  • Your energy bill is skyrocketing. Because of the bad capacitor, your unit has to work extra hard, taking a toll on your bills.
  • Your AC doesn’t start right away. Normally, an AC should start right away after you turn it on. But if it takes a while to start, there may be a faulty capacitor.
  • Your AC tends to turn itself of on its own – and it doesn’t happen once or twice. If you see that your AC shuts off by itself, and it happens quite often, you need to be aware of it.
  • Your AC won’t turn on at all.

Read also: Does Your Window Air Conditioner Turns On and Off Right Away?

How to Test AC Capacitor?

Be advised that a pro should test the capacitor if you are clueless about your unit. But if you have had the experience with it, then be my guest. Have a multimeter first before you can do the testing. There are some basic steps to follow.

  • You need to cut the power off. This ensures your unit doesn’t get any electricity while being checked and tested.
  • Locate the capacitor. You need to remove the unit’s access panel. Afterward, it should be easy to see a cylindrical and silver thing as small as the soda can. You should also see many colored wires being connected to it.
  • The capacitor stores electric charge. Make sure to release the power before you can tweak it so you won’t be electrocuted. Connect the screwdriver to the electrical terminals and ensure that the screwdriver has been covered with rubber or plastic.
  • You can now safely remove the capacitor after you discharge it. Take pictures of the wires so you are able to reinstall them again after the replacement. Unplug the wires. Unscrew the brackets and then pull the capacitor out.
  • Check the condition. A faulty capacitor typically leaks or bulges. If you spot such a thing, then it’s a sure thing that it needs a replacement.
  • You need to identify the capacitor’s rating now. You can find sources to know how.
  • Set the multimeter up. Again, you can find resources to do so.

Afterwards, you can test the capacitor. How to do it depends on the capacitor type: whether you have a single type or a dual type.

Can I Replace the AC Capacitor Myself?

It’s highly unadvisable. You shouldn’t do it on your own unless you are a certified technician. This job is risky, although it seems simple and not harmful. Always contact a professional service about changing AC capacitor.

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AirconMag is an experienced author and Air Conditioner expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of AC unit, including installation, maintenance, and repair