Yesterday was massively hot here in Hagerstown. I don’t know what it actually got up to, but the forecast was for 100 degrees. Our air conditioner decided to take a dump last night at around 9 PM. At least that was when we started to notice it was getting hot inside.
I quickly checked all the obvious stuff, for instance, the circuit breakers and the filter. I couldn’t find anything. The fan on the outside unit wasn’t turning. I could hear it try to kick on, but it wouldn’t turn.
It wasn’t till this morning that I could take a good look at the outside unit to find out what the problem was. I pulled the access panel and immediately noticed the capacitor was bulging at the top. I removed it and then went about trying to find a replacement. You can’t buy this kind of part at Home Depot or Lowes, which when you think about it, seems silly. Every home that has central air has one of these capacitors of one size or another and it’s a part that will eventually need to be replaced.
If there’s one thing I learned being a real life electronics technician is that oil filled capacitors eventually go bad.
I had to go to an electrical supply shop to find the right part. It only took two shops to find the right part. Twenty-six bucks and 15 minutes later, we had a working air conditioner.
The timing of this mini-catastrophe was both good and bad, it depends how you want to look at it. We start a week long Myrtle Beach vacation on Saturday. He hit the road at oh-dark-thirty tomorrow morning. We couldn’t leave the house for a week without a working air conditioner. For one thing, our cats would roast. Also, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my vacation knowing I had a broken air condition awaiting my attention as soon as we returned to Maryland.
The only thing worse that having your air conditioner go out two days before a week long vacation would be to have your air conditioner break down two days after you leave on a week long vacation.