How To Change Your Capacitor

11 December 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Most homes have central air conditioning because it is the most functional and efficient system. One of the key elements of central air is the condenser unit. This article explains what the condenser unit is and how to fix issues with the power supply capacitor.

The Condenser and the Furnace

Central air in modern homes usually has two main parts. The inside unit, the furnace, is used to circulate air and it houses the evaporator coils. Meanwhile, the exterior unit, known as the condenser, is vital in transferring heat out the house. In general, when people refer to an air conditioning unit, they are really referring to the condenser unit. If either the furnace or the condenser are not working properly, your entire system will be ineffective and expensive to run. Furthermore, a malfunctioning condenser unit could cause the furnace to have problems (and vise versa). This is why you want to fix issues with the power supply to the condenser unit.

If your condenser does not seems to fire up, or if the fan is not spinning, you will need to change the capacitor. The capacitor is a small metal cylinder with wires coming in and out of it. It stores the power and prevents surging to the condenser unit. On most condensers the capacitor is in a small compartment along the backside. You may need to remove some small screws to access the compartment. Before you begin work, turn the power off and make sure that your AC has been off for a few hours because the capacitor can get really hot. First disconnect the input (then output) wires by removing the wire nuts. In total, you will have 4 (or 5 if there is a ground) wires to disconnect. You will also need to remove the mounting bracket screws that hold the capacitor in place. Save the screws because your new capacitor probably won't include the mounting screws.

Getting a Replacement Furnace

Instead of trying to decipher a list of all of the possible replacements for every brand and model of condenser unit, you will have the best luck if you just take your old capacitor to a retail store. Most HVAC and home improvement retailers will have replacement capacitors for the most common brands. Installing the new capacitor is simple, but make sure that the power supply is still shut off. In the end, this simple replacement will probably solve your power issues. For more help, visit an HVAC repair company like Mountain Air Comfort Systems.