Air ConditioningAC Components Guide: What Is a Capacitor?

When you think of your air conditioning system, you may think of that hulking outdoor unit standing vigilantly in your backyard. Perhaps you think of your thermostat, or the duct registers from which your cool air spews forth. What you may not stop to think about very often, though, if at all, are all of the other components within your system that you never see or interact with directly. The capacitors in your air conditioner, for instance, may not even be on your radar. They are very important components of your air conditioning system in Everett, WA, though, as you’ll see below.

2 Types of Capacitors

There are 2 different types of capacitors that air conditioning systems may use. They may have similar monikers, but they perform fairly different functions. Should either of these capacitors fail, you are going to have to schedule professional repairs in order to get your air conditioning system back on track.

Start Capacitor

When your air conditioner starts up, it is going to require more power to get going than it does once it is running. The start capacitor is a device that is used to give the system the extra power boost that it needs to get up and running. If your start capacitor is not operating properly, your air conditioner may have trouble getting going.

Run Capacitor

Once your air conditioner is up and running, it is obviously going to continue to draw power in order to continue cooling your home. The run capacitor, as the name implies, serves the purpose of keeping your air conditioner running reliably. If your run capacitor is not functioning properly, you may experience problems such as short cycling with your home cooling system, in which it turns on and off at inappropriate times.

Schedule your AC services with G & S Heating Cooling & Electric.


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