There are some small components in your air conditioner that can have a big impact on how it operates. One such component is the capacitor. Capacitors are used in many appliances because they help store and regulate electrical voltage. Capacitors are used in your air conditioning to start the AC cycle and keep it running evenly. Due to their smaller nature, many people think it’s easy to switch out a capacitor should it start to malfunction, and it is – if you have expert knowledge of electrical systems. If you don’t, it’s best to call professionals, like the ones at Command A/C.
Why Does an Air Conditioner Need Capacitors?
Whole-home air conditioning systems run on an electrical circuit known as single phase. This means that your air conditioner operates from a power source (your electrical box) with singular distribution of alternating current electric power (AC power). With this type of power supply, the voltages vary in unison, meaning they come all at once and have various voltages. The varying nature of the power requires the use of components that can a) help your air conditioner motor start and; b) keep it running evenly even though the electrical current is uneven. This is where capacitors come in.
Two Types of Capacitors
There are two types of capacitors in your air conditioner:
- Start capacitor
- Run capacitor
There are three motors in your air conditioning system: the blower (fan) motor, the condenser fan motor and the compressor motor. Each needs a large load of electricity to start up. The start capacitor helps provide this burst of energy to the motor so that it has the power to start. The torque measures about double the amount of the system’s voltage.
The main job of the run capacitor is to keep the motor to which it’s attached running at full power. To do this, the capacitor helps smooth the “bumps” of the uneven voltage, and then conducts the power to the motor in an even way, as the motor needs it. Feeding your motor the right amount of power keeps it operating optimally and efficiently.
Capacitors are important components of your air conditioning system, but any repairs involving them should be handled by a trained professional. If you suspect you may have a capacitor issue, call Command A/C today and schedule your AC service in Cypress, CA with one of our experts.