A/C Start Capacitor Issues

Air Conditioner Start Capacitor Trouble

Community Cooling & Heating Inc.

Air Conditioner Repair, Service, Maintenance

Fort Myers, Florida

Air Conditioner Start Capacitor Trouble


Failing capacitors are one of the common reasons for malfunctions in an AC. Thankfully, if you catch capacitor trouble in time, repair technicians can easily swap them out for new ones without any serious effect to the AC. However, if bad capacitors are ignored, you may end up with a non-functioning air conditioning system right when you need one the most.  One of the most essential components of an air conditioning system are the capacitors. A capacitor is used to store energy in an electrostatic field. Capacitors perform the task of maintaining an even flow of voltage to running motors, and providing a requisite initial  jolt to start the motor in the first place. For air conditioning purposes capacitors are connected to three main motors … the compressor motor, the blower motor, and the outdoor fan motor. Each of these has an individual capacitor, or set of capacitors, to start it (the start capacitor), and to keep it running (the run capacitor).

The most common problem that bad capacitors can cause is “hard starting.” This is when the compressor of an AC has difficulty starting up, stutters trying to turn on, and then shuts off a short while later. There are a number of different causes for hard starting, but a bad start capacitor is probably the most common, as well as being a relatively simple, and low cost repair. while not always easy to diagnose that a start capacitor is the problem, a trained, knowledgeable  technician will quickly pick up on any visible signs such as splitting, bulging, frayed or discolored wiring, or even leaking oil.  They will also run electrical tests for amperage and continuity to be certain the capacitor is the source of  the trouble.


Bad hard start capacitor
Bad hard start capacitor

Before a capacitor fails, it often times will begin to make a clicking noise or intermittently, run for only short periods of time, or make a humming noise as the motors begin to turn. This is a good time to have a contractor check it out before the compressor or other components fail and need repair or replacement.

In nearly all cases of capacitor problems,  the capacitor will need to be replaced. To try and repair the capacitor itself wouldn’t be cost effective, and would leave the customer with an “iffy” component that may, or may not, last for any particular amount of time.  Air conditioner professionals, know how to …


assess the problem safely and correctly

secure/obtain the correct replacement part

remove the old capacitor safely

install new capacitor to optimal, recommended standards


Start Capacitor Explosion
Start Capacitor Explosion


Capacitors associated with air conditioners are, generally speaking, bigger capacitors designed to assist starting motors, and then keeping them running. There are several motors present in an conditioner and heater systems and they all require capacitors to get them started initially, and then to keep them performing in rhythmic syncopation as well.  A typical residential air conditioning unit employs a variety of capacitors to keep it’s component parts running efficiently and effectively.

Compressor Motor Run Capacitor
Outside Fan Motor Run Capacitor
Indoor Blower Motor Run Capacitor:
Start Capacitor



High Voltage!
Extreme Risk Of SEVERE SHOCK!!!

Start capacitors should be checked and serviced by trained air conditioner technicians ONLY!


Do not attempt to inspect, assess, or replace these parts yourself!  That’s what we are here for!

Community Cooling and Heating has been serving Lee County Florida since 1970, and our long standing reputation for honesty and integrity is important to us!

We believe in putting our clients needs first, earning your trust, and making sure we provide a level of service that ensures you will call us again the next time!

Air Conditioner Compressor Repairs

We guarantee all our repairs and offer a Free Second Opinion

Our Motto is…“We won’t send you a wolf in sheep’s clothing …

just an honest professional”

Call Today For Reliable, Expert Service



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