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Distinguishing Between Run Capacitor Options

As you might guess from the name, the run capacitor plays a key role in keeping your HVAC system up and running. As a result, there’s never a good time to find out that you have a faulty run capacitor. Furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps all rely on run capacitors to work properly. The capacitor holds the electric charge that powers the fan motor in your HVAC system, so when the capacitor stops working, you have to get a replacement.

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Choosing a new run capacitor can be harder than you think. Browsing the options can be confusing, since many capacitors look similar, and the distinctions between them can be hard to navigate: What do Single and Dual mean? What do MFD and VAC mean? As you consider different run capacitors, it can be helpful to understand these terms so that you can identify the run capacitor that is most compatible with your system.

Single vs. Dual Capacitors

As you look at the different run capacitors on the market, one of the most important things to note is whether the product you are considering is a single unit run capacitor (often shortened to “single” in product descriptions) or a dual run capacitor (often shortened to “dual”). When you are replacing the run capacitor in your unit, you should make sure that the type you purchase is the same as the one you are replacing.

A single unit run capacitor hooks up to a single motor, and it is more commonly used in smaller HVAC systems, like small air conditioners. A dual run capacitor incorporates two capacitors into a single unit. With a dual run capacitor, you can power two electric motors. That makes dual run capacitors ideal for for larger HVAC systems, like large air conditioners and heat pump units that have both a fan motor and a compressor motor.

Comparing Electrical Ratings

Run capacitors can be described by two electrical ratings: MFD and VAC. The first rating, MFD, refers to the unit’s capacitance, which is given in microfarads (MFD). The capacitance is the amount of charge that the capacitor can store when a particular voltage is applied. The second rating, VAC, is an indicator of the supply voltage for which the unit is rated. Most run capacitors on the market today are either 370 VAC or 440 VAC. You need to make sure that you choose a capacitor that matches the supply voltage for your system, because if the voltage applied is too high, it can cause your capacitor to fail prematurely.

National Air Warehouse offers many different run capacitors. You can choose between over 30 single unit capacitors and over 50 run capacitors, with a wide range of capacitance levels (MFD). Depending on your needs, there are also both 370 VAC and 440 VAC products to choose from. Contact us today to find the run capacitor that is right for you!

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