The Importance of the Run Capacitor

testing on capacitor Bad Capacitor

Run Capacitors for your A/C System

      Keeping you informed and educated about the little things that make all of the difference for your Phoenix Air Conditioning Unit is the best way we know to keep you cool and comfortable through the extreme heat of our long summer months.  Knowledge can equal peace of mind.

What is a Run Capacitor?

      A capacitor or condenser as it is sometimes referred to, is commonly used in electronic devices.  It is a combination of three objects, a pair of conductors for sending electricity and a dielectric which is some form of non conductive materials.  An electrical field is created between the two conductors which then stores energy.  This stored energy is used to boost current needed to maintain a charge during constant use of a motor as in your Air Conditioning Unit. 

In the case of the typical Air Conditioning Unit there are dual capacitors, one for the fan motor and the other for the compressor motor. The run capacitor is for the fan motor and the one for the compressor is called the start capacitor.  The Run Capacitor maintains a relatively constant voltage supply for the purpose of increasing the torque of the fan motor on start up.

When Should I check my Run Capacitor?

      If a run capacitor is not working or is not the right size for your unit it does not always shut your system down.  Rather, it throws off the magnetic field, causing the fan motor to run unevenly increasing energy noise and decreasing efficiency with a possibility of causing overheating problems and other performance issues.   The best clues will be the sluggish running of the fan motor or slow start up of the fan motor, with noises you may not have heard previously.  In extreme cases the fan motor will just not start up, so always consider the run capacitor when a fan motor is not working.

 

Do It Yourself or Call A Professional

 

      A multi-meter is required for capacitor testing.  If you are comfortable with the use of a multi-meter you may consider testing it yourself, there are always good instructional articles and videos on the internet.  However if you are not comfortable with using a multi-meter devise it is best to call a A/C Professional in Phoenix. 

Replacement of The Run Capacitor

 

        The Run Capacitor can be quickly diagnosed by a professional and replacement is equally fast, your Air Conditioning Technician can ensure the proper size Run Capacitor is installed providing a smooth running fan that starts up the first time every time.  A run capacitor is not something that is usually diagnosed during routine maintenance.  It does not gradually go out; it is either working or not working.  So if you feel your fan is not working to full capacity or hear it struggle on start up, call your Air Care Cooling & Heating LLC Professional right away.  This quick fix will keep your system running well and keeping you and your space cool.



         

Phoenix Licenced Air Conditioning Contractor

Licensed A/C Contractor versus The Unlicensed Guy who knows a lot about A/C

Phoenix ac contractor

 

     We all know having our Air Conditioner looked at, serviced, repaired or replaced can be costly and there can possibly be a longer wait than we would like. Sometimes this leads into thoughts of trying, “The Other Guy”, you know, the one you heard about somewhere, your neighbor knows him, maybe even your friend or brother.  This guy did a really great job that one time and only charged a fraction of the normal cost and not only that his schedule was open and he was available immediately.  Whatever the reason, we have for contacting “The Other Guy”, there are some things to be considered first.  Continue reading to determine what is really best for you

     Regulation in the Air Conditioning Industry exists for the purpose of protection, much like Insurance works to protect our property.  This regulation protects the person performing the Air Condition work; it protects the person having the work done; more so, this particular regulation also protects our environment and the world we live in. The Licensed Contractor has learned these regulations, has made an agreement to honor these regulatory standards, and is held accountable to the same regulatory standards.

      Insurance is comparable to assurance; this is what you get when you hire a licensed Air Condition Contractor.  Freon being released into our air is harmful and licensed Contractors are very aware of the rules and regulations concerning Freon, it uses and how to manage and account for it accordingly.  The credentials of those with licensure can be checked and reported on, based on the results anyone experiences from any particular contractor.  If any Licensed Contractor does not comply or does not live up to the required standards, they may lose their license, regardless of how much they know about Air Conditioning.

    “The Other Guy”, may be the one who had his license revoked, or the one who could not pass the testing required, or maybe even the one who did not bother to take courses in the first place.  One thing we know for certain about “The Other Guy”, is that he has not chosen for whatever reason to learn and be held up to a standard that protects him/her, us and our neighborhood or our environment.  “The Other Guys” work is not documented or verifiable, we have very limited recourse (if any) when we are not satisfied with his work, also there is no way of accounting for the environment, starting in our own back yard.  In addition to a myriad of other factors that can occur from lack of knowledge including, but not limited to, causing an Air Condition Unit to need replaced unnecessarily, electrical issues to include possible fires, and the list goes on.

    In summation, there are many intricate workings within an Air Condition unit and for everyone’s safety; Rules and Regulations have been developed, providing protection for Consumers, their neighbors, their property and even the very air that we breathe.  The money or times that may be saved are costing more than you can ever begin to calculate.  The price of satisfaction and safety are also incalculable.  It only makes good cents to hire Only a licensed Air Condition expert every time, assurance is even better than insurance.

New Air Conditioning Phoenix

New Air Conditioning Phoenix

Air Conditioning Phoenix

Repairing versus Replacing that old Phoenix Air Conditioner

            Have you had your  Phoenix Air Conditioning Unit for a number of years now?  Is your A/C unit past all warranties?  Have you been told by a technician that you are in need of major repairs?  Has an Air Conditioning technician or expert recommended replacement of your existing unit?  There are many factors to consider whether it is off season or in the midst of the peak of our extremely hot summers here in the valley of the desert sun when deciding between repairing or replacing your current Air Condition Unit.

            A few of the factors to consider as you are debating this decision are, how old your existing unit is; how much money you have already put in to your existing unit over time for repairs; how much is it going to cost for current repairs; how often has your unit needed repairs; how well has your existing unit been fulfilling your cooling requirements; how much warranty if any, your existing units has; have you had any additions or add-ons to your home since the existing A/C unit was installed; and how efficient your current cooling system is in relation to power usage versus output.

            Before weighing in all of these factors, there is one circumstance that is a 100% guarantee that repairing is the best choice versus replacement.  If your home is the same size and structure it was when you first bought and had the existing unit installed, you know it is still the right size unit to serve your cooling needs now.  In addition, if your unit is still under warranty, and you know it is the right size to continue serving your homes cooling needs, this is the one definite yes to having the unit repaired versus replaced.  Both factors must apply, however to be a clear-cut answer to repair.

            There are two factors that are a pretty solid guarantee that replacement is the best option:  One, if your unit is over 10 years old.  It is impossible for an A/C unit over 10 years old to have anywhere near the efficiency factors available in new units today.  Efficiency factors that can keep your home cooler with less wear on the unit itself and  substantial savings on your power bill adding up to a long term savings well worth the cost of unit replacement.  Two, if you have modified, altered or added on to your home in any way since the current unit was installed.  An Air Condition Unit is rated based upon the amount of space it is designed and capable of cooling effectively.  If you have added on to your home in any manner that increases the space to be cooled beyond the rated capacity of your current unit, any money spent on repairs would be wasted as your unit would be incapable of cooling your space and ultimately would work itself to death very quickly putting you right back where you started.

The best place to start when faced with this decision, if the above rules do not apply, is of course just plain dollars and cents.  Get some quotes, more than one; get a quote for repairs from more than one technician and company.  Then get multiple quotes for replacement cost for different A/C units available, ask for quotes on the highest efficiency unit versus a quote for the lowest efficiency unit.  Get quotes on different name brands like Trane, Rheem, Ameristar and Goodman get quote comparisons for installation and removal. 

Now that you have the dollars and cents factor and stacks of different options, it is now time to start narrowing down the options as you make this monumental decision.  It is not exactly a life or death decision but with the extreme heat we experience for an extended period of time in this hot desert valley, it can seem that important.

            Taking all of the factors into consideration:  If your unit is outside of warranty, under five years old, still has a rating sufficient to cool your homes space requirements, and has never or seldom needed repairs before, it really does come down to dollars and cents and personal preference to replace as repair would seem the most logical choice. 

            If your unit is between five and ten years old and still rated large enough to cool your space requirements and has never or seldom needed repairs, unless the cost of repairs are extremely high comparable to the cost of replacement, it is best to repair.  

            If your unit is between five and ten years old, still rated large enough to cool your space requirements and has needed repairs more than two or three times over the years.  This is a good opportunity to seriously weigh in the price as well as the efficiency factors in making a fair determination as to whether to repair or replace. 

            If your unit is over 10 years old, whether it has had few or many repairs over the years, may not be as important as the fact that all units now available are more efficient and capable of cooling your home more effectively than the one you have now, however, if the cost of repairs are low it may make sense to do repairs.  If your unit is over 10 yrs old and this is your second or third call this season, even if the costs are low, they are now beginning to add up and the discomfort you are experiencing in addition to possible damage to your property from not being cooled far outweighs the upfront cost and the long term cost factors must now be calculated.  In this case, it is best to replace your current unit with the one that best fits your needs from the quotes you have already had done.

       This information does not cover all of the factors to be taken into consideration as the choice to replace versus repair and A/C unit, but does provide some basic guidelines to assist you in making one of the most important decisions you will be making as a resident or even part time resident in Phoenix the Air Conditioning Capital of America.  Stay cool and make informed choices that are good for you, your home and your family.