An AC owner may know about the condenser and air filter but not the capacitor. If you know about it and want to learn how to replace a Goodman air conditioner capacitor, you have come to the right place.
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What Is a Capacitor for an Air Conditioner?
The capacitor of an air conditioner is a cylindrical electrical part that stores charge for use by the air conditioner. It stabilizes voltage and starts the AC motors in an ordered fashion. To put it simply, it stores electricity for the AC, albeit temporarily. In other words, a defective capacitor will undermine the air conditioner, making it unable to work as it should. Eventually, the air conditioner will stop working if the capacitor is not replaced.
How to Tell If Your Home AC Capacitor Is Bad
There are a few ways to determine whether or not the capacitor in your home air conditioner is bad. One clear way is that the AC stops cooling as it should. Another sign is a humming sound. A failing start capacitor will loudly hum as it tries hard to perform its duty.
If the air conditioner goes off on its own, for no apparent reason, the capacitor may be failing. Wait for it to turn on automatically; if it does not, you may want to service the AC with the help of a professional. An increase in your electricity bills may also mean the AC is working harder every time it has to start and run, consuming more energy. However, replace the capacitor if the AC stops working.
How to Check the Start Capacitor on an AC Unit
You will need a multimeter to check the capacitor correctly. When you get one, disconnect the air conditioner from electric power and locate the capacitor. The capacitor will have two terminals – the pins that connect it to the unit – and the terminals will still have electric power at this point. To discharge the power, short them across using a screwdriver. That way, you can safely work on the AC unit.
Next, pull out the wires connected to the capacitor so that you can begin testing. Place the multimeter’s probes on the terminal points of the capacitor and check the reading on the meter’s display. You should get a reading that is within six percent of the capacitor’s rating. You will see this on the side of the capacitor. Now, if the reading is more than six percent lower than recommended, the capacitor needs a replacement.
An analog multimeter may read differently, so if you are using one, follow the same steps above. But set the multimeter to the highest point of the resistance setting before you put its probes on the component. The capacitor’s resistance should begin at 0 and go to the maximum. If the reading remains static, the capacitor is defective and should be replaced.
You can also tell the capacitor needs a replacement if it leaks an oily liquid or bulges, looking bigger than normal. Replace the capacitor if you see this, even without testing it for continuity or resistance.
Here is a video demonstrating how to check the capacitor in your air conditioner such as a Goodman central air conditioner…
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How to Replace a Goodman AC Capacitor
Before any other thing, remove the capacitor in the air conditioner and read the specifications on the side. Then, purchase a replacement part using those specifications. Thay way, you are sure to get the right part for your Goodman air conditioner.
Next, disconnect the air conditioner from electric power. The unit usually has a localized circuit breaker or block fuse that connects it to power. So, turning the breaker off or removing the fuse disconnects power. If your home has a thermostat, turn it off along with the others so that it does not send low electric charges to the capacitor as you are replacing it.
Unmount the screws holding the access panel on the air conditioner in place. The panel is on the upper side of the casing. After that, get an insulated screwdriver and hold its blade across the protruding of the capacitor. Doing this discharges electric current from it.
Now, find the wires that connect to the capacitor. At its top, you will see wires labeled F, Herm, and C which represent fan, compressor, and common. It may help to take photos of the placement of each wire before disconnecting it or marking each spot before disconnection. That is how you will know what wires go where on an AC capacitor. You can correctly reconnect them at a later time. When you have marked them or taken photos, disconnect them and remove the capacitor.
Take the new start capacitor and place it in the position of the old one If necessary, find and employ a mounting strap. Next, reconnect the wires to their rightful places. The wire marked C goes to the spot marked common; that marked F goes to the spot marked fan; and that marked Herm goes to the spot marked compressor.
Switch on the circuit breaker or reconnect the fuse box to power the air conditioner. Then, turn the thermostat on and set it low to run the air conditioner. If the AC does not run, you may have botched the placement of the wires. Turn off the power, check the wires, and fix any errors. Run the AC again to check it. If it runs, replace the access panel and your job is done.
The job sounds easy even for a beginner, but it is recommended to use a trained HVAC professional to check and replace the capacitor. This is especially needed because of the involvement of electric power.
Replacing a Goodman air conditioner capacitor is relatively easy if you know what you are doing. So, follow our detailed guide if you are looking for how to replace a Goodman air conditioner capacitor. But let a professional HVAC agent do the job if you are unsure of the steps.
How to Replace a Goodman Air Conditioner Capacitor – FAQ
1. Will AC Fan Run If the Capacitor Is Bad?
The fan will not run if the capacitor is bad in an air conditioner. The fan wire connects directly to the capacitor and receives power to start and run from the component. If you suspect the fan has stopped running, have a service agent check the capacitor and replace it if it is bad.