Unlike lots of other complicated AC repairs, the average homeowner can safely replace a capacitor. However, if you feel uncomfortable with the process, call one of our HVAC professionals for help. Follow these steps to replace yours.
1. Turn off the power at the electrical panel. Switch off the breaker at your breaker panel so that your AC unit can’t receive any electricity.
2. Turn your thermostat to the off position. This is an extra safety step to help ensure you won’t shock yourself.
3. Remove the exterior panel of your AC unit, storing it in a safe place where none of the screws will get lost.
4. Discharge the capacitor’s stored electricity. This step is critical to avoid a potential electric shock. Place the blade of the screwdriver across the capacitor’s two metal contacts to discharge the power.
5. Determine which replacement capacitor you’ll need. The capacitor will be shaped a bit like a soda can and probably held in place with a strap. Most likely it has a sticker with specifications written across it; this will tell you which capacitor type you’ll need to replace it with. Now you can buy a replacement.
6. Label the wires. Some AC units have one capacitor for each motor. If yours connects to all three motors, label the wires before removing them from the capacitor so you can wire the new capacitor properly. They’re probably labeled C (short for “common”) for the blower, “F” for the fan, and “Herm” (short for “hermetically sealed”) for the compressor motor.
7. Remove the old capacitor. Detach each wire from the capacitor, unfasten the mounting strap, and remove your old capacitor.
8. Wire and fasten the new capacitor. Place the new capacitor in the same position from which you removed the old one. Connect each of the three wires to its corresponding C, F, and Herm space wire connector. Replace the mounting strap.
Now you’re ready to replace the exterior panel, turn the electrical supply back on, and turn your thermostat back to “Cool.”
Air Conditioning Service in Freeport
Not all homeowners want to replace their own capacitors. If you prefer to call the professionals, we’re happy to help. Dog House offers comprehensive heating, cooling, and plumbing services in the Freeport, ME area. We offer 24-hour emergency service and handle heating and air conditioning, zone additions, ductless mini-splits, boiler installation, plumbing installation, generator piping, duct cleaning, and more. Call us today for efficient indoor comfort services.