Bad Capacitors & Air Conditioning

What are capacitors and how does it affect air conditioning?

Most repairs needed to keep an HVAC unit running is mostly electrical. If you ever take a look inside, you’ll see fuses, plugs, wiring, connections, and several other components that requires electricity to run. When something begins to go wrong, these electrical components are the first to be looked at.

You’ve probably heard your air conditioning or heating contractor say: “your capacitor is bad.” What this does is power the compressor and fans. Without it, the motors won’t work.

What are capacitors?

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Look at capacitors like a temporary battery. Like the picture above, capacitors are cylindrical objects that holds energy within itself. When it’s attached to a motor, it’ll send a quick current to start the motor (aka start  capacitor) or continuous currents to keep the motor running (aka run capacitor). Capacitors work with the compressor, blower motor, and the outside fan.

Problems you face with a bad capacitor

Capacitors will eventually fail when it can no longer hold a charge or is being given too much power. A few problems can arise:

  • Clicking sounds from a failing capacitor
  • Humming from when a capacitor has died
  • Weakened capacitors causing the unit to have a difficult time starting and suddenly shutting off
  • chemical leaking from damaged or broken capacitors
  • issues with the blower motor, compressor, and the outside fan

It’s not a matter of if the capacitor will break but when will it break. If the unit is properly installed and everything is working fine, it should last until it’s very last breath. However, it won’t last if it’s improperly installed.

Should you need repairs, call California Air Conditioning Systems, Inc. in Los Angeles, CA at (310) 530-0504. We provide honest answers and repairs to your air conditioning and heating systems.


Need air conditioning repairs? Is your heating blowing cold air? Are you having issues with your air ducts? Visit our website for more information.

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One thought on “Bad Capacitors & Air Conditioning

  1. Pingback: Why Is My Air Conditioner Making Noises? – Served Chilled

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