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


Concerning my central air 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 person who determined that the capacitor was bad.
The capacitor was replaced and the unit now works.

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

They suggested that since the unit is 16 years old (a carrier unit) that I should purchase a new one.

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

Will the unit have a very short life or should I continue to use it?

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.

What's the best route to take?

Thank you!


As you've read, I haven't been involved in service and repair since March 31, 1996 (probably before your unit was built) and I normally reject S&R questions. Having said that, the tech's story sounds a little fishy. Did you think to ask if he was on commission?

Why not call another contractor for a checkup? Don't say anything about the first contractor's recommendation, just say that you'd like to have the AC checked. You might want to go to www.acca.org and search a contractor in your area.


Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Fred Weldin


I can't help you if your whatsis won't work, people (Especially if it's a refrigerator); I have no experience with appliances, and I haven't been involved with H&AC service and repair since March 08, 1996 (Thank the Lord); I always send a "standard" reply to appliance questions and H&AC "Service and Repair" questions (about 20 a month), so if you want to know why your whatsis isn't working like it used to, ask someone else. A lot of my answers arenít read by the questioners; in that event, I always send reminders to read the answers for a month or more (the word "idiots" comes to mind - actually there's another more appropriate word, but discretion prevents its use here). If you have questions about how big a unit you need, if one room's warmer than the others, if you want an opinion oas to scope of work on bids received, etc. just ask. Do visit www.askweldin.com, there's a lot of good information on sizing, ductwork, efficiency, as well as some techniques accomplished DIY-ers can use to troubleshoot and improve their H&AC. Finally, I want to thank all of the kind, serious people whom I meet here: I enjoy working with you. My wife says I'm "snarky" from time to time; as for you others, please use your imagination as to the responses swirling on the snarky side of my brain when I read your questions.


53 years in the business. See www.askweldin.com


B of ME U of D 1965, numerous classes, seminars and a lot of "Hands On" learning since.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.