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What is a capacitor, and what is its purpose in a hvac system?

A capacitor is an electrical component that stores and releases electrical energy. In an HVAC system, capacitors are used to provide an extra electrical boost to start the motor of the system’s compressor or fan.


The purpose of a capacitor in an HVAC system is to provide the necessary electrical energy to start the motor of the compressor or fan. When the HVAC system is turned on, the capacitor briefly stores electrical energy from the power source, and then releases it to the motor, which helps to start it quickly and efficiently.


Without a properly functioning capacitor, the motor may not start at all, or it may start slowly and cause the HVAC system to work inefficiently. Capacitors can degrade over time and may need to be replaced periodically to ensure that the HVAC system is functioning properly.

It’s worth noting that capacitors can be dangerous if not handled properly, as they can retain an electrical charge even when the power is turned off. For this reason, it’s important to have a professional HVAC technician handle any capacitor-related issues.

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