A common call we get from Edison homeowners is “Why won’t my AC turn on?”
So it was no surprise when Robert C., a homeowner in Edison, NJ, called saying that he had trouble starting his central air conditioner. Whenever he tried to start the AC, it would make strange noises.
To fix the problem, we sent out our technician, Dennis, to investigate!
When Dennis arrived, he first needed to find the cause of the problem. This is called performing a “diagnostic.”
During the diagnostic, it became apparent that the air conditioner’s capacitor went bad.
So what is a capacitor and why would it prevent an AC from turning on?
Air conditioner capacitors: A quick explanation
A capacitor is kind of like a battery; it’s a device that stores electricity and releases it to help an electric motor start.
In this case, an air conditioner’s capacitor helps start the compressor (the AC’s heart) and the outdoor unit’s fan motor.
So, if the capacitor goes bad (as they often do), the AC can’t start. This lack of startup power also explains why Robert was hearing a strange noise: The motors were struggling to start but couldn’t.
The solution: replace the capacitor
Dennis wrote up a proposal with several recommended repair options and went over them with Robert.
At this time, Robert wanted to replace just the capacitor, which Dennis did. Note: We also have an option for a system renovation which includes replacing parts that could fail very soon.
Finally, Dennis ran Robert’s air conditioner just to make sure everything was working fine. Robert’s AC turned on just fine and the noise was gone.
Another satisfied customer!
Note: Keep in mind that the cost and time to fix an air conditioner all depends on what’s wrong with it.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. If your AC is having issues, the first step is always to have a professional diagnose what’s wrong.
It's just like how a doctor asks questions and diagnoses what's wrong with you before recommending a course of treatment to remedy the problem.