Prior to calling the local HVAC technician to fix a broken air conditioner, take a look at the unit to see if the capacitor can be replaced. You don’t need to use any special tools, and the process typically takes only a few minutes.
If you have a voltmeter, this tool can indicate whether the unit’s capacitor has blown out. When inspecting your unit, listen for any humming noises and check that the fan is still spinning. If the fan does not spin but the unit still hums, you likely have a problem with the capacitor.
If your AC fan fails to spin, find a long and thin stick and see if you can get the fan blades to spin again by gently pushing at them with one end of the stick. If the fan starts up on its own, and keeps on spinning, a bad start capacitor is likely the problem.
The capacitor functions by boosting the fan motor and storing electric power for the air conditioner to work correctly. If the capacitor is blown out, the fan does not get the electric charge it needs for the AC unit to generate cool air. If the fan fails to spin with this method, it’s advise that you call your local HVAC technician as soon as possible.
With this DIY trick for your air conditioner capacitor, the stick takes over the job of the start capacitor and gets the fan operating again. While this step works for the majority of AC units, the start capacitor will likely need to be replaced by a professional repair technician.
The good news about this fix is that it allows you some time to budget the money for this type of air conditioning repair. Replacing a capacitor is relatively inexpensive compared to replacing an entire unit, though the total cost can also depend on the specific AC model you have. Your local air conditioning repair company should also be able to answer any questions or concerns you have about your non-functioning AC.