Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

HVAC Electrical Issues: Do You Fix or Replace Your Unit?

When it comes to HVAC units, some electrical fixes are quick and easy for a qualified technician. However, others require significant component replacement, which can impose a considerable expense. Electricity plays some role in many HVAC functions, whether it’s cooling or heating your home. For safety’s sake, all electrical issues should be diagnosed and resolved only by a professional service technician. Here are some typical HVAC electrical fixes as opposed those that require replacement.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

If a circuit breaker in your electrical panel trips during operation of the furnace or AC, the circuit breaker itself may simply be faulty. For a qualified electrician, circuit breakers are quick fixes.

However, a tripped circuit breaker can also be a sign of more significant HVAC problems, such as a defective blower fan drawing too much current. In that case, component replacement with a new unit is required.

Capacitor Issues

Two capacitors that store electricity are critical central AC components. Both are related to the system compressor.

  • The start capacitor provides a quick temporary jolt of power to kick-start the 220-volt-compressor electric motor that’s the heart of most central AC systems.
  • A run capacitor supplies continuous voltage to the compressor motor as long as the AC is cycled on.

Both capacitors are replaceable by a qualified HVAC service technician and are generally affordable electrical fixes. However, symptoms caused by a defective capacitor are often similar to other defects. A qualified, professional diagnosis is required to pinpoint the exact cause.

Compressor Failure

The air conditioner compressor motor is the most expensive component in the system. Typically, compressors fail only after years of operation. While compressors are technically replaceable, the very high cost is usually not a good investment, particularly with an older AC. In most cases, investing in a new air conditioner is the best decision as opposed to replacing the compressor alone. You’ll get higher energy efficiency for lower operating costs, improved cooling performance, and a new warranty.

For more information about HVAC electrical fixes vs. component replacements, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.