Blown Air Conditioning Unit?
There are fewer annoying things than a blown capacitor on a scorching hot summer day. When your air conditioning unit blows out, you will notice that your HVAC fan runs normally, but the air blowing out of it isn’t cold. When this happens, it’s likely that there’s either a failed AC capacitor or contractor. A capacitor is a small electric device that stores energy, and an AC can have one or multiple capacitors. In an air conditioning system, capacitors help to start and run the motors by supplying them with enough amount of current. Often, you will find three types of motors; the compressor, outside fan and inside blower motor.
How to Diagnose a Faulty Capacitor
Diagnosing a failure in the AC capacitor can sometimes be a daunting process, especially if you lack the right tools and expertise. A faulty capacitor may prevent the motor attached with it from running. When the compressor motor isn’t working, then your air conditioning unit will not cool. A failure in the outside fan causes problems with the compressor which may result in a system breakdown. Also, when the indoor fan isn’t working, then there is no air blowing out through the vents.
A voltmeter can help you check if your AC capacitor has gone out completely. Alternatively, you can look at your cooling system to see if the fan is spinning and the capacitor is running. If you hear the AC compressor produces a humming sound and the fan doesn’t turn, then your capacitor may be out of its operating range.
However, before an AC capacitor goes out completely, there are several signs that a homeowner should look out for such as a bulging and smoking capacitor, discharges fast, a burning odor and oozing fluid around the circuit board and the capacitor.
Why Do Capacitors Blow?
Some of the reasons that may cause a capacitor to fail are short-circuiting, lightning strike, power surge, overheated circuitry, wear and tear, and excessive outdoor temperature.
How to repair a blown AC on your conditioning unit
- Slide a long and thin stick through a fan grate and gently push one of the fan blades
- If the fan spins and keeps going, it means that you have a bad start capacitor
- Your next step would be finding a pro or replacing the capacitor yourself
To replace the capacitor without the help of a professional, follow the following steps
- Find the breaker panel; you will mostly find it on the outside of the house, and turn power off
- Now locate the capacitor and inspect by removing the service panel, finding the start capacitor and checking for issues with it
- You will need to discharge the capacitor
- Unscrew your old capacitor from the metal band
- Draw the topology of the wires on a piece of paper
- Use a rocking, gentle motion to disconnect the wires
- Replace it the new capacitor
Why Should a Homeowner Seek the Skill of a Professional to Resolve This Matter?
When you have a blown capacitor, the last thing you will want to do is to repair it, especially if you know little about electricity. Although some maintenance tasks are pretty simple, others may not require a trained professional. And since capacitors are connected directly to live electricity, it’s recommended that you seek the services of a professional who can repair your air conditioning unit.
When hunting for a professional to maintain your air conditioning unit, look for one who has proven competent, reliable and quick to respond to emergencies. A trained pro will help you avoid damage at the early stages.