To learn about the negative effects of a bad capacitor, you must first understand what a capacitor is and how it functions. A capacitor is one of the most essential parts of the electrical system in your air conditioner. Without it, the motors that power the compressor and the fans wouldn’t be able to function.
Think of capacitors like short-term batteries. They are small, cylindrical objects that have the ability to store energy within an electrostatic field. They are attached to motors, and either send a jolt to start up the motor (start capacitor), or a regular series of jolts (run capacitor) to keep the motor running. In your AC system, capacitors work with three different motors. These are the compressor, the blower motor, and the outside fan.