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What You Need To Know About Defective AC Capacitors: Do They Result In A High Electricity Bill?

What You Need To Know About Defective AC Capacitors: Do They Result In A High Electricity Bill?

Despite the fact that ACs utilise a lot of power, their inefficiency makes cooling more expensive than typical. High electric bills may be the result of a defective AC capacitor. The other components of the air conditioner must work harder to perform their functions because of improper voltage brought on by malfunctioning capacitors. Consequently, as energy consumption grows, so does the monthly energy cost.

Discover the warning indications of a failing AC capacitor by reading on. In addition, we’ll explain the many kinds of capacitors, how they work, and why they sometimes malfunction. Finally, we’ll talk about the lifespan of your capacitor and whether you can do it yourself.

Capacitor Failure: The Tell-Tale Signs

What You Need To Know About Defective AC Capacitors: Do They Result In A High Electricity Bill?

Here is a quick rundown of the signs that are most frequently used to diagnose a bad AC capacitor when examining your air conditioner.

Costly Electricity
If the capacitor in the AC is damaged, you will notice a large increase in energy costs. The faulty capacitor makes the AC’s operation require extra energy. Higher energy costs are a result of this inefficiency.

AC Isn’t Blowing Cold Air
When your AC capacitor is broken, you might also notice that warm air, not cold air, blows through the vents.

If you turn on and off your condenser unit repeatedly and the issue still exists, the capacitor might be failing. This issue could arise if the air conditioning system shorts out or gets damaged by the weather.

Unusual Noise
An air conditioner shouldn’t make any noise when it is turned on. You will need to replace or repair the broken or faulty capacitor if you hear an odd noise, such as humming or clicking.

Random AC Shutdown
Since the capacitor powers the AC, if there is a problem with it, the AC unit will shut off on its own.

It’s likely that the unit is no longer receiving enough energy from the capacitor. As a result, the AC is unable to sustain general functionality by storing enough charge. Therefore, think about replacing the AC capacitor as soon as you can.

The AC Won’t Turn On
When you click a button, air conditioners virtually instantaneously turn on, and the power transition only lasts a few seconds. If it takes a long time for your air conditioner to turn on, the power capacitor may be old or have failed.

What Purpose Does An AC Capacitor Serve?

What You Need To Know About Defective AC Capacitors: Do They Result In A High Electricity Bill?

An AC capacitor and a battery have a similar function, yet they behave very differently. Electrical energy that can be used to start and maintain the fan motors is captured and stored by the capacitor.

Capacitors help maintain the motors regularly charged, enabling the air conditioner to run dependably and efficiently for longer periods of time.

Various Capacitor Types

The two main categories of AC capacitors are. These capacitors come in a variety of kinds and serve various purposes.

Let’s look into the various capacitors used in AC equipment.

Start Capacitors
The energy needed to start the fan and motor is produced by start capacitors. These capacitors continue to function during the time required to turn on the AC. The start capacitors disengage as soon as the AC turns on and wait until they are required once more.

Run Capacitors
Given that they are active during the whole AC operation cycle, run capacitors are more frequently utilised than start capacitors.

The coil motors are kept running throughout the process by the magnetic field produced by these capacitors. Single-stage and dual-stage run capacitors are the two different varieties of run capacitors.

A single motor or device with two terminals at the top can be started and powered by single-stage run capacitors. Dual-stage run capacitors, on the other hand, are more common in AC systems with a condensing unit that has three connections on top and are used to power additional components.

What Could Be The Reason For Your Capacitor Failure?

The following are some of the most frequent causes of capacitor failure in your individual air conditioner, albeit only a qualified heating and cooling specialist can pinpoint the exact problem in your case:

1. Overheating

The wet separator inside the electrolytic A/C capacitor will dry up if the device gets too hot, causing an internal short circuit.

If the capacitor’s temperature continuously exceeds 150 degrees Fahrenheit, it could malfunction.

Heat from the sun or an extended period of A/C use can also cause overheating. On a hot day, when your air conditioner needs to work harder to cool your house, this is more likely to happen.

2. Voltage Spikes

Your capacitor could be harmed by power spikes. Your air conditioner’s capacitor may deteriorate and be destroyed by frequent power surges caused by unstable power lines. A defective power supply could also potentially affect your other electrical devices.

Every capacitor in your electrical equipment will be harmed by a power surge, which will overload and burn up your electrical system. The best way to safeguard other appliances and the capacitor in your air conditioner is to install an HVAC surge protector.

3. Capacitor Age

Because capacitors have an expiration date, they will cease to work in the future. Their ability to hold and release electrical energy degrades over time. When they have served their purpose no more, they cease to function.

How Long Can An AC Capacitor Be Used?

The lifespan of an AC capacitor is 10 to 20 years. Extreme weather and fluctuating outdoor temperatures, however, can hasten their failure.

The best course of action is to have a professional technician do routine maintenance on your system so they can look for wear or indicators of damage before the capacitor burns out.

Is It Possible To Change An AC Capacitor Yourself?

What You Need To Know About Defective AC Capacitors: Do They Result In A High Electricity Bill?

If you know what you’re doing and how to spot a failing capacitor, you can replace an AC capacitor yourself.

How can this be done securely? Please follow these instructions:

1. Shut Off The Power

Cut the electricity to the air conditioner. Find a block fuse or a local circuit breaker in a box next to the outdoor air conditioner unit; you must remove the block fuse or shut the circuit breaker to turn off the power.

If there is no outside shut-off box, turn off the circuit breaker for the air conditioner at the main service panel to stop the flow of power. Additionally, set the thermostat in your house to the OFF position. This will stop brief bursts of low-voltage current from reaching the capacitor as you operate.

2. Remove The Access Panel

By opening the access panel on your air conditioner, you can remove the mounting screws. The panel is located in the casing of the air conditioner’s upper right corner. Maintain the cover and the screws in a safe place.

3. Get A New Capacitor

Inside the panel, look for the capacitor. Typically, it has a sticker on the side and is fashioned like a can. Take notice of the technical details, such as the load voltage, tolerance, and capacitance, that are listed on the sticker.

Replace the capacitor with a model that satisfies all requirements. It doesn’t matter if the new capacitor has a slightly different shape as long as you can install it in the same location.

4. Take Out The Capacitor And Label The Wires

The capacitor might still be storing electricity even when the power is out; this must be discharged before you can safely operate on it.

To discharge the capacitor, cross the two metal terminals that protrude from the capacitor body with the blade of an insulated screwdriver. This effectively “short circuits” the capacitor, discharging any stored energy.

Examine the outdated capacitor and take notice of the connections made by the three wires. F for fan wire, C for common wire, and Herm for compressor wire should be written on the capacitor’s terminals, respectively.

Remove the spade wire connections and wires from the old capacitor, and then attach little tabs with masking tape to each wire, marking them with a marker to show which terminal they link to. To remove the capacitor, unscrew the attachment strap and take it away from the device.

5. Install The New Capacitor

In the same spot as the previous capacitor, install the new one. Slide the connector ends of the spade wire onto the proper posts on the new capacitor to verify the connections are made properly.

6. Start The Power And Do A Test

Turn on the circuit breaker or replace the block fuse at the power box to turn on the air conditioner’s power. Lower the temperature to activate the air conditioner, then set the thermostat back to the ON position.

When the AC is on, avoid attempting to reconnect the side panel. Turn off the thermostat and the breaker to the AC unit once you have made sure it is functioning properly. Place the AC panel cover in place and fasten it with the necessary screws.


Capacitor issues that are discovered early on may help you avoid paying higher monthly electric bills. Neglecting a bad capacitor can cause the entire device to shut down. To check the air conditioner and see whether the capacitor has to be changed because it has failed, call an AC specialist.

What You Need To Know About Defective AC Capacitors: Do They Result In A High Electricity Bill?

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