Information You Need Before Replacing Air Conditioning Parts
Before replacing an air conditioning part, make sure it is compatible for the type of system you are servicing. Though heat pumps are very similar to air conditioners, some components are only for heat pump systems. Some compressors for heat pumps have an internal or external oil heater, these usually have a contactor with a single contact. The other leg of electric provides constant power to the heater.
Control boards for air conditioning systems will not include defrost controls. To find the correct OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or compatible part for an air conditioning system, locate the part's ratings and the model number of the unit.
Compressors will have a ratings tag on the top or on the side. Look closely, the metal tag may be the same color as the compressor. Using a piece of paper and a dulled lead pencil; rub out the raised numbers and letters. Place the paper over the tag and stroke the dulled pencil back and forth over the raised area rubbing out the information. Copy down ALL the information. This is crucial information for your supplier to provide the correct compressor for your system.
The outdoor fan or indoor blower motor information you will need is: revolutions per minute (RPM), horsepower (HP), # of speeds and voltage (V). TECH NOTE: When you replace a fan/blower motor or compressor, you should always replace the capacitor. The capacitor for the new motor or compressor may have a different rating than the one in the unit so check the ratings on the new motor or compressor. Buying a new capacitor could save you time and energy completing the project, and they are an inexpensive part. The information you need for a contactor would be amperage (A), voltage (V) and # of contacts.
The information you need for a capacitor would be voltage (V) and microfarads (µF or uF). Some condenser (outdoor unit) capacitors supply both the compressor and fan motor. The evaporator (indoor) unit will be a single (two wire) capacitor. Control boards and low-voltage components for air conditioning systems are different for each brand of unit. The model number from the unit will provide your supplier with the information they need for an OEM or compatible control board or low-voltage part. These numbers are found on the labels outside the unit or inside the service panel.
If you can not find this information, take a picture of the part from the top and side and show this to your supplier. TECH NOTE: Some capacitor ratings can be found on the unit's specification label and wiring diagram on the inside service panel or on the compressor and motor labels.
Having problems with your air conditioning system? Check out these articles: 5 steps to take before calling for air conditioning service in 2021. and If an air conditioning electrical contactor could talk.
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