Posted on Leave a comment

Question: Why does my AC capacitor fail so often? Every two years!

comparison good  bad oval capacitors

Question: Why does my air conditioner capacitor go out and fail so often? We are having to replace our capacitor about every two years? Why does my AC capacitor fail so often?

Answer: Air conditioner and heat pump capacitors going bad has been the number one problem for service calls in our business for many years! In this post, AC Service Tech and I tell you why capacitors go out so often. There are 4 reasons why capacitors go out so often. We hope this post will help you understand what makes capacitors fail and hope this helps make your capacitor last longer. It is always a good idea to have an extra capacitor on hand in case one fails on a hot summer day or night. We sell capacitors on the following page: Please click here to see the capacitors that we sellAC Service Tech made an excellent YouTube video below that explains why capacitors fail. Thanks so much, AC Service Tech for making this excellent video! Here are 4 reasons why capacitors fail so often:

  1. High Heat causes the oil (dielectric fluid) inside the capacitor to get hot and expand which causes the capacitor to fail. If the shroud of your air conditioner is out in the hot sunny side of your home that receives lots of heat then this can cause the capacitor to fail.  A sure sign that shows that a capacitor has failed is an expanded mushroomed topped capacitor where the top or bottom of the capacitor is mushroomed and is expanded out. Some capacitors leak the dielectric fluid out after they have failed.
  2. Capacitors do have a life span. The life span of the capacitor is limited and depends on the operating temperature to which the capacitor is being exposed. A capacitor that is exposed to High heat will have a shorter life span. When you test a capacitor and see that the MFD/uf rating is lower than the specs on the capacitor then this is what has happened the heat over time has caused the capacitor to lose its value.
  3. If you exceed the voltage rating that is listed on the capacitor then this will hurt the capacitor.  If you have a voltage spike or a lightning strike then this will destroy a capacitor.
  4. Bad rusty loose connections can destroy a capacitor because loose connections cause high heat and arcing. I have seen where the terminals are burnt off on capacitor connections.

If you have any questions please comment below or email us at arnoldservice@gmail.com  We Would Love to try and help You out! 

Posted on Leave a comment

Problem: Furnace Air Conditioner Heat Pump Works Intermittently.

furnacecartoon2

Problem: We have had this question asked many times. My furnace, air conditioner, heat pump works intermittently? Why does my furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump work sometimes, and then sometimes it will not work at all? If I flip the switch on the furnace several times or turn the breaker off and on the furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump will work a few times then it is back to the same problem of not wanting to start and come on? What could cause this problem to happen? Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not work? 

Answer: Thanks for asking this question. We have many people who have this problem with the intermittent furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, and air handler operation and I can say that most of the time I have found the problem to be either loose, burnt wire connections, or internal relays in control boards (need a new control board) that are pitted and worn out. Sometimes the relays, contactor, sequencer will make contact (complete the circuit), and sometimes it arcs and will not complete the circuit.  Below we have a picture of a relay that came off a control board with the black box cover removed. This picture is courtesy of AC Service Tech.  If your furnace starts sometimes and then will not start sometimes then it could be caused by a bad relay on the control board. You will probably need a new control board to fix the problem. If your furnace’s draft inducer, blower motor, or ignitor will not start then this could be a bad or worn-out draft inducer relay, blower motor fan relay, or ignitor relay on the control board. Always check with a volt-meter to make sure that the control board is getting power between L1 and neutral. Make sure all wire connections are tight.  Also, make sure that all your safety controls are closed with the draft inducer running. Safety controls would be the limit, all rollout switches, and the pressure switch. Always make sure that if your thermostat uses batteries that the batteries are in good condition.  Below we have an excellent video that explains Intermittent Faults on HVAC Units that include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, and air handlers. Thanks so very much to AC Service Tech for making this excellent video.  I hope this helps you out. If you have any questions please comment below or email us anytime at arnoldservice@gmail.com

If you would like for us to look up parts then please send your furnace or air conditioner’s model number to arnoldservice@gmail.com and we will be glad to help you find and look up parts. We Would Love to Try and Help You Out and Help You Solve Your HVAC Problem! 

control board relay defective
control board relay defective

Posted on 2 Comments

Problem: My blower motor shaft is stuck to the blower wheel! How do I get the blower motor out to replace it?

struggling with removing a blower motor

Problem: My blower motor shaft is stuck to the blower wheel! How do I get the blower motor out to replace it?

Answer: I have had this problem before many times when I was trying to replace furnace blower motors! The blower wheel is stuck to the blower motor shaft and in order to replace the blower motor, you need to get the blower wheel separated from the blower motor! Here are the steps that I used many times to remove the blower motor from the blower wheel. We have two really good YouTube videos below made by Word of Advice TV that show how to remove a stubborn blower wheel from the blower motor and another video made by HVAC Parts and More that shows How to Replace a blower motor, wheel, and blower housing on a Lennox furnace. Many thanks to Word of Advice TV and HVAC Parts and More for making these excellent videos. Here are the steps that I use to remove the blower wheel from the motor. When I used these steps I never had to use a mechanical wheel puller.

(1) Loosened the set screw and oil the shaft with penetrating oil.

(2) Sand the shaft with light emery cloth sandpaper. Make sure there is no rust or high metal gouges in the motor shaft.  If there are high spots or marks in the motor shaft then a file might be needed to file the high spots down on the motor shaft.

(3) Remove the usually 3 of 4 motor mounting bolts that are holding the motor to the blower housing.

(4) Sit in a chair and open my legs and knees far apart so the motor can fall to the ground when the motor becomes free from the motor shaft.  If you do not feel comfortable with placing the motor housing in between your legs then place the blower housing between two sawhorses so that the motor can fall out after you beat the shaft through the blower wheel hole. Place a pillow or something soft so you do not damage the motor brackets or damage the floor when the motor comes loose from the wheel.

(5) Get a 3/8″ long extension and a hammer to beat the motor shaft out of the blower wheel. The 3/8″ extension will fit through the blower wheel shaft hole. The motor should fall out. Be careful not to get hit with the falling blower motor. It can be hard on the toes and legs!  If the blower motor does not come loose from the blower wheel after several hits then you might need to purchase a blower wheel puller like in the YouTube video. If the shaft on the motor becomes mushroomed then you will need to file the mushroom down with a file. I hope you have good luck and can get it off.  If you have any questions or recommendations then please email us anytime or comment below. Our email is arnoldservice@gmail.comWe would love to try and help you out! 


Posted on Leave a comment

Question: How often should I replace the 4004 water in-line strainer on my Aprilaire humidifier?

4004 strainer closeup

Question: How often should I replace the 4004 water in-line strainer on my Aprilaire humidifier? 

Answer: We have had this question asked several times before and this is my answer: If it was me, I would only replace the strainer and the restrictor orifice if I was having low water volume coming out of the humidifier supply tube. If water is coming out of the supply tube when the humidifier is on then I would leave it alone because you are asking for more problems when you start turning the saddle valve water valve off / ON and if you allow sediment in to stop up the 4040 solenoid valve. I copied the solenoid valve replacement instructions from our site below. I would recommend always flushing out the saddle valve and water line into a bucket if you ever turn the water off and back on at the saddle valve. Flushing the humidifier water line out makes sure that all the sediment goes into the bucket instead of getting caught in the humidifier’s strainer, orifice, or 4040 solenoid valve. Some contractors recommend replacing the 4004 strainer every 2 to 3 years, but I would only do it when you are experiencing low water volume out of the humidifier. I would try replacing the orifice first before the strainer. We sell the Aprilaire humidifier orifices on the following page: Please click here if you are interested in the Aprilaire humidifier orifices that we sell. We sell the Aprilaire 4004 strainers on the following page: Please click here if you are interested in the 4004 Aprilaire Strainers that we sell. Sometimes the strainers are very hard to get out because of all the sediment that has built up over the years. Some people end up messing the 4040 valves up if they can not remove the strainer properly. Many times the strainer gets stuck and is hard to remove. Please click here if you are interested in the Aprilaire 4040 solenoid valves that we sell.  I also copied a picture below that shows what others recommend on replacing the strainer. If you have any questions please either comment below or email us anytime at arnoldservice@gmail.com

We Would Love to Try and Help you out and Earn Your Business! 

4004 replacement recommendations
Above 4004 replacement recommendations are every 2 to 3 years:  
4231 restritor orifices
Above Aprilaire 4231 restrictor orifices:
4040inbag
Above 4040 water solenoid  in the Aprilaire bag:

Solenoid Valve Replacement Instructions:

    1. For power units unplug the electrical cord. For bypass, units turn off power to the furnace. Also, turn the humidistat off.
    2. Shut off the water supply at the saddle valve
    3. Disconnect inlet and outlet water compression nuts. Double wrench. Note, some water may drip on the floor. Remove the orifice (which controls the water flow) from the plastic or copper tube and make sure there is no obstruction. If blocked clean or replace.
    4. Remove the wire nuts from the water solenoid valve wire connections. Set aside.
    5. Remove screws that secure the valve to the unit.
    6. Attach a new valve with screws. Do not over-torque screws into the plastic housing.
    7. Reconnect wires with wire nuts.
    8. For units with plastic feed, tubes inspect for brittleness, hairline cracks, nicks or abrasions, etc.  Replace if necessary.
    9. I would highly recommend completing this step while the humidifier water supply line is disconnected to clean out the supply line/saddle valve and make sure that you have a good flow of water coming out of the water supply line. Many times a new valve can become stopped up if this step is not completed. This can be accomplished by taking a bucket, setting the loose humidifier water supply line down into the bucket (two people are best), then turn on the saddle valve to get all loose sediment out of the saddle valve and the waterline. This can be accomplished by allowing the water to run into the bucket for 10 to 15 seconds. If you can not get adequate water flow out of your saddle valve then you will need to replace your saddle valve. We sell a really good Supco saddle valve on the following page: Please click here for the saddle valve we recommend.
    10. Reconnect the water lines, double wrenching the compression nuts.
    11. Turn the water back on and check the system for leaks. Tighten compression nuts as necessary.
    12. Restore electrical service and activate the furnace by turning up the thermostat.
    13. Turn up the humidistat to verify the operation of the humidifier.
    14. Recheck for leaks. Turn down the humidistat to make sure the valve shuts off. Reset humidistat and thermostat to original levels.

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Search Box Below:

Posted on Leave a comment

Question: Why does my heat pump smell musty when it defrosts? What is Dirty Sock Syndrome?

dirty sock syndrome 1

Question: Why does my heat pump smell musty when it defrosts? What is Dirty Sock Syndrome? 

Answer: We have had several people ask us this question including myself! I do not want anyone to continue to have this awful smell in their home so that is why I am writing this post. I installed a new packaged heat pump unit at my house in the Spring of 2021. Everything was going swell and dandy until this fall when the new heat pump started having to defrost to melt the ice off the unit. My wife said, “What in the world is that terrible smell??? It smells like soured laundry clothes!” You know when you forget to place the laundry in the dryer for several days and the clothes go sour!  Yes! It was a terrible smell that lasted while our heat pump was defrosting and for about 20 minutes after the defrost stopped! I asked myself how could this be happening with a brand new heat pump packaged unit??? How can this happen with new equipment??? Is it something that I did wrong in the installation?? I started thinking about how heat pumps defrosts and it makes sense how this smell can occur. I first Googled the subject, “Dirty Sock Syndrome” and found the following definition: “Dirty sock syndrome occurs when your heat pump goes into defrost mode, which stirs up microorganisms and leads to a foul smell. … Then when the heat pump goes into defrost mode, the indoor coil cools down and becomes moist, which reactivates the microorganisms.” I told myself that this problem makes sense on how it can continue to occur when the heat pump defrosts! The heat pump system switches the hot outdoor condenser coil (summertime) with the indoor evaporator coil in the wintertime. During the summertime, we do not have the dirty sock syndrome smell because the heat pump unit’s indoor coil is always cold, but in the wintertime when the heat pump has to defrost the hot indoor coil goes into air conditioning mode which makes the indoor coil cool, cold and the coil collects moisture. During the defrost cycle which usually lasts 10 to 15 minutes the indoor cool cold coil is accumulating water and moisture from your home’s indoor air. When the heat pump cycles back to the heating mode the cool, cold coil is immediately heated up which burns off and evaporates the water, moisture along with funky smelling dirt and bacteria off the indoor evaporator which produces the dirty sock odor! Yes, that makes sense, but how do I eliminate this problem? I have researched this and unfortunately, there really does not seem to be a long-term solution. Many people have temporarily stopped the problem by having the coil cleaned with a special cleaner every year like the dirty sock coil cleaner that we sell on the following page: Please click here if you are interested in the Dirty Sox coil cleaner that we sell. Some have installed Ultraviolet UV lamps to kill mode and bacteria on the coils. Please click here if you are interested in the UV lights we sell. 

I have just had Cataract surgery and have not been able to clean the coil on our heat pump yet. I will let you all know if the Dirty Sox spray coil cleaner that we sell works or not when I get the doctor’s OK to lift heavy objects again! What I have been doing with our heat pump on cold nights (when the outdoor temp is below 32 degrees) is that  I place the heat pump thermostat on “Emergency Heat” which cuts the outdoor heat pump off and heats our home off all electric heat. Lucky it has not been that cold yet here in Kentucky, but it is a lot better than having that awful dirty sock smell in our home! I am sure I will see how my emergency heat move has affected our next electric bill! LOL! I probably will not be laughing we I see our electric bill!

I found a really good article about how to fix Dirty Sock Syndrome from https://www.yourmodernfamily.com/dirty-sock-syndrome-cleaner/ 

On YourModernFamily.com they discuss how to get rid of the Dirty Sock Syndrome. They have found great results using special coil cleaners that I have pictured below.

dirty Sock Syndrome Cleaner solutions
dirty Sock Syndrome Cleaner solutions

If you want to learn how the defrost on a heat pump works then we have an excellent YouTube video below where AC Service Tech LLC explains how a heat pump defrost works. Thanks to AC Service Tech LLC for making this excellent video! I hope this information helps you understand what causes Dirty Sock Syndrome and how to get rid of Dirty Sock Syndrome! If you have any questions please comment below or email us anytime at arnoldservice@gmail.com We would love to try and help you out! 

Comstar Dirty Sock Spray
Comstar Dirty Sock Spray


You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Search Box Below:

Posted on Leave a comment

Question: Do I Really Need a New AC Unit?

happy ac

Question: My HVAC contractor said that I need a new air conditioning system. I was not home for him to show me why I need a new system. Is there any way that I can test and make sure that I really need a new air conditioning system? Do I really need a new air conditioning system?

Answer: Yes! We have a YouTube video made by AC Service Tech LLC that explains how to test and make sure that you need a new unit or not.  I have listed the step-by-step troubleshooting steps and tests below if you do not want to watch the video.  A multimeter is required for testing and troubleshooting the unit. We sell a really good multimeter on the following page. Please click here if you are interested in the multimeter that we sell.

Here are the steps in troubleshooting if you do not want to watch the 6-minute video. Many of the steps below involve working with high voltage electricity in testing with a multimeter. If you are uncomfortable in working with live electricity then I would recommend leaving this to a professional. Bodily Injury or death can occur if mistakes are made!

  1. Arrive at the unit and pull the disconnect to disconnect power to the unit.
  2. Test the disconnect with a multimeter set to “Volts AC” to make sure power is getting to the disconnect. You should have between 210 to 250 volts at the disconnect. Always make sure you are careful to not get grounded out or shocked.
  3. Take the control panel cover off the AC unit.
  4. Plug the disconnect back in and test between L1 and L2 at the contactor to make sure that the wires that come from the disconnect are supplying 220 volts to the contactor.
  5. Push in on the contactor with an insulated screwdriver to see if the compressor or fan turns on.
  6. In the video, the fan turns on when the contactor is pushed in, but the compressor is not coming on.
  7. Use the Amprobe multimeter to see what the amp draw is on the compressor when the contactor plunger is pressed in.
  8. In the video, the compressor is running high amperage when it tries to start over 60 amps and the compressor will not start.  This shows that the compressor is locked up and that the compressor has a major problem.  The problem could be a bad or weak capacitor, broken or burnt wires, grounded out, or open compressor windings. We will need to test to see where the problem is located with the compressor.
  9. Turn the power off to the unit at the disconnect and make sure the high voltage power is off. Disconnect the wires off the capacitor and test the capacitor with a capacitor tester to make sure that the capacitor is in good condition. If the capacitor is bad replace it.
  10. Disconnect the Start, Run, and common compressor wires off the contactor and capacitor. Test to see the ohm readings between the wires and test to see if the compressor windings are grounding out. If the ohm readings are not right or if the compressor is grounding out then yes, you will need a new unit or compressor.
  11. In the video, two connections on the compressor are burned completely off and all the refrigerant has escaped. Yes, you would need a new unit or compressor in this case. If you have any questions please email us anytime at arnoldservice@gmail.com
  12. We would love to try and help you and earn your business!


You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Search Box Below:

Posted on Leave a comment

Problem: My AC Unit Will Not Turn On or Run. What could be the problem?

happy ac

Problem: My AC unit or heat pump will not turn on or run. What could be the problem? Could you tell me how to get my air conditioner working again?

Answer: Many people have this problem where their air conditioner or heat pump will not turn on. The AC will not turn on. Nothing happens at the outdoor unit. We have a really good YouTube Video made by AC Service Tech LLC that explains the top 10 problems that are mostly found when an air conditioner or heat pump will not turn on.  I also have the 10 problems written down if you do not have time to watch the video. Thanks so very much to Craig Marciano for making this excellent video! Here is the list of the top 10 reasons why air conditioners or heat pumps will not turn on. If you have any questions please comment below or email us at arnoldservice@gmail.com We would love to try and help you out and earn your business!

*Always make sure that the electric power is turned off before working on an Air Conditioner or Heat Pump System. 

  1. No power at the contactor due to a blown fuse or circuit breaker being tripped. You should check the voltage at the outdoor unit’s contactor to see if you are getting voltage between L1 and L2 of the contactor. We sell a really good test meter on the following page. Please click here if you are interested in a really good testing Multimeter. We also have another really good meter on this page. 
  2. Bad power supply problem. You could have a bad or blown low voltage transformer or the power going to the transformer might be out. Please click here if you are interested in the transformers that we sell. 
  3. Having a bad capacitor. We sell over 80 different capacitors on the following page. Please click here if you are interested in the capacitor we sell. 
  4. The contacts on the contactor are burnt or bad. You might need a new contactor or clean the contactor. Please click here if you are interested in the contactors that we sell
  5. The unit might have a bad contactor coil. The video shows how to test the contactor coil.
  6. Might have a low-pressure switch that has electrically opened due to a low refrigerant charge, refrigerant leak. You would need to install gauges to see if your unit is low on refrigerant charge and find and fix the leak if the system is low on charge.
  7. You might have a bad thermostat connection from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit.  A weed eater or animal may have chewed through the wires or you might have loose wire connections at the unit, thermostat, or control board. You might have to run a new thermostat wire.
  8. The next 3 problems are when the indoor blower motor is not turning out so you have to focus your attention on the indoor unit.  The thermostat may look like it is on, but the indoor unit is off. Many thermostats are powered by batteries and this can give you a false visual feeling that the power is on, but really the power is not on. Make sure the power switch for the furnace is in the ON position and make sure the furnace blower door is latched tight.  Make sure the power on the breaker box to the furnace is turned on.
  9. Is that an emergency safety switch on the condensate pump or on the condensate over-flow float switch that has cut the low voltage power off to the furnace and thermostat.
  10. A bad thermostat wire, a bad thermostat, or a bad low voltage fuse on the control board.


You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Search Box Below:

Posted on Leave a comment

Question: What can I do to make my air conditioner last longer? Any maintenance tips?

dirty AC coil

Questions: What can I do to make my air conditioner or heat pump last longer? What can I do to make sure my air conditioner is ready to go for the summer? Do you have any maintenance tips or advice?

Answer: Yes! The homeowner DIY person can do many maintenance checks and jobs to make sure the air conditioner or heat pump is ready to go for the summer.  We have a video below made by Word of Advice TV that shows 15 maintenance tips that will help you make sure that your AC or heat pump is ready to go for the summer. Doing these maintenance tips will help to make sure that your unit is ready to go for the summer and prolong the life of your air conditioner or heat pump. We have the 15 tips written below if you do not want to watch the video. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at arnoldservice@gmail.com or comment below in the comments section. Thanks so very much for visiting our site!  Steve & Barbara Arnold

The 15 air conditioner or heat pump maintenance tips are:

  1. Uncover the condensing unit (if you cover it up in the wintertime).  Make sure that you have at least 12″ of clearance around the unit. If you have any tall grass, weeds or bushes then trim those back.
  2. Thoroughly clean the condensing coil with a water hose with a nozzle on the end. *Make sure that you turn the unit off at the electrical disconnect or breaker box before using water on the condenser. As you know water and electricity do not mix. Make sure that the water force from the hose nozzle is not too strong or it could damage the coils. It is best to clean the coil from the inside out if possible. If you feel uncomfortable removing the top to clean for the inside out then cleaning from the outside in will be fine.
  3. Check for animal nests and inspect the wiring for damaged burnt chewed wires or connections. Repair any burnt or loose wire connections. Clean any animal nests out.
  4. Check the capacitor for swelling or damage. Have an extra capacitor on hand in case your capacitor goes out during the hot summer cooling season. We sell capacitors on the following page: Please click here if you would like to see the capacitors we sell. 
  5. Check the contactor to make sure that the contactor contacts are not burnt or pitted. If you need a contactor we sell contactors on the following page: Please click here if you would like to see the contactors that we sell. 
  6. Check the suction line insulation to make sure it is not torn or missing.
  7. Try to keep the condensing unit as level as possible.
  8. Test run your air conditioner early in the cooling season to make sure it is running right. The outside temperature should be above 70 degrees before testing.
  9. Kick start the condenser fan for the season. You might try turning the condenser fan (unit turned off, electricity off) with a long screwdriver to make sure the motor bearings are not tight from sitting all winter.  Many times I have seen condenser motors get destroyed if the motor bearings are locked up from sitting all winter.  Make sure the fan blade and bearings are free to spin before turning your unit on. We sell condenser fan motors on the following page if you need one. Please click here if you would like to see the air conditioner condenser fan motors that we sell.
  10. Take a temperature drop to see if the Air conditioner is cooling properly. Check the bare part of the suction line (large line) by feeling with your fingers to make sure cool gas is going back to keep the compressor running cool. If your suction line is not cold after running for at least 15 minutes then your system might be low on refrigerant charge and you would need to check the charge with gauges or call someone in to make sure your system is charged up properly.  From my experience (over 30 years) systems that are not charged up properly is the biggest cause for compressor burnout and failure. I would recommend that you check by feel monthly to make sure that cool gas (the suction line is cool/cold) to make sure that your unit is staying charged up properly.
  11. Clean evaporator coil drain line and make sure fittings are not loose or leaking.
  12. Make sure that your air filter is clean and change it regularly.
  13. Turn off the power to your furnace or air handler and make sure the blower wheel is clean.  Check the blower motor capacitor and make sure that it is in good condition.
  14. Turn the humidifier off and close your humidifier damper (if equipped)
  15. Make sure all your vents and returns are open and clear. Make sure that furniture or objects are not blocking the return of vents.
  16. It is a good idea to replace your thermostat batteries (if your thermostat has batteries).

I hope that you enjoy the video below that was made by Word of Advice TV! 
You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems with Answers, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Search Box Below:

Posted on Leave a comment

Problem: How can I find my run capacitor size and voltage if the ratings are worn off?

rusty capacitor

Problem: My air conditioner’s fan and compressor have stopped working! My capacitor looks bad. Really bad and rusty all over! I can not read the specifications on the capacitor to know which capacitor to purchase. How can I find out what size capacitor that I need for my condenser fan and compressor?

worn out capacitors

Answer: We have this question asked many times. I have had this problem several times when I was doing air conditioning service. The Air conditioning unit’s capacitor needs to be replaced, but the capacitor is so rusty or the label is missing! I have had to ask myself, how in the world do I determine what is the right capacitor replacement size when I can not read the specifications of the old capacitor?  We have a really good YouTube video below that was made by AC Service Tech LLC that explains how to determine the right capacitor size when the capacitor specifications are worn off. Thanks to the AC Service Tech Channel for making this great video! AC Service tech explains in the video that you can get the capacitor size for the motor off the motor label and the compressor capacitor size by using Google or another search engine to find the compressor model number and capacitor size. The two most popular compressor manufacturers are Copeland and Bristol. Please click here if you would like to see a PDF Copeland Compressor Product Guide that shows the capacitor sizes for many of the Copeland compressors. Please click here if you would like to see a PDF Bristol Compressor Product Guide that shows the capacitor sizes for many of the Bristol Compressors. If you need a capacitor we would love to help you out! We sell over 80 different name-brand capacitors on the following page: Please click here to see the capacitors we sell. If you have any questions or if you would like for us to look up a capacitor or part for your AC or furnace please send us your unit’s model number and we will be glad to try and help you out. Our email is arnoldservice@gmail.com


You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems with Answers, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Search Box Below:

Posted on Leave a comment

Question: Can I wire my gas furnace up to run off a generator in an emergency situation?

generator with power cord

Question: Can I wire my gas furnace up to run off a generator in an emergency situation? My home and family need heat! It is below zero outside!

Disclaimer: Arnold’s Service Company, Inc. assumes no liability for any incidental, consequential, or other liability from the use of this information. All risks and damages, incidental or otherwise, arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein are entirely the responsibility of the user. Although careful precaution has been taken in the preparation of this website’s information, we assume no responsibility for omissions or errors.

Answer:  We have this question asked quite often since we are in the wintertime ice storm season! The answer is, “Yes!” You can run your gas furnace off of a generator to get the heat for your family and for your home! I have hooked our generator up to our Bryant 90I furnace before to get temporary heat for our home.  It was a lifesaver and that is why I wanted to add this post on how to do it on our site.  I have step-by-step instructions below, but if you do not like reading then we have a really good YouTube video made by David Vermullen on, “Hooking up a gas furnace to a generator” below. Thanks to Mr. Vermullen for taking the time to make this excellent informative video! Here is my step by step instructions:

  1. Tools needed: screwdriver, electrical tape, wire stripper, wire nuts, heavy-duty extension cord, 2000 watt minimum generator, voltmeter to make sure power is turned off and make sure generator is producing enough voltage. The generator should produce at least 110 volts AC with the furnace running.
  2. Make sure that the power to the furnace is turned off at the breaker box in case the power is restored while you are working on the furnace’s wiring! When the electric company restores power you will of course turn the generator off, disconnect the extension cord, reconnect the power wires to the furnace using your home’s power source then turn the breaker back on.  Always test with a volt-meter to make sure the power is off when working with electricity. Hopefully, you have the individual breaker marked for the furnace in your breaker box so you will know which breaker turns the furnace power off and on.  If you do not have the breaker marked then I would recommend turning all your home’s breakers off to make sure the power does not come on while you are wiring your furnace to the generator. I would suggest making sure that the furnace’s wall thermostat is turned off as well.  I would suggest turning the thermostat off or way down because you do not want the furnace to come on until you have the power hooked up and running with the generator. 
  3.  Make sure the power is turned off to the furnace by testing with a voltmeter.
  4. Remove the junction box cover plate that covers the power switch for the furnace with a screwdriver.
  5. Remove the power switch and connect the wires from the extension cord (white and black) to the two power wires that go into the furnace using wire nuts.  You would connect the white wire from your extension cord to the white neutral wire of your furnace. You would connect the black wire (power wire) from your extension cord to the black power wire of your furnace. Use electrical tape to wrap wire nuts so they do not come off. Wire nut or tape off the bare wires that come from your home’s power source to the furnace because you do not want live wires exposed when the power company restores power to your home. Make sure that the furnace’s blower door is installed because many furnaces have blower door safety switches that cut off power to the furnace if the blower door has been removed.
  6. Plug the heavy-duty extension cord into the generator power source with the generator running. Make sure that the generator is running outdoors. Never run a generator indoors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. 
  7. Turn up the thermostat and hopefully see the furnace start and fire up. Congratulations! Fantastic! Awesome! 

An important note: This should work on most gas furnaces that have one transformer systems (most furnaces do).  If you have a system that has two low voltage transformers one on the indoor furnace and one on the outdoor unit then this might not work. It still might work with a two transformer system but the low voltage wiring would need to be investigated to see if the furnace’s transformer is used for heating. If the outdoor unit’s transformer is used for heating then it would not work because with this power set up the furnace would not be getting low voltage to make the furnace run.  In other words, if the outdoor unit (Air Conditioner) has a low voltage transformer that is used to control the heat then this will not work because the outdoor unit requires 220 volts to power the outdoor transformer. If you have any questions please email me anytime at arnoldservice@gmail.com or comment below. We would love to help you out and earn your business! 

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems with Answers, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Search Box Below: