Skip navigation

24/7 Emergency Services Available


AC Component Quiz: What Is a Capacitor?

We are not really going to quiz you on this, as the fact of the matter is that most residential property owners are not familiar with mechanical components within their air conditioners, such as their capacitors. There’s really no reason for you to be, as you are not going to be working on your air conditioner yourself. Even so, we think it’s a good idea for all homeowners to have a basic understanding of how their home cooling systems work, which is why we’d like to take this opportunity to give you the low down on capacitors.

Run vs. Start Capacitors

These 2 different types of capacitors are not actually facing up for a showdown in your air conditioning system. In fact, though they both serve rather different functions, they both work toward the same end goal: ensuring that your air conditioning system is able to cool your home effectively and reliably. So what is it that these parts actually do?

Well, a capacitor is basically a mechanical device that alters the current in a motor for a certain reason, depending upon the type of capacitor in question. With a start capacitor, for example, the idea is to provide a power boost in order to get the air conditioner started successfully. The AC motor requires the most power at once when it is starting up, and the start capacitor is responsible for giving it that extra bit of torque that it needs.

Of course, because current can fluctuate, your system may also need a hand in order to stay up and running reliably. This is where the run capacitor comes into play. A run capacitor runs continuously throughout the operation of the air conditioner. If your system is cycling off before its cooling cycle is complete, you should know that this is a very common sign of a failing capacitor.

To schedule any air conditioning services in Bolingbrook, IL, contact DuAll Heating & Cooling.

Comments are closed.