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How Capacitors Work


What is a Capacitor? Why Do Capacitors Go Bad?

Durring the summer, many times we are called to come out because the air conditioner is not cooling and find that a capacitor is not working. Then the customer wonders why such a part on a heavy piece of equipment should be failing so frequently.

Capacitors come in all shapes and sizes, but the real way to get the proper capacitor is by the micro farad rating printed on the side. Capacitors are much like batteries in that they are charged up, hold the charge and then release the charge. Also like batteries, they wear out over time. Shen they can no longer hold the correct charge, they should be replaced. Their purpose is to reduce the load placed on large single phase motors. When the capacitor starts to run down, the motor is struggling to run and will wear out earlier than designed. A motor replacement will cost you many hundreds of dollars, a capacitor will cost less than a hundred dollars to replace. It is best to replace the capacitor rather than wait for your motor to fail and replace both the motor and capacitor.

Catching a capacitor when it is weak is part of the semi-annual tune-up checks that we make at Alexander Heating and Air Conditioning.

Call to schedule your tune up or sign up for our maintenance agreement today.

(919) 886-4822


About Author

Frank Alexander is an experienced engineering professional who holds a Master of Engineering degree from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the University of South Carolina. Frank holds licenses in both residential and commercial HVAC, and holds a limited electrical license. Frank is also NATE certified.

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