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Late Summer Air Conditioning Warning: Watch Out for Failing Capacitors!

There are two times during the year when you need to take special care of your home’s air conditioning system. The first time is in spring, when it’s vital that you schedule a maintenance inspection and tune-up from an HVAC professional. This prepares the air conditioner for the rigors of summer. The second time is during the close of the summer season, because at that point the air conditioner has gone through high levels of stress for almost four months. This is the period when an AC is most likely to encounter mechanical failures that will require repairs.

Failing capacitors

A common problem that HVAC technicians see at the close of the summer is failed capacitors. Capacitors are components found in numerous electrical devices; they work like temporary batteries, storing a charge in an electrical field. In air conditioners, capacitors send voltage to the motors that run the fans and the compressor. One set of capacitors starts the motors, and another set supplies the regular voltage necessary to keep them running. When a capacitor fails, it can mean an AC that struggles to keep running—or may not run at all.

Capacitors are designed to handle the heat levels inside an air conditioner’s cabinet that comes from the other components. But high temperatures outside during summer can shorten the lifespan of capacitors, and at the close of the season there is a higher chance of one of them failing.

If one of the fans in your AC stops working, or if the compressor won’t come on, you may have a capacitor issue. Never fiddle with the interior components on your own: it requires professionals to replace a failed capacitor.

Please don’t imagine that you can delay calling for repairs because it’s late in the season and cooler weather is already starting. You never know when you may need your cooling system again, and you don’t want to turn it on only discover that failed capacitors (or some other malfunction) have shut it down.

Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC offers air conditioning repairs in Bryson City, NC.