An AC capacitor cost is somewhere between $12 and $55 for the part alone. The price you pay will depend on the model, voltage and brand, as branded units are more costly. The reasonable cost to replace an AC capacitor is between $100 and $225.
What is often asked by homeowners is why the cost to replace an AC capacitor can be so high, while the price of the part itself is very cheap? Remember that when you hire an HVAC contractor to replace an air conditioner capacitor, you’re not just paying for the part. You are also paying for the knowledge, repair, and immediacy of the solution.
What Is an AC Capacitor?
One of the vital part of AC system is a capacitor and replacing capacitors is the most frequently performed task by HVAC technicians. Capacitor gives your AC system the early charge to turn on, it collects and stockpiles energy that kickstarts when it starts a new cycle and provides continuous power to keep an air conditioner running.
A bad capacitor can cause your HVAC system to consume a large amount of electricity and you end up with higher energy bills.
AC Capacitor Types
There are two types of AC capacitors: run capacitor and start capacitor. An AC run capacitor have two categories:
- Single run capacitor – has 2 terminals and starts one motor at a time.
- Dual run capacitior – has 3 terminals and can start multiple motors.
Dual AC capacitor cost is expensive than single run capacitor as most HVAC technicians prefer using it because it saves space and is simpler to replace.
Signs of A Bad AC Capacitor
There are several signs that indicate that your AC capacitor is bad, but the most common sign is your AC humming often. Another common signs are:
- Air Conditioner does not turn on
- Air Conditioner stops and starts abruptly
- Air Conditioner delayed in beginning a cooling cycle
- Air Conditioner sounds like it’s running but no cool air comes out
- Burning smell or smoke coming from your Air Conditioner
- Your energy bills are high
A bad capacitor could impact the entire performance of your AC system. It stops the condenser unit from working on, which means the cooling process can’t be performed. You should check your capacitor regularly and replace when it goes bad. By doing this, you can save money on your energy bills and prolong the life of your air conditioning unit.
Capacitors usually go out for three reasons, a power surge, motors that are out of spec due to age and/or lack of yearly service.
AC Capacitor Replacement
Replacing an AC capacitor is not a DIY job, because these high voltage devices can cause serious injury, even when the power is shut off.
DIY AC Capacitor Replacement
If you think it’s something you would be comfortable changing on your own, an AC capacitor cost will be very cheap. Here are step by step on how to replace an AC capacitor.
You can take the cover off your condenser and look at the model number/capacity of the capacitor. You may have one capacitor or a dual run capacitor, that’s for both the compressor and fan, or you may have a capacitor for each. Just buy the same exact capacitor if you can find it, or just ones with the same microfarad ratings.
Discharge the old capacitor and wires and replace with the new one. Easy isn’t it? An AC capacitor is one of the most common causes of air conditioning problem, replacing it is simple.
Some homeowners have to overpay for an AC capacitor replacement, and that is why they are choose to go DIY. The reasonable cost to replace an ac capacitor by professional is between $150 – $250. And due to the risks involved when replacing an AC capacitor, it’s prefer that you contact an HVAC technician to ensures the job is done safely and correctly.