The capacitor in your AC condenser gives the fan and compressor the power they need to start up. A capacitor is a fairly small electronic part, but it's important because when it malfunctions, the compressor in your condenser could be damaged as it struggles to start without a power boost from the capacitor.

Summer is hard on your AC capacitor since the part is sensitive to heat. Here are two ways summer weather can damage a capacitor and what an air conditioning repair technician can do about the problem.

Excess Heat Causes The Capacitor To Burn Out

Your condenser is made to withstand sitting in the sun all day, but when the hottest days of summer roll around, the heat can take its toll. That's a common time for capacitors to burn out. You might reduce the risk of overheating by providing some shade for the condenser unit as long as you don't block airflow.

You can also set your AC to a higher temperature when it's really hot outside so your AC doesn't have to cycle on and off all day long. If those measures don't help and the capacitor burns out, you might hear a humming noise coming from the condenser when it kicks on. If you hear this noise or if your AC seems to be struggling to run, call an air conditioning repair service for help.

The compressor and fan motor in the condenser need the capacitor to give them a power boost so they can start up. If the capacitor isn't working, the compressor struggles to start and it or the fan motor may burn out. A fan motor is not too expensive to replace, but a compressor is costly, so you want to protect it with prompt AC repairs.

Power Surges Can Fry The Capacitor

Power irregularities are common in the summer. Lighting strikes cause power surges, and you can have power outages from high demand on the power grid. Your AC can even overwork and cause the circuit breaker to trip off. These power irregularities, especially power surges, can ruin the capacitor since it is part of the electrical system in your air conditioner.

When a capacitor goes bad, whether it is from a power surge or heatwave, an air conditioning repair technician can replace it. This involves removing the cover on the condenser and locating the capacitor that's held in place by a bracket. The old capacitor can be removed and a new one put in place. However, working with a capacitor can be dangerous since it holds an electrical charge. The AC repair technician has to discharge the electricity first so the part is safe to handle.

Reach out to a local AC repair technician to learn more.