An air conditioner (AC) capacitor is a crucial component that enables your air conditioner to run effectively. It stores the electrical energy that the system requires to start the compressor and fan motors.
If the capacitor malfunctions, your AC unit may not start, the noise may become too loud, or your system’s performance may decline. Instead of making the costly decision of replacing your entire AC unit, read below to learn how to replace an AC capacitor in 8 simple steps.
If you need assistance, contact a professional like Anderson Air to help you replace any necessary components of your AC unit.
Step 1: Safety First
Before we delve into how to replace a capacitor on AC units, it’s essential to ensure your safety. We recommend that you turn off your air conditioner’s power source using the breaker or disconnect switch. Disconnecting the power will keep you safe from getting an electric shock.
Step 2: Find The Capacitor
Once you’ve made sure that the power is disconnected from your AC unit, locate the capacitor. It’s typically located near the motor, and it’s cylindrical in shape. Capacitors are round, cylindrical objects with two wires sticking out of the spot where the round ends meet.
If you’re not familiar with your AC unit’s technical parts and functions, you can refer to your owner’s manual for guidance.
Step 3: Identify The Capacitor Type
There are two types of AC capacitors – single and dual run. Single-run capacitors power just one motor, while dual-run capacitor powers both the compressor and fan motor.
Therefore, it’s crucial to identify which capacitor your AC unit uses before purchasing the replacement. The capacitor should also have a label displaying its specifications such as voltage and capacitance.
Make a note of the specifications before you buy the new capacitor since you’ll need to match them exactly. This is one of the most important things to note when you plan to replace AC capacitor units. Not all capacitors are the same.
Step 4: Take A Picture Of The Wiring
To make reassembly simple and straightforward, take a photo of the existing capacitor’s wiring before you remove it. This step will give you a reference to connect the new capacitor correctly. Alternatively, you can make marks on the wires or use color-coded stickers.
Step 5: Discharge The Capacitor
Discharging the capacitor is necessary to prevent electric shock. Capacitors store a charge even when there’s no power source. You can discharge the capacitor safely by touching its two wire terminals with a screwdriver. This action will cause a small spark, and the capacitor’s stored charge will dissipate.
Step 6: Remove The Old Capacitor
Once you have discharged the AC capacitor, replace the capacitor on AC units by safely removing the old capacitor by unscrewing or releasing the bracket that holds it. You may need to remove any other nearby components that block access to the capacitor. Be careful when removing old capacitors to not damage any of the wires or connections.
Step 7: Install The New Capacitor
Install the new capacitor beside the original equipment of your AC unit. If your new capacitor has a mounting bracket, attach the new capacitor and secure it with screws. Connect the wires to the appropriate terminals as marked when you remove the original capacitor.
Step 8: Restore Power & Test
Once you have completed the installation, restore the power to your AC unit. Turn the switch back on or turn your breaker back on. Test to ensure that everything works correctly. Turn on your AC unit and observe how it functions. If the cooling starts effectively, it means installation has been completed successfully.
When To Call A Professional
Replacing the AC capacitor is a simple task that most homeowners can perform. However, it is always crucial to call a professional if you’re unsure or uncomfortable with these steps. Some AC unit models may also require power disconnection by a licensed professional.
Homeowners with some technical know-how and experience working with electronics may be able to replace their AC capacitor themselves. However, it’s important to note that working with electrical components, especially those that store a charge, can be dangerous.
Before attempting any DIY repairs on your HVAC system, it’s essential to take the proper safety precautions.
If you are not comfortable working with electrical equipment, it’s best to call a certified HVAC technician to replace the AC capacitor for you. A qualified technician will have the knowledge, experience, and equipment required to safely and efficiently replace your old capacitor, and they can also inspect your system for other issues during the maintenance visit.
Furthermore, attempting to replace the AC capacitor yourself may also void your HVAC system’s warranty if an issue occurs later. This is another reason why it’s best to rely on a professional technician.
Conclusion – How To Replace AC Capacitor Units
Replacing an AC capacitor is an affordable way to maintain your air conditioning unit’s performance. With the right capacitor, and these easy steps, you can perform this task on your own. Follow these steps, stay safe and ensure your AC unit is running perfectly again.
While it’s possible for some homeowners to replace their AC capacitor on their own, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and take the necessary precautions. If you’re unsure about your abilities or feel uncomfortable with any step of the process, it’s always best to call a certified HVAC technician to ensure that the repair is done safely and effectively.