How To Fix Your AC Contactor

Air conditioners need regular maintenance if you want to make sure they are fully operational and energy efficient. However, most homeowners don't have the time, money or patience to have an HVAC contractor come to their house and service their AC system every year. Most AC repairs should be done by HVAC contractors, but there are some jobs that you can do on your own. One very common problem with AC units is a bad contactor. This article explains what a contactor is and how to replace it.

What is a Contactor?

A contactor is basic device that all AC units (and most large electrical devices) have. It is vital to the operation of the air conditioner because it converts the low voltage signal coming from the thermostat to power up the unit. So, if the contactor is bad, the AC will not turn on when the thermostat tells it to. In severe cases, your AC will not turn on at all because the contactor is so damaged. At first, your AC will be inconsistent and might not turn on right when the thermostat tells it to. Luckily, contactors are very affordable and quite easy to replace.

Turn off the Power and Find the Contactor

Before you begin any work on your contactor, turn of the power to your AC unit. This means you need to cut the power at the breaker panel. Next, find the contactor. The contactor is about the size of cell phone and it is in the electrical panel of the AC unit. It is easy to find because the panel is marked with a voltage sign. The panel door can be swung open easily, no tools required.

Change the Contactor

To remove the contactor, you will first need to remove the input and output wires. This is easy to do with a simple flathead screwdriver. Then, you will need a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the screws that mount the contactor to the unit. Take the old contactor to a home improvement store and get a like-for-like replacement. This is the best way to ensure that you don't get a incompatible model. Most contactors look very similar, so it can be easy to confuse them.

Finally, you just need to reverse the steps and attach the new contactor and all its wires. Turn the power back on and test your system by turning on your thermostat and setting the temperature as low as it will go. Your AC should fire up automatically. If this does not solve the problem, there could be an alternative issue that you need to fix.

Contact a service like Dependable Air Conditioning Co Inc for professional help.