• Replacing the capacitor

    Dec.31.2010

    Recently my outside heat pump fan started come on only sometimes. I can see it getting power (after a few moments it will start slowly) or sometimes not at all. I'm thinking of replacing the capacitor. Can this be a DIY job? The unit is old but is working. Where do I go to purchase one? We live in Virginia; it is now below 30 degrees.

    Cathy, Woodbridge, VA

     Replacing the capacitor on your heat pump may fix the problem but there is no way of knowing without further inspection of the unit. The capacitor’s job is to supply a limited amount of power to a portion of the motor to give it a more balanced operation.  It is very important that the capacitor is installed properly as it is an integral part of the operation of the motors in the blower, condenser fan and compressor.  It could be that the bearings in the motor are starting to fail or it could be something else entirely. I would recommend having an experienced HVAC technician, like the ARS/Rescue Rooter location in Manassas, VA at (703) 631-3650, come and check out the unit. If you attempt to fix it yourself, you may find yourself buying parts that are not needed and then be unable to return them.

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