Like anything else, an AC capacitor has its lifespan as well. Without an AC capacitor, your AC unit can't run properly. Now you might wonder how long does an AC capacitor last? Well, wonder no more! We've done extensive research into this question and have the answer below.
You should expect your AC capacitor to last about ten years or more. Its service life depends on the usage frequency and how you maintain and care for your capacitor.
In addition, you can extend its service life by maintaining it regularly and following the manufacturer's recommended checkups.
An AC capacitor is a vital part of your air conditioner; without this, there's no way to function the AC properly. So continue reading as we know you've got many follow-up questions. with that said, let's dive right into this article!
What Does An Air Conditioner Capacitor Do?
Your air conditioner consumes and needs a lot of power to start your AC unit. Sometimes, people refer to capacitors and batteries as one, but they aren't the same.
Though the role of your AC capacitor is to store energy similar to a battery.
Even so, attaching your AC unit to your home's power lines is still insufficient to kick and start the AC when you turn it on.
The capacitor balances and compensate for the power shortage, ensuring that your AC has enough energy to start your AC.
Do AC Capacitors Wear Out?
A capacitor capable of storing and releasing energy degrades over time, similar to the battery pack. Capacitors will inevitably wear out due to too much heat and over time.
If you detect that your capacitor is showing a sign of malfunctioning, you should repair them right away. Running an air conditioner unit with faulty capacitors might lead to more serious and costly problems in the future.
Will An AC Compressor Work With A Bad Capacitor?
Even minor issues can cause your AC compressor to perform less efficiently or stop operating entirely. If your air conditioner appears to malfunction, it's time to contact your AC contractor or AC experts.
The capacitors are a vital part of the power system in your air conditioning unit. The motors that drive the compressor unit and the blowers cannot function effectively unless their capacitor works smoothly.
How Many Capacitors Are In An Air Conditioning Unit?
One or even more capacitors may be present in your AC system. As you can see, your AC system has a capacitor responsible for keeping the machine running smoothly.
This capacitor includes a Start Capacitor and the Run Capacitor. This help to assist the AC in starting up when you wish to turn on your AC.
A run capacitor also keeps the machine running once it starts up.
However, your AC system may have one capacitor device in the outside unit, and specific models may also have this device for your indoor blower motor unit.
What Is The Different Between Start And Run Capacitors?
Starting your AC unit requires energy, and the start capacitor supplies the power to start the AC. The start capacitor will shut off once sufficient power or energy for your motor is adequate.
Once the system runs, the run capacitor kicks over to keep the AC running for an extended period. While the air conditioner works, both capacitors produce and save power for their next push.
How To Diagnose An AC Capacitor
Either you repair or replace the faulty AC capacitor. The easiest way to determine the condition of your capacitor is to use a multimeter and test it.
If the current and voltage are both fine, your next step is to inspect the capacitor's essential components. If it is swollen or creates a chemical-like smell, it is already damaged.
Can I Replace An Air Conditioner Capacitor Myself?
As you know, one or even more capacitors are attached to your AC unit. Replacing these capacitors will require professional training to ensure the quality and safety of the job.
So we highly suggest you don't try this on your own! Doing so without proper training and experience will cause fatal injuries.
CAUTION: Please hire an air conditioner specialist to get this job done for you securely!
How Much Does An AC Capacitor Replacement Cost?
Generally, you can buy a brand new AC capacitor for around $9 - $25. However, the labor cost to replace your AC capacitor ranges between $60 to $200.
The cost is determined by the amount of expertise and the time required to accomplish the task. Most HVAC technicians can replace an AC capacitor in less than an hour.
What Causes A Capacitor To Fail?
There are multiple causes for an air conditioner unit's capacitor to fail. In contrast, only an AC specialist can pinpoint the exact cause of the capacitor failure.
The following are some of the most typical reasons for the capacitor to fail:
An Aging System
The AC unit components will begin to break or wear down as the unit itself gets old. In some cases, the fan motor might not be turning off as it should, causing a delay.
This delay is usually enough to cause your capacitor to overheat and cause them to fail.
Electrical Short Circuit
The capacitor has a moisture separator to prevent the unit from overheating easily. However, if the AC unit gets too hot, the moisture will evaporate, causing a short circuit and damaging the capacitor.
The compressor uses a capacitor to run its fan motor, which consumes around two-thirds of its designed working speed.
When the motors exceed the specified speed, the capacitors will release to prevent your motor from overheating or getting damaged. If the motor fails to release, this can result in an electrical overload and eventually damage the capacitor.
What Happens To Your AC When The Capacitor Fails?
An AC capacitor has a reasonably long lifespan. It is often the last component that most AC specialists will inspect.
That's why you cannot expect this to occur unless you observe the effects gradually manifested. Even so, there aren't usually early warning indicators of capacitor failures before they entirely fail.
However, you may observe any of the following effects of having a faulty capacitor:
It Struggles To Kick On Immediately
The AC capacitor is in charge of jumpstarting the AC unit by providing it with a powerful jolt. If the air conditioner does not switch on immediately, it could indicate a faulty AC capacitor.
A faulty capacitor signifies that your AC unit doesn't have enough power to deliver and jumpstart the unit.
The AC Unit Won't Turn On At All
If your air conditioner unit does not kick on, contact a heating and cooling repair specialist to inspect the device and determine whether the AC unit capacitor is at fault.
In these cases, the AC capacitor typically fails and needs a replacement.
It Shuts Off On Its Own
This typically indicates that the capacitor is no longer generating enough power for the unit since it no longer stores enough charges to keep the unit working.
You should replace the AC unit capacitor as quickly as possible.
Your AC Unit Is Not Blowing Cool Air
It's no surprise that many homeowners turn on their air conditioners nonstop during the hot season. Many malfunctioning parts could be in an air conditioner that isn't blowing cool air.
If the fan motor and air filter aren't the issues, your AC capacitor is the culprit.
You Hear A Buzzing Sound
It's working over to its usual operation and strives to deliver sufficient energy to your AC unit. That's the strange buzzing sound you hear from.
It Starts To Bulge And Leak Oil
The capacitor will appear to be bulge at the sides, and sometimes oil or chemical will leak. Although this does not always occur, it simply means it reaches its service life limit.
Surges On Your Power Bills
Most owners are unaware that a spike in their energy bills results from a faulty AC capacitor. It is critical to understand that its performance will continue to degrade as time goes by.
As a result, you will notice an increase in your utility bills.
To Wrap It Up
Throughout this article, you know how long an AC capacitor will last. You've also learned how many capacitors your AC system has.
We've also explained what causes your capacitor to fail and what will happen to your AC if the capacitor fails.
With confidence, we hope you will be able to maintain your AC capacitor to the fullest while running your AC.
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