Refurbishing An Old Window Air Conditioner: How To Change The Fan Capacitor

If you like to work with your hands and are looking for a new hobby to so you can stay busy over the winter months, you should consider refurbishing an old air conditioner to keep you cool next summer. There are some parts that wear out and many people will just toss the air conditioner away and buy a new one next year, but if you like to reuse old things and make them run well again, an old air conditioner can be just the right challenge that will keep you busy over the winter. Here is how you can change the fan capacitor on a window air conditioner.

Take Cover Off

Set the air conditioner on a table so you can work on it. You need to take the cover off of the unit. The cover is typically secured to the unit with small six-sided hex screws. The actual size of the hex nut will vary by manufacturer and you'll need to have different sized hex sockets or nut drivers available to use. Remove the screws around the perimeter of the cover and take it off.

Locate Fan Capacitor

Locate the wires going into the back of the fan and follow them to the capacitor. The capacitor for a window air conditioner will either be rectangular-shaped or oblong and it will look like a large 9-volt battery.

Discharge Capacitor

The capacitor will usually hold onto a residual electrical charge even after you have unplugged the air conditioner and taken it out of the window. You need to discharge the electricity to avoid getting a shock while you are replacing the capacitor. Use a small flathead screwdriver with an insulated handle so you don't get a shock to discharge the capacitor.

The wires running from the fan are connected to a couple of terminals on the capacitor. Take your screwdriver and place the metal blade on both terminals at the same time. This action will discharge the electricity in the capacitor. Remove the wires from the terminals on the capacitor. One wire will be blue and the other yellow. You should take a note on which wire goes on each terminal.

Remove Capacitor

The capacitor sits in a bracket and can usually just be pulled out. Sometimes there is a strap around it that you'll have to remove first.

Replace Capacitor

You need a new capacitor that matches the old one. The easiest thing to do is take the old capacitor to an appliance parts store and have the personnel at the store match the old one up with a new one.

Install New Capacitor

Slide the new capacitor into the bracket and reconnect the wires.

Start Air Conditioner

Plug the air conditioner in and start it. The fan should kick on within a few moments. Put the cover back on, and you're done.

For more tips, contact a company like Thompson Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.