When an air conditioner isn’t running properly, it can be hard to determine the cause. In some cases the problem can be very small and have big reactions such as a faulty contactor. The air conditioner’s contactor is a small component but when it develops problems the entire air conditioner system can be effected. Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning will share what the contactor is and does and what signs to watch for if this is the component that is giving your cooling system problems.
What Does an AC Contactor Do?
What is an air conditioner contactor? Many people are not too familiar with the air conditioner’s contactor and wonders what it is. The contactor is an electrical transmitter or relay. The contactor regulates the flow of power or electricity to certain components. The contactor in an air conditioner sends power to the compressor and fan motor. The contactor can send power or cut off power to these components. The contactor receives signals from the thermostat. When the thermostat’s temperature sensor detects air that it too warm, it will then send the signal to the contactor which will power up the air compressor and later the fan motor. When the contactor develops a problem or goes bad it can prevent power to the air conditioner. At this point your air conditioner will not start up. When a contactor begins to wear out or goes bad it will develop certain symptoms. Knowing these symptoms can help you better troubleshoot the contactor.
How Do I Know if My AC Contactor is Bad?
AC Humming – When the air conditioner starts up and you can hear a humming like sound, this often points to an electrical problem. When the humming sound is coming from the coils this is a sign the contactor is either dirty or the coils themselves are weak. The contactor may need to be cleaned to restore the proper amount of power to the air conditioner. In some cases when the contactor is dirty, the contractor’s button needs to be manually pushed in or pulled out. However, this is a sign to clean or replace the contactor.
AC Rattling – Another sign that the contactor is dirty is when you can hear a chattering noise coming from the coils or the contactor directly. The chattering sound is the plunger mechanism fighting to move properly. When the plunger is fighting to make contact or to complete its movement it is time to clean or replace the contactor.
Melting AC Contactor – Another reason for complete failure to watch for is a melted contactor. In a few rare and more extreme cases, the contactor’s outer molding can melt and often the interior components are damaged as well. When the contactor is melted, the only thing to do is to replace the contactor.
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If your air conditioner isn’t starting up or is failing to run properly you may have a problem with the contactor. For quality air conditioning repairs and more, contact Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning today.