Ah, the sounds of summer – birds chirping, kids splashing around in the pool, your air conditioning system incessantly clicking but not turning on. Of course, the last one is an example of what you do not want to deal with during the hottest months of the year.
It’s normal for your outdoor AC unit to click before starting up. It is not normal for your unit to click repeatedly, blow warm air, or not turn on at all if you choose the cooling setting. Two main AC unit components may cause clicking and non-starting: the capacitor or the compactor. The real trick is figuring out which one is bad, so you can get it serviced properly.
What causes air conditioning to click but not turn on?
Let’s talk about each component and why its function is an integral part of running your AC unit.
- Think of the AC Contactor as an on/off switch that controls your compressor and condenser fan upon receiving a signal from your thermostat.
- Think of the AC capacitors as batteries that store and release electrical energy to the compressor giving it the “juice” needed to start running your AC unit.
When the capacitors or contactor is faulty, your outdoor AC unit will start to click. The clicking is either of these two components trying to start your unit. How can you tell the difference? Here are our rules of thumb.
The clicking has to do with your contactor if…
You choose the cooling setting on our AC, but there is no humming or gentle buzzing, only clicking.
The clicking has to do with your capacitor if…
You hear a clicking, then a humming or buzzing noise. What you’re hearing is the motor within the capacitor trying to turn on but can’t without the electrical charge usually within the capacitor.
Air conditioning troubleshooting and repair in Buffalo, MN
It’s important to note that not all air conditioning systems have capacitors because some AC compressors are self-sufficient. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to hire a professional to properly diagnose your AC unit’s clicking noise. Capacitors usually hold high voltages, so trying to diagnose and fix the problem may shock or severely harm you.