The last thing any Tampa local wants this time of the year is to feel warm air flowing from their AC vents. When your home starts to feel heavy with heat when you’re trying to escape the brutal Florida sun, it’s probably time to call an HVAC technician. The problem could be a bad AC capacitor.
Our HVAC technicians share the ins and outs of AC capacitors and signs that yours has failed.
What is an AC Capacitor?
In your outdoor air conditioning unit or heat pump, there is an electrical component called an AC capacitor. Essentially, the AC capacitor drives the motor that puts the whole HVAC system to work.
The AC Capacitor is responsible for powering the motor that propels the entire HVAC system into action.
When your thermostat detects the temperature rising in your home and tells the AC unit that it’s time to cool off, the capacitor releases its charge as a burst of 300-500 percent of the amount of electricity required to operate. Once the motor reaches the correct speed, the capacitor continues to provide a steady amount of electricity to the unit until the cycle is over.
What Damages an AC Capacitor?
With summer and storm season here, the risk of a failed AC capacitor has increased, as damage can be caused by:
- Lightning strikes
- Power surges
- Overheated system circuitry
- High outdoor temperatures
- Short circuits in the cooling system
- Wear and tear
Problems Caused by a Bad AC Capacitor
A failed AC capacitor prevents your AC from operating properly. The system must work harder, which causes wear and tear that reduces the lifespan of your unit. Additionally, your power bills will dramatically increase, and additional components may face damage, resulting in more costly repairs.
What are the Signs of a Bad AC Capacitor?
When your AC Capacitor goes out, you might not notice the issue immediately. In fact, you might not realize you have a problem until the AC shuts off altogether! Here are some warning signs to pay attention for:
- Burning smell from exterior AC parts
- Humming noise from your unit
- Increased time to start cooling once your AC is turned on
- AC randomly shuts off
- No cold air is blowing through your home while the AC is on
- Your system won’t turn on at all
- Your energy bills are higher than usual
Power Up Your HVAC with ACHV Services
When you start to notice any unusual symptoms from your AC, it’s best to contact a professional as soon as possible. We will work efficiently to diagnose and find solutions for the problem so that you and your family can get back to comfortable living as soon as possible.