What Does a Capacitor do in an Air Conditioner

Various challenges come with living in hot environments like the Silicon Valley. However, none of them is hard to overcome as the extreme furnace-like heat in summer. It’s by good luck that modern air conditioners come with fewer parts that boost their overall reliability. You can rely on your HVAC unit to serve you for years without making you cater too much maintenance costs. Hiring an electrician or HVAC specialist can help with your capacitor. Understanding the difference between an electrician and HVAC specialist is just as important as knowing the difference between a contractor and subcontractor.

However, your A/C may fail suddenly, and it may never startup despite the caring efforts you make. In this case, know that the blame lies with the capacitor. But what does a capacitor do in an air conditioner? Although it’s small, it plays a significant role in the daily functioning of your air conditioner.

What Is An A/C Capacitor?

What Does a Capacitor do in an Air Conditioner?
What Does a Capacitor do in an Air Conditioner?

The capacitor is a tiny cylindrical device located in an air conditioning unit. What does an ac capacitor do? The device’s role is to supply and store electrical energy. When you power your air conditioner, the capacitor produces a high-voltage jolt between 400-600 volts and supplies it to the blower motor, fan motor, and the compressor.

Once those parts jumpstart, the air conditioner starts blowing cold air inside the house. While the A/C is running, it’s the role of the capacitor to collect and store energy. The device operates the same way as a rechargeable battery.

Every time you turn on your air conditioner, the capacitor for the central air unit supplies a fresh energy blast. One homeowner may have multiple capacitors depending on their air conditioner.

Why Does A Good Capacitor Spoil?

What does a capacitor do in an air conditioner? It does tough jobs that make it fail frequently. Various factors may contribute to a massive reduction in their lifespan. The following are some of these factors:

1. Excess Exposure To Heat

Heat tops the list of the most damaging factors for air conditioners’ capacitors. Excessive exposure of A/C units to heat for prolonged periods significantly shortens their lifespan. This can, in turn, result in significant damages to your A/C unit. Consider shading the area surrounding your air conditioner, and always keep it clean.

2. Wrong Voltage Rating

Your capacitor has a voltage rating that informs you of the right one for your air conditioner unit. Unfortunately, most homeowners try to reduce costs by replacing their capacitors on their own even without taking time to understand how to pick the right one.

If you choose to innovate new ways to change the capacitor, you must think like a startup. A tiny capacitor can’t damage your A/C, but it will significantly shorten the capacitor’s lifespan. If you choose to DIY the job, consider choosing a bigger one.

For instance, if your air conditioner has a volt unit of 370, choose a 400-volt capacitor as it will supply enough power, thus making it reach its maximum life expectancy. Read the latest tech news to find out how the wrong voltage might damage your capacitor.

3. Wearing Out

How Long do Capacitors Last
How Long do Capacitors Last

How long do capacitors last? Most capacitors have a lifespan of approximately 20 years. However, some factors can limit their life expectancy and make them wear out fast. Undersized capacitors make air conditioners cycle at a faster rate than average.

The air conditioner can also cycle faster if the capacitor features problematic parts. Such problems significantly contribute to the reduced lifespans of capacitors. Fortunately, replacing these parts is relatively cheap, so, even if the capacitor wears out before the A/C, the costs will not leave you bankrupt.

What does a capacitor do in an air conditioner? The device gives your air conditioner the power to run. However, there are various signs you need to observe to determine if your capacitor is faulty.

If your A/C isn’t enthusiastic, makes weird noises, or isn’t starting at all, know that the capacitor on ac unit needs a replacement. If you need assistance with any other home building answers, read the rest of our blog.