How Long Do AC Capacitors Last In Florida
If you live in a state like Florida, where the air is hot and muggy for a good portion of the year, then you know how important it is to have a reliable air conditioner. One of the most critical parts of your AC unit is the capacitor. This little device helps start up your air conditioner by giving it an extra power boost. Today, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about AC capacitors, including exactly what they are, and how long they last, and answer many of your other top questions about this small but mighty part of your AC unit.
What are AC Capacitors?
In short, an air conditioner capacitor is a small metal can or cylinder that stores electricity. It helps to give your air conditioner’s motor the extra power it needs to start up. The capacitor is connected to the air conditioner’s compressor, which is responsible for circulating cool air throughout your home.
Without a working AC capacitor, your air conditioner would be unable to start up and circulate cool air. This would leave you dealing with the hot, muggy air of a Florida summer, which is certainly not ideal!
How Long Do AC Capacitors Last?
AC capacitors are designed to last for many years, but eventually, they will need to be replaced. On average, an AC capacitor might last between 5-20 years. However, some factors can affect the lifespan of your AC capacitor.
For example, living in an area with high humidity levels like Florida can cause your capacitor to rust and break down more quickly. Additionally, if your air conditioner is constantly running (perhaps because it’s too old or isn’t the right size for your home), this can also shorten the lifespan of your capacitor.
In general, you can expect to need to replace your air conditioner’s capacitor every 10-15 years in Florida. However, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your AC unit and be aware of any changes or signs that it might need a new capacitor.
Why Do Capacitors Fail?
AC capacitors can fail for many reasons, but here are a few of the most common:
Rust and corrosion
As we mentioned, rust and corrosion can cause your air conditioner’s capacitor to fail. Again, this is more likely to happen if you live in an area with high humidity levels.
If your air conditioner is constantly running or is too old, this can cause the capacitor to overheat and fail. To prevent this, it’s helpful to give your system a break every now and then by turning it off for a few hours. This will help prolong your air conditioner’s life and its parts.
If you try to replace your air conditioner’s capacitor yourself, it’s important to ensure you get one that matches your AC unit. If the new capacitor isn’t matched correctly, this can cause it to fail prematurely.
Wear and tear
Like any other part of your air conditioner, the capacitor is subject to wear and tear. Over time, this can cause it to fail. Again, this highlights the importance of regular inspections and AC maintenance. That way, any potential issues can be caught and fixed before they cause major damage.
If there is a problem with the electrical current going to your air conditioner, this can damage the capacitor. For example, if there is a power surge in your area, this can cause the capacitor to fail.
As with anything else, the older your air conditioner’s capacitor gets, the more likely it is to fail. However, because of their relatively long lifespan compared to other parts of your AC unit, the capacitor is often one of the last things a technician will need to replace or expect to fail.
If your air conditioner’s capacitor was not installed correctly in the first place, this can cause it to fail prematurely.
Cost to Replace AC Capacitor
Now when the time comes to replace one or more AC capacitors, you might wonder how much it will cost. The good news is that capacitor replacement is a relatively inexpensive repair. On average, you can expect to pay between $150-$350 for capacitor replacement, depending on the type of air conditioner you have and the number of capacitors that need to be replaced. This includes the cost of the actual capacitor(s) as well as the labor for replacing them.
Of course, it’s always best to consult with a professional AC technician to get an accurate estimate for your specific repair needs. They will be able to take a look at your air conditioner and let you know exactly what needs to be done and how much it will cost.
Bad AC Capacitor Symptoms
So, how do you know if your air conditioner’s capacitor has gone bad? A few key symptoms to look out for can indicate a problem with your capacitor.
- Your air conditioner is taking longer than usual to start up: If it takes a few extra seconds for your air conditioner to turn on, this could be a sign that the capacitor is not working properly.
- Your air conditioner is making strange noises: If you hear loud banging or humming noises coming from your air conditioner, this is also a sign the capacitor might be failing.
- Your air conditioner is not blowing air: If your air conditioner turns on but doesn’t actually blow any air, this could mean the capacitor is not providing enough power to the unit.
- Your AC unit isn’t cooling your home: If your air conditioner is running but not cooling your home, this could be yet another sign of a problem with the capacitor.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to call a professional AC technician right away. They will be able to take a look at your air conditioner and diagnose the problem. In many cases, a bad capacitor is the culprit, but other issues could also be at play.
AC Capacitor Replacement
Once the problem has been diagnosed, replacing the air conditioner’s capacitor is next. Again, this is a relatively simple repair that a professional AC technician can do. In most cases, the entire process should take at most an hour or two.
If you’re dealing with a bad air conditioner capacitor, the best action is to call a professional AC technician immediately. They will be able to quickly diagnose the problem and replace the capacitor so that your air conditioner can get back to circulating cool air throughout your home.
(Learn about the best AC units for South Florida next)
AC Capacitors: FAQs
Next, let’s go over some of your other common questions about air conditioner capacitors.
Where can I buy an air conditioner capacitor?
You can find them at most home improvement stores or online retailers if you need to buy a new air conditioner capacitor. You might also be able to find them through your air conditioner’s manufacturer.
Can I replace my air conditioner capacitor myself?
In most cases, it’s best to leave air conditioner repairs like this to the professionals. It is unlikely most homeowners have a multimeter or other tools needed to properly diagnose air conditioner issues. In addition, air conditioners can be dangerous to work on if you’re not experienced in HVAC repairs.
How often do air conditioner capacitors need to be replaced?
The lifespan of an air conditioner capacitor varies, but in most cases, it should last for several years. Of course, this will depend on several factors, such as the capacitor’s quality and how often the air conditioner is used.
What causes air conditioner capacitors to go bad?
There are a few different things that can cause air conditioner capacitors to go wrong. For example, they can be damaged by power surges, overuse, or simply due to old age.
What are the components of an AC unit?
Along with the capacitor, there are a few other critical components in an air conditioner worth noting, such as the compressor, evaporator coils, and air handler.
- Compressor: The compressor is responsible for circulating the refrigerant throughout the air conditioner.
- Evaporator coils: These coils help to remove heat and moisture from the air.
- Air handler: The air handler blows air across the evaporator coils and into your home.
What happens when a capacitor fails?
When the capacitor in an air conditioner fails, it can cause a number of problems, such as loud noises, lack of power, and reduced cooling ability. Homeowners might notice any of these issues taking place.
Call AC Care Heat & Air Today
If you’re dealing with a bad air conditioner capacitor or any other AC issue, the best action is to call a professional AC technician immediately. They can figure out what the problem is and get your air conditioner back to keeping your home cool and comfortable how you like it!
At AC Care Heat & Air, our experienced AC technicians are here to help. We offer AC repairs, replacement, and maintenance services. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!