Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/Central A.C. Unit

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Question
Hi--

A few years ago, in March, I was walking outside, past my air conditioning unit, and smelled something "funny."  It was coming from the air conditioner.  When I put my hand on the unit in the center of the grille where the fan blows out, it was hot.  (The outside temperature was 50 degrees; the air conditioner hadn't been on for a few months.)

At the electrical panel for the house, I turned off the A.C. switch and the unit then cooled off.  I had tried it several times since, first turning on the switch at the panel then running the air conditioner . . . it seemed to cool for a few minutes, then just blew room temperature air.  I haven't used it for the past few years -- I put a window unit in my bedroom which helps, but it's not made to cool an entire house..

The air conditioner is about twenty years old.  Do you have an idea what is causing this and if there is anything I can do or check to get it working?  Would I have to get a new air conditioning unit?  Could the unit be okay but there be a problem elsewhere in the electrical system?

Thanks.

Answer
Cap
Cap  
Hi Ed, The first thing I would do is turn the AC on at the stat. Then go outside and see what the unit is doing. If the fan goes off and the compressor keep running, then the motor or capacitor might be bad. The top of the capacitor should be flat, if it is popped up it's bad.

Let me know what you find and we can go from there.

Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC

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Jim S.

Expertise

I can answer questions on gas or electric furnaces, ac units and heat pumps. I don't work on boilers,chillers,or home appliances.

Experience

I have been in the HVAC trade for over 35 years. For the past 15 years I have owned my own business. I am semi-retired so I can answer questions in a timely manner.

Education/Credentials
I attended trade school for 5 years on weekends and evenings. This was very hard to do, but well worth it!

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