Air Conditioner capacitor has a life expectancy, just like any other part of your HVAC system. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about AC capacitors, including how often you need to change them and how much it costs to replace them.
AC capacitors can last around 10 to 20 years on average.
Make sure to schedule preventative maintenance on a regular basis to keep your air conditioner running at its best and to get the full life expectancy of the capacitor.
What is a Capacitor?
The capacitor is a small, round part that is inside the AC unit. You’ll need special tools and will have to take apart your AC to get to the capacitor. Because of this, most people don’t try to fix problems with their capacitors on their own.
The capacitor is a lot like a battery that can be charged again and again. It is in charge of giving the air conditioner electricity and storing electricity that can be used to jump-start the unit. Without a working capacitor, your air conditioner won’t work.
Types of AC capacitors
Air Conditioner capacitors actually come in two different kinds. There are different kinds of these capacitors, and they also do different jobs.
Capacitor Start Motors
Start capacitors are what makes the electricity that the motor and fans need to turn on. These capacitors only work long enough to make sure the air conditioner is on. Once the air conditioner is running, the start capacitors will turn off and wait until they are needed again.
Capacitor Run Motors
Run capacitors are more common. They keep the motor running until your home is cool enough to be comfortable. Run capacitors have to run as long as the air conditioner does. It makes a magnetic field that keeps the coil motors moving during the whole operation.
There are two kinds of run capacitors:
- Single run capacitor: has 2 terminals and starts one motor at a time.
- Dual run capacitor: has 3 terminals and can start multiple motors.
What causes AC capacitors to fail?
Capacitors have a pretty hard job to do. Because of this, AC capacitors often fail before any other air conditioner parts. In general, there are three things that can cause a capacitor to fail.
- Heat exposure. Capacitors don’t like to get too hot. If they get too hot, they won’t be able to hold a charge, which makes it hard for them to power important things.
- Age. Capacitors get less good over time because of normal wear and tear. When heat is added, a capacitor’s average life span of 20 years can drop dramatically.
- Improper voltage. This is a common problem for people who do their own work. There are certain voltage ratings for capacitors. If you try to replace an older capacitor with a newer, lower-voltage capacitor, you may find that the newer capacitor doesn’t last as long.
Signs of a bad air conditioner Capacitor
The life expectancy of an air conditioner capacitor is long; it’s often the last part that most technicians look at. Here are some of the most common signs of a failing capacitor:
- The ac unit is not blowing cold air.
- The ac unit takes a long to start once you turn it on.
- Humming sound coming from your air conditioner.
- The ac shuts off frequently.
- The ac won’t turn on.
- Your energy bills are rising.
When the above signs come up, it means you need to replace the ac capacitor.
How much does it cost to replace an AC capacitor?
According to Home Advisor, the average cost to replace an AC capacitor is between $125 and $250. The price of the part itself is usually between $10 and $75. The top-rated brand-name parts may cost more.
Factors that affect the AC capacitor cost:
How long do AC capacitors last?
The average life of an AC capacitor is 10 years. Brands and models of the capacitors can vary a little bit in how long they last. Make sure you get the most out of your heating and cooling system by having it serviced regularly.
With annual maintenance on your AC system, a technician will be able to tell if there might be a problem with the capacitor. If you fix the problem before the part breaks completely, you won’t have to find an emergency AC service, and your house won’t be too hot in the middle of summer.
AC capacitor has a life expectancy between 10 and 20 years. Because there are different kinds and environmental factors that can affect them, they may fail before their lifespan is up.
Even though capacitors are small, they do a lot to keep your house cool and comfortable. Every summer seems to get a little hotter, so you should check on your air conditioner regularly. When a capacitor in an air conditioner goes out, it can be anything from annoying to dangerous. If you aren’t sure what to do, call a professional to get your home running again and avoid any hassles and risks.