The AC contactor regulates the electric flow into the unit. The contactor cuts off the power when you turn off your air conditioner. Similarly, when you turn on the air conditioner, the contactor allows electricity to power the system and is reset when your home reaches the temperature set on the thermostat.

When should you replace your AC contactor?

Capacitors typically last several years, but if you keep the same air conditioner for more than ten years, you’ll need to replace them at least once. A start capacitor is installed in many outdoor units to assist the AC in starting up, whereas a run capacitor keeps the system running after it starts up.
However, your system may only have one capacitor in the outdoor unit, and some models may also have a capacitor for the indoor blower motor. Capacitors resemble large batteries, but they are connected to wires within your air conditioning system.

Unfortunately, you can’t simply insert a capacitor into a slot and snap on a plastic cap, because it is not the same as a battery. In this case, you would need the services of a professional for AC service in Lewisville.

How do you know if you need to replace a capacitor?

Your air conditioning contractor in Lewisville claims that your capacitor has failed, the following points would indicate why:

  • The voltmeter indicates that there are insufficient microfarads. Every capacitor is rated in microfarads. For example, yours could be rated for 35 microfarads with a plus or minus ten range. If it falls below 25, your HVAC technician will know it’s time to replace it.

  • When the capacitor is far gone, it will swell up. It will appear as if someone crammed too much material into the tube, causing it to bulge at the sides.

  • Although this does not always occur, bad capacitors frequently leak oil.

How do you test an AC contactor?

  • Turn off the power to the air conditioner before removing the contactor. Perform the test at both the thermostat and the breaker level. After turning off the power, proceed to the condenser unit.

  • The AC’s control panel is located on the side of the unit that is connected to the wires. Remove the side cover with a screwdriver. Several colored cables are connected to the contactor.

  • Remove the contactor from the condenser unit’s side (while still connected to wires). Continue by removing the wires.

  • Use a multimeter to test the contactor and set it to the OL position. Connect the multimeter to the contactor’s low volt terminals on both sides.

  • If the contractor is operational, the multimeter will read between 5 and 20. If you get a lower or no reading, the contactor is broken.

  • Replace the condenser’s side paneling and turn on your air conditioner. If you are still unsure how to do it, call a skilled specialist for AC service in Lewisville.

When an HVAC technician says the capacitor needs to be replaced, you’ll know now what to ask. Ashford Mechanical provides a budget-friendly preventive maintenance service. Also, if your air conditioner isn’t working correctly, call us at 469-444-0628 or leave us a mail here to schedule an appointment with an air conditioning contractor in Lewisville!