Most capacitors cost between than $25-$60 and can be installed in 5
Minutes or less. Total Job: $55-$110
There are 2 kinds of capacitors that you need to be aware of because
the price difference is substantial.
Every motor in your heating and cooling system needs a capacitor to
help it run properly. These are called run capacitors and constantly
charge and discharge with electricity to keep the motor spinning.
The fan motor that circulates the air in your home has a capacitor like
the one in the picture to the left. These are rated in micro-fareds (mfd).
The motor size determines the capacitor size and the most common
are 5, 7.5 and 10 mfd
money because it is just a two wire switch out... but I promise, you will have a motor failure right afterwards.
On a really hot day a lot of technicians just don't want to get in that attic and replace a fan motor when they can
just pop on a new capacitor to get it going again. Problem is, if the motor does fail they will most likely charge
you another service call claiming it is a different problem.
So, if you have a capacitor like this fail and the technician does not tell you the motor may fail, PLEASE have him
document on the paperwork that is it does fail in the next 3 months you will not be charged a service call when
they come back and that the repair bill you are now paying will be applied to the motor replacement later.
DUAL CAPACITORS - The next kind of capacitor is called a dual capacitor. This simply means that the
capacitor runs two different motors. You will find dual capacitors in the outside condensing unit. This type of
capacitor runs the fan motor as well as the compressor. If it fails you can replace just the capacitor... you do not
have to replace the motor or compressor.
These capacitors are rated in mfd like 45/5 meaning the first number indicates what the compressor requires
and the second number is for the fan motor.
The voltage is also important and will be either 370 0r 440. A lot of folks carry just the 440 voltage and use it for
either 370 or 440. There is a lot of debate whether this is okay to do. What is NOT IN DEBATE is that you can
never use a 370 volt capacitor on a 440 volt system... and you HAVE to use the exact mfd rating.
These capacitors range in price from, $20 -$50 and can be replaced in less than two minutes so don't be
pressured into thinking this is some major deal. Yes, a blown capacitor can look scary but they are designed to
bulge at the top like that when they over heat... that's where the safety is located.
Sometimes you will see a devise called a hard start or super boost installed
on your dual capacitor. It looks like the picture on the right. This is an add
on feature to help get the compressor started. You will usually see these added
when the compressor is getting older and having trouble getting started on its own.
We talk about these devices again in the compressor section and they have their
own page because they are recommended quite often by most companies and are
a real money maker for them.
Start CAPACITORS - Some units have start capacitors which give the compressor an
initial boost of energy on start up. These capacitors cost between $30-$50 and can
be installed in a couple of minutes as well.
Phone: (757) 506-6488
This is a typical dual capacitor that runs both the compressor
and the condensing fan motor. It is a 35/5 mfd 440 volt dual
cap. This cost me around $20 and does not take long at all
to install. The old one must be disposed of properly (which
most companies don't do) and of course there is an expense
to carrying a lot of stock on your service truck, but you should
not pay more than $68 or so for this repair.
The caps get a little more costly as we move up in size but I'm
still at least $100 less than the competition on capacitors
across the board.
A 40/5 mfd 370 vac cap, which is common on Janitrol units of
which there are thousands upon thousands of in our area will
cost you around $78.
A 45.5 mfd cap, which is another popular size for larger units
goes for around $89.
The grand daddy of them all, the 50/7.5 mfd cap is around