Where Is the Capacitor Located on an AC Unit? What to Know About Your Unit

Do you know where is the capacitor located on an AC unit? You may not know how to perform the repair or the replacement, but knowing the location can give you a better sense of familiarity of the device. Your AC is one of the many crucial devices in your home that comforts the entire family.

Ensuring you know how to properly care for and maintain your unit can be helpful. It means you should be able to identify the issue early and solve it right away before everything worsens.

Understanding the Function of a Capacitor

This device keeps energy and then feeds it off to the AC so it has a cooling effect to make the room cooler and more comfortable. So, where is the capacitor located on an AC unit? There are 2 capacitor types: the start and run capacitors.

The capacitors are typically close to the motors for the unit’s outdoor fan, air handler, and compressor.

where is the capacitor located on an ac unit

When the cooling cycle starts, the start capacitors will provide an extra boost to the motors so they can start immediately. When every motor has run enough, the (start) capacitors will turn off, and then the run capacitors will start running.

The run capacitors would provide an extra boost of energy non-stop. This will ease off the unit’s loads of various motors while ensuring the unit runs smoothly – and consistently.

How Do I Know if My AC Capacitor Is Blown?

Some signs will show you that your capacitor is damaged or blown. Some of the common signs are:

  • The AC doesn’t produce cold air. Because the capacitor is bad, your unit blows warm rather than cold air. You should try turning it off and on again, but if you still encounter the same issue, you most likely have a faulty capacitor.
  • You hear a humming sound for the outdoor unit. The noise comes from the access panel.
  • Your utility energy bill is skyrocketing. With a bad capacitor, your unit must work extra hard to provide more power. It means your AC will excessively strain itself to provide a cooling effect. This is the reason why the bills are high.
  • Your unit suddenly (and randomly) turns itself off. Here’s a thing: Your AC unit should never turn off on its own. That’s not normal. If it happens, then your unit may experience a bad capacitor.
  • Your AC doesn’t (or won’t) turn on. It’s also possible that your unit takes a very long time to turn on and operate.
  • You have a burning smell from the outdoor unit. You should never smell anything burning from your electric device. When the capacitor runs badly, the motor must work harder, leading to an overheating issue. When it overheats, it’s logical that you smell something burnt.

Read also: Understanding Air Conditioner BTU Meaning

Replace the Capacitor on the AC Unit Cost

The replacement cost may range from $70 to around $350, with the standard and average cost is set around $180. However, you can always talk to the professional technician about the cost details, including the labor, the material, the unit type, and others.

Can I Replace the AC Capacitor Myself?

You shouldn’t perform the replacement on your own. The capacitor is deeply related to electrical parts. There is always a possibility of electrocution. If you treat the capacitors incorrectly, you may cause further issues to the unit. Contacting a professional service and asking for their help is always wise.

Read also: Air Conditioner Condensate Drain Code Requirements

Final Words

Not only do you need to know about the capacitor facts, but you should also know the common signs and how much money you should prepare to get the repair and replacement. If you know where is the capacitor located on an AC unit, you can address the issue immediately.

Gravatar Image
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