It is summer, and the last thing you want is for your air conditioner to break down. If your AC isn’t working correctly, one of the first things you should check is the capacitor. The capacitor is responsible for providing the power needed to start up your air conditioner. If it is damaged or working incorrectly, it can cause your AC not to work at all or not to work as efficiently as it should.
Read on to know more about this crucial component, how it works, and how you can test and repair it.
What is an AC Capacitor, and How Does It Work?
An AC capacitor helps to store and release electrical energy in an air conditioning system. It works by storing electrical energy in an electrostatic field, then releasing it when needed to help start the compressor.
Here’s how it works:
The capacitor has two metal plates (called “electrodes”) that are separated by an insulating material called a “dielectric.” An electric field builds between the electrodes when the capacitor is connected to a power source. This field stores energy in the form of an electrostatic charge. When the air conditioning system needs to start up, the capacitor releases its stored energy to help power the compressor. This energy boost helps the compressor overcome inertia and start more quickly.
Steps To Test and Repair an Air Conditioner Capacitor?
If your air conditioner is not working, one of the first things you should check is the capacitor. The capacitor stores electricity and helps to run the air conditioner’s compressor and fan. A faulty capacitor can cause your air conditioner to malfunction.
Here are the steps to test and repair your air conditioner capacitor:
Step 1: Check the Air Conditioner’s Circuit Breaker
The circuit breaker is located in the main electrical panel. If the circuit breaker has tripped, reset it and try to turn on the air conditioner again.
Step 2: Visually Inspect the Capacitor
Look for signs of damage, such as bulging, leaking, or burning. If the capacitor is damaged, it will need to be replaced.
Step 3: Test the Capacitor for Continuity
To do this, you will need a digital multimeter. Set the multimeter to the continuity setting and touch one of the leads to each capacitor’s terminals. The capacitor is working if you get a reading on the multimeter. If you don’t get a reading, the capacitor is bad and needs to be replaced.
Step 4: Replace the Capacitor
To do this, you will need to purchase a new capacitor with the same microfarad and voltage rating as the old one. Once you get a new capacitor, disconnect the power to the air conditioner unit and remove the access panel.
Find the old capacitor and remove it by unscrewing it from the terminal. Next, take the new capacitor and screw it into place.
After that, replace the access panel and turn on the power to the air conditioner unit. The unit should now be working correctly.