Different Types of Motors in A/C Units

Air conditioning units use a variety of different motor types to run the compressors inside. If a motor starts to go out, your whole system will stop functioning. Here’s a quick overview of the different motor types you might have in your home:

Capacitor Start, Capacitor Run

Somewhat less common are air conditioner motors that use capacitors both at startup and during the run process. These systems use a two-phase power cycle, where the starting capacitor is still disconnected when its job is done. Meanwhile, the run capacitor helps smooth out peaks and valleys in the power draw and makes the unit run more efficiently.

Permanent Split Capacitors

Most commonly used in the industry is the permanent split capacitor motors. These motors are used in systems that have variable speed fans which can adjust up and down as demand changes instead of running in only full on/off modes. These systems are extremely energy efficient and are becoming more popular as homeowners update their HVAC systems.

Variable Speed Motors

A whole new class of motor has also been introduced in recent years in the form of variable speed motors. In the past, all air conditioner motors were set to be either on or off. When they were on, they ran at 100% capacity until the desired temperature was reached, and then they cut off and went back to zero. While this system worked, it caused the temperature inside your home to swing up and down, blasting cold air for a period of time and then letting that air get warmer and warmer until the system was triggered again.

With a variable speed motor, the system can adjust the amount of cool air it is producing by either speeding up or slowing down incrementally. Thus, on days when only minor cooling is required, the system runs at slow speeds. These motors are great for saving money because they don’t over-cool your house. In addition, they take less wear and tear because they can adjust according to the actual needs of the environment.

An air conditioner motor replacement is not generally a task that homeowners can complete on their own, but it can save money over the cost of replacing the entire unit. If you believe that your motor has gone out, it is best to call a Phoenix AC repair company to come out and troubleshoot. Your problem may be as simple as a burnt out capacitor, or it could be something more serious. Day and Night Air services air conditioners throughout Phoenix for both residential and commercial customers. Call us today to learn more.

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