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  • Here’s what you need to know about capacitors and your A/C

    outdoor a/c unit with capacitor in Shiloh IL

    It’s August in Shiloh, IL, which means we’re still experiencing sweltering temperatures that cause us to seek periodic shelter inside in the air conditioning. However, when that air conditioning goes out, you have a big problem on your hands. But why did the A/C go out? It was working just fine yesterday. Unfortunately, extreme heat and repeated use over a long season can put stress on your air conditioner. Making breakdowns more frequent due to mechanical and component failures within the unit. One of the most common causes; the capacitor. A capacitor? What’s that, you say? Read below to find out, and see how you can get you’re A/C up and running again!

    What is a capacitor?

    The capacitor is a less-heralded, albeit vital component of your air conditioner. A capacitor are small, cylindrical parts that provide short bursts of energy to specific parts of the air conditioning unit. Imagine turning on your unit, the jolt you hear when the compressor kicks on and the jolt you hear when the fan kicks on are both produced by the capacitor. Essentially, it provides the initial burst of energy needed to get the parts moving and cool the air inside of your home.

    How do I know something is wrong?

    Well, your air conditioning won’t be working – that’s your first clue. However, it can be difficult to know what’s causing the outage when it’s August in the Midwest, which means high temperatures could have caused any number of air conditioning components to break. That being said, here are a few ways you can check the capacitor to see if it’s working:

    • First, you can listen. If you hear the unit running, but the fan isn’t spinning, you may have a problem with your capacitor, as it would not have provided the initial jolt to start the fan.
    • Next, you can check the fan itself. Take a long stick, and give the fan a gentle push. If the fan takes off and starts spinning, it’s likely that you have a capacitor problem. If the fan still doesn’t spin, your problem is likely due to the failure of a different component.

    How do I fix it?air conditioner capacitor replacement in Shiloh IL

    Unfortunately, this probably isn’t a repair that you can do yourself unless you’re familiar with the parts and tools needed to repair HVAC equipment. Additionally, you may not be for sure that the capacitor is the problem. The best course of action is a call an air conditioning repair company. They’ll be able to properly diagnose the problem and provide fast repairs that will keep your family cool for the remainder of the summer!