Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/A/C Capacitor


Concerning my central air unit here in MI, the fan blower in my home was working but the fan and compressor outside were not.

This happened overnight so the unit was running like this for probably 10-11 hours.

Not being experienced with A/C units, I called a repair company who determined that the capacitor was bad.
It was replaced and the unit has been working fine the last 3 days.

However, the repair person took some other readings and told me that the unit was on borrowed time as the fan and compressor electrical readings were now too high.

They suggested that since the unit (Carrier 38TKB) was installed in 1997 (16 years ago) that I should purchase a new one.

Could the bad capacitor have shortened the life of the compressor and fan motor that badly?

Will this unit now have a very short life or should I continue to expect it to still last awhile?

I've never had one problem with it all this time until the capacitor problem.

The repair person said I could have a day, weeks or a month but that the harder the unit would have to work (with warmer temps), the sooner it would fail.

I've gotten 2 replacement estimates for the lowest ranked Bryant unit (113A, 13SEER) installed for $3,200 and $3,900.

What's your opinion on the best route to take?

Thank you!!

There is no way to determine how bad a unit is, or when it is going to fail with a statement "compressor electrical readings were now too high"  It takes more then some sort of electrical reading to determine if there is anything wrong.  

Your unit at 16 is aged.  The over all condition of the unit has to be looked at to determine if replacement is needed.  The bottom line is this, without a good visual inspection, along with some performance readings it is just not possible to determine is replacement is needed.


Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC

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Craig HVAC Expert


I have been in the HVAC field for the past 18 years. I can help with most HVAC questions. I work on commerical buildings for the most part, and have yet to find anything I could not troubleshoot and repair, when repairable. I work on small 1 ton units to a 2500 ton chiller. Troubleshoot air flow, elect, and control problems. I attend regular classes to keep up with the latest and greatest.


I work on commerical sites, hospitals, gov't buildings. I can troubleshoot just about anything in the HVAC business.

5 years trade school, VFD training classes, Liebert factory training, some York and Trane factory training.

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